In spite of my membership on the Board of the National Science Foundation, the agency providing the funding for the Vanguard Project, I had taken no more than casual interest in the efforts of this nation to develop a space program following the successful orbiting of Sputnik I by the Russians on 4 October 1957. The aftermath was marked by a continuous chorus of lament over the fact that the Soviet Union had stolen a march on the United States in fields that had seemed to be the special province of our own country. In reaction, President Eisenhower appointed Jim Killian of MIT as his Science Advisor. I thought this a most excellent appointment and sent a telegram to Jim congratulating him and stating that I would be happy to assist in any possible way.
In April 1958, the president sent to the Congress a bill calling for the establishment of an agency to develop and manage a national space program. Quite naturally, there was much debate about the actual management of this program - should it be handled by the military departments or by a civilian agency? The proponents of the civilian management won out, and the bill was passed and signed into law on 29 July by President Eisenhower. It called for the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration using the then existing National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics as its foundation. That distinguished 43-year-old agency employed some 8,000 people, with major laboratories in Cleveland; Langley, Virginia; and Moffett Field, California. There were smaller field stations at Edwards Air  Force Base in California and at Wallops Island, Virginia. Its budget for the 1959 fiscal year had been set at $101 million as I recall.1
The policy statement in the preface of the Act called for the establishment and prosecution of a program aimed at the development of useful knowledge of the space environment and the exploration and exploitation of that environment for peaceful purposes and for the benefit of all mankind. In recognition that space might well be used for military purposes, the law provided that any activities concerned principally with the defense of the nation were the responsibility of the Department of Defense.
As already stated, I paid about as much attention to all of these events as the ordinary citizen - not much more. Imagine my surprise when on 7 August 1958 I received a call from Jim Killian asking me to come immediately to Washington. I flew down on that same day and met with him at his apartment that evening. He said his purpose was to ask me, on behalf of President Eisenhower, to consider becoming administrator of the new agency, which of course was the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He handed me a copy of the bill, which I had not previously seen. I read it through rather hurriedly and pointed out immediately the built-in conflict that seemed to me to be present whereby the Defense Department most certainly would dispute the claim of the civilian agency to important elements of any program that might be initiated. After some considerable discussion, I agreed to meet with the president the next morning.
The meeting with President Eisenhower was brief and very much to the point. He said he wanted to develop a program that would be sensibly paced and vigorously prosecuted. He made no mention of concern over accomplishments of the Soviet Union although it was clear he was concerned about the nature and quality of scientific and technological progress in this country. He seemed to rely on the advice of Jim Killian. I agreed that I would give the matter consideration and would give him a reply within a few days.
Discussions with Killian were followed by a visit to Don Quarles, Deputy Secretary of Defense. I had known Quarles for years, since my stay in New London during World War II. It was apparent that few people had been asked to recommend a candidate for the NASA job, and I gained the impression that Quarles had only heard about the proposal that I be offered the post. He urged me to take it but expressed some unhappiness over the fact that he had not acted more promptly on a matter troubling him - head of the research and development activity in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He stated that he had intended to offer that job to me. Although flattered, I assured him that I would not have been able to accept because of my conviction that only a scientist should handle that job.
 Returning to Cleveland, I discussed these matters with my wife Ruth, several of my associates on the campus, and members of the board of trustees. Frederick C. Crawford [chairman of the board of trustees at Case Institute of Technology] urged me to take the post, and after two or three days of soul searching I called Killian to say I would accept - but only if Hugh Dryden, the director of the NACA, would endorse the appointment and would agree to serve as my deputy. Events began to move rapidly. Fred and I agreed that it would be desirable to ask Kent Smith to serve as acting president during my absence since John Hrones [Case's vice president for academic affairs] had been with us only a year and was not acquainted with all facets of the campus. Fred and I talked with Kent and Thelma and, in spite of the fact that they had planned a year abroad, Kent agreed to take on the job.
The swearing-in was set for 19 August in Washington. Ruth, Polly, and Sally drove down with me and Ruthie and Jack Packard attended the ceremony....
....in the executive offices of the White House.2 A crowd of friends attended the brief ceremony, and the family had a chance to speak with President Eisenhower who  presided and handed us our Commissions, Hugh Dryden having been sworn in at the same time. Together with the Packards, we had lunch at LaSalle du Bois with everyone a bit punch drunk over events of the day. Ruth Packard and my Ruth immediately started a search for an apartment, and I returned to the NACA offices to become acquainted with members of the staff of that organization, soon to be absorbed by NASA.
Although my visit had been billed as casual, I found myself thrust into the problems of the new agency. Dryden called in Abe Silverstein and some of the top operating people who wanted to discuss budget. I will not try to describe the budget cycle in Washington agencies; suffice it to say that we were attempting to put together a budget that should have been initiated months before. Staff members were seeking my approval of a figure toward which they might work on the budget, which had to be submitted within weeks. Imagine my consternation when they proposed that we seek $615 million. The Case budget at that time was in the neighborhood of $6 or $7 million and I doubt that I had much feel for $615 million. Members of the staff made the point that when NASA was to be declared "ready for operations" we would be taking over from the Defense Department projects, together with manpower and funds already appropriated. It appeared that we would have about $300 million for FY 1959 (July 1958-June 1959). Their arguments must have been convincing, for I approved a budget for FY 1960 using the guideline figure of $615 million. This, then, was my introduction to what was to become one of the major activities of the federal government.
In accepting the appointment I had stipulated that I would take a vacation before reporting for duty and had set the reporting date at 9 September. In addition to taking a vacation, I had to complete my annual report for Case. We were able to find a cottage on Martha's Vineyard and after depositing the children in Cleveland we drove immediately to Wood's Hole and took the ferry to the Vineyard. This was a delightful spot, and l was able to complete my report even though I spent time on the telephone counseling with Dryden and others about additional top personnel.
I want to record my first brush with the inflexibility of bureaucratic procedure. The Case trustees had voted to continue my salary throughout the balance of 1958, paying me in a lump sum determined to be a legal procedure. I did not want to accept a check from the federal government until I was on the job, so I asked our financial officer at NASA to determine how this could be managed since my salary was supposed to begin when I was sworn in. He shook his head but agreed to make the attempt. When I returned to Washington on 9 September, I called him in. He stated that the only possible way to manage this affair was for me to accept the payment and to return it to the federal government as a gift. I would have to pay income tax. Since there seemed no way of circumventing these regulations, I decided to keep the salary although I suppose I could have paid the tax and returned the balance of the salary less the tax. The whole procedure seemed so unbusinesslike that I guess I acted as much in pique as from any sense of conviction.
Now my work began in earnest. Ruth was engaged, with the help of Mr. Bacome, a Cleveland decorator, in making the apartment livable.  We bought drapes, a bookcase and a room divider, a daybed, and a rug and shipped furniture from Cleveland. As I look back over my appointment schedules for those days, I wonder how I kept anything straight. I was concerned with acquiring a number of good men to fill top positions in the agency and I seem to have spent a good bit of my time on this task. Hardly a day passed without a visit from the representatives of some industrial concern - usually the president - and meetings with top people in the Department of Defense and some of the other agencies with which we would be dealing.
Although NACA contained many fine technical people, it had been an agency protected from the usual in-fighting found on the Washington scene. Its staff, composed of able people, had little depth and little experience in the management of large projects. Considerable thought had been given by the staff to the organization that might develop, and these plans served to get us underway. It became apparent almost immediately that further studies would be needed and that some good people would have to be hired.
Let me discuss the philosophy with which I approached this job - a philosophy about which I had thought while vacationing at Martha's Vineyard. First, having the conviction that our government operations were growing too large, I determined to avoid excessive additions to the federal payroll. Since our organizational structure was to be erected on the NACA staff, and their operation had been conducted almost wholly "in-house," I knew I would face demands on the part of our technical staff to add to in-house capacity. Indeed, approval had been given in the budget to initiate construction of a so-called "space control center" laboratory at Beltsville, Maryland, an action I approved.3 But I was convinced that the major portion of our funds must be spent with industry, education, and other institutions.
Second, it seemed to me that we were starting virtually from scratch and with little in the way of rocket-propelled launching systems. Thus it seemed to me that we should mount an aggressive program that would build on the advancing state of the art as we came to understand more about technologies with which we were dealing. Third, it seemed clear that we should not lose sight of the propaganda values residing in successful launches - yet we had to be aware of the limitations imposed upon us by the lack of availability of proven launch vehicle systems. This was because the military missile program was just reaching the testing stage and these same rocket-propelled units were going to have to serve as "booster systems" or, as we came to call them, launch vehicle systems for our space shots.
Fourth, in the nature of things it seemed necessary that we structure our program in accord with our own ideas of fields to be explored and the pace at which progress could and should be made. This meant we must avoid the undertaking of particular shots, the purpose of which would be propagandistic rather than directed toward solid accomplishment. Fifth, we faced the prospect of carrying to  completion the projects started by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Defense Department, called into being by Secretary Neil H. McElroy during the period between 4 October 1957 and the operational beginnings of NASA. At the same time we must be planning our own broadly-based program of science and technology and organizing to accomplish all these tasks.
I was under pressure to appoint individuals to important jobs within the agency by members of the Executive Branch on only two occasions during my more than 29 months in Washington. The first was the more important and it occurred shortly after I had taken office. Sherman Adams was serving as President Eisenhower's chief of staff. I was searching for a general counsel and had sought nominations both within the government and from friends in the legal profession. Word reached me through General Persons that it would be pleasing to Governor Adams if I would appoint John Adams (I think that was the name) to this post. It will be recalled that he was the general counsel for Army Secretary Stevens during the McCarthy-Stevens trouble4 and that he had been dropped from his position following that altercation. Whether his departure was requested or was voluntary is a matter about which I have no knowledge. My reaction was in the negative since I determined that our agency should not be involved in political machinations.
I did talk with John Adams and was not at all impressed by either his attitude or his ability. He seemed like a beaten man and I became even more convinced that the appointment would be viewed as a move to provide a haven for someone who had served the cause. I so informed Persons who asked me to speak with Governor Adams directly. This I did, and to my surprise, he listened without comment and then asked, "Is this your considered decision?" I replied in the affirmative and Adams stated that there was no need for further discussion.5
The second incident related to my appointment of several people to an advisory panel later. Persons called to ask if I had knowledge of the political alignments of individuals I proposed to appoint. I responded that I neither had that information nor was I concerned about it. I wanted men whose scientific and technological competence and judgment were respected. Persons accepted that statement and throughout my term I had no further incidents.
This was not the case with respect to Congress. Quite a number of requests were made and I am certain that a few met with a favorable response. I recall one made by the majority leader of the House, John McCormack. He wanted a man  taken on in our contracting operations, and because of his great power over our legislative program we made the appointment. We were to regret it when we found the man was not only incompetent but required watching because of possible dishonesty. None of his problems were sufficiently flagrant to cause us to take action but we did resist demands of the congressman for advancement in position and salary for this individual.
It is quite an experience to be catapulted into a job of the kind I undertook. There exists no program that I know of for providing reasonable orientation. I did meet briefly with two members of President Eisenhower's staff and was told something about operations of the National Security Council (NSC) and the Operations Coordinating Board (OCB).6 The latter attempts to monitor decisions by the National Security Council and assure that all those who should have knowledge do have such knowledge. Gordon Gray was the operating head of the NSC and Karl Harr the chairman of the OCB. Bob Merriam, another of the White House staff, briefed me on operations of the president's chief counsel. Except for these experiences I had to learn by doing.
As an example of the latter situation, let me describe my initiation into the handling of meetings of the Space Council, an advisory body or sort of board of directors established in law and having a membership consisting of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, three civilians, and one additional person from government, in this case, Waterman of NSF. I had been on the job only two weeks when it seemed proper to Jim Killian and myself that the first meeting of the Space Council should be called. The civilians on the council were Lt. Gen. Doolittle, U.S.A.F. (ret.), William A.M. Burden, and Jack Rettaliata of Illinois Institute of Technology. Together with members of my staff, I set about the preparation of the agenda for the meeting.
We had agreed that Killian would "present the agenda," which was the method followed in handling NSC meetings. The person presenting the agenda presumably had knowledge of attitudes of individuals who might wish to speak on any of the matters under discussion. He would call up an agenda item, discuss briefly the problem, and suggest comments. The president would listen to the discussion and, if a decision were to be taken, would normally make the first comments. Often it was necessary for the person presenting the agenda to suggest to the president that he might wish to comment. Having put together the agenda with Jim, we agreed that it would be well to brief the president that afternoon so things would go as smoothly as possible the next morning. This was 23 September.
 This was my first meeting with the president after taking office. He participated vigorously in the discussion and we agreed on the nature of decisions to be taken, barring arguments by members who would be present. Jim asked the president how he wanted the meeting conducted - expecting that he, Killian, would be requested to present the agenda. Instead President Eisenhower stated that he expected me to handle the meeting. What a situation! Jim had prepared his papers in his own style and I had added my comments. Now I faced the problem of handling the meeting in my own way.
I set up a session with Gordon Gray and learned about the way he handled NSC meetings. I went home and spent most of the night preparing my statements and notes I would use in calling for participation. Fortunately the meeting went off without incident and I was complimented by Gray and others. Sometimes there is no better method than to be thrown into the center of a situation.
With the help of Dryden we began to pull together our staff. Initially we used the organizational arrangements proposed by the NACA boys and they served well at this point. Because we were a new agency involved in an exciting new field, it was not too difficult to encourage top people from other agencies to join us. The Secretary of the Air Force, Jim Douglas, assured me he would not countenance my approaching his general counsel, John Johnson. Apparently he had second thoughts and called me two days later to say that, to his surprise, Johnson had evinced an interest. The upshot was that Johnson joined us within two weeks and proved one of the stars on our team. No man in Washington was or is better equipped. John could make a great deal of money in industry but seems dedicated to government operations and serves his nation with distinction. Douglas became a warm and firm friend.
In like manner we acquired the services of Al Siepert as Director of Business Administration. He had held a similar position with the National Institutes of Health and came to us with quite a background in research. A young man, Wesley Hjornevik, left the office of the Deputy Secretary of HEW to be my assistant. He turned out to be a good man and ultimately moved into the business operations and is now occupying a responsible post in the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas. We made but one appointment that turned out to be completely unsatisfactory - Henry Billingsley of Cleveland as Director of our Office of International Affairs. His services were terminated at the end of a six-month period - not without unpleasant scenes.
It was clear that the NACA boys had done a good job in thinking through the organization they would like to see established, but I was convinced we needed independent counsel. Having had experience with John Corson of McKinsey and Company, I asked him to undertake an organizational study. The attitude of our staff was lukewarm but they did not interpose strong objections. This study confirmed much of the structure proposed by the NACA boys but I insisted, even against the recommendation of Corson, that we needed a "general manager" to handle day-to-day operations. This was not particularly palatable to the staff. Even Dryden was  lukewarm. We compromised on calling the man an Associate Administrator rather than general manager and started a search for the right person - a search that was to take six months.
On 1 October, a month before the date set in the act, we declared NASA ready for operations. We took over several programs from the military - particularly from ARPA - together with men and the money set aside to underwrite these projects.7 Our budget jumped overnight to more than $300 million.
I visited Huntsville 17 September - one of my first trips outside of Washington.8 I became convinced that the talents of this group - so dedicated to space exploration and so hemmed-in by the fact that the Air Force had been given control of air and was intent on extending that control to space - would be a useful part of NASA. I had met General Medaris and been treated in a somewhat cavalier fashion by him. He was a martinet, addicted to "split and polish," never without a swagger stick, and determined to beat the Air Force. He simply did not have the cards. I was to learn a lot from this experience as evidenced in our acquisition of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at the end of 1959.
As a result of discussions with Roy Johnson and Herb York of ARPA, Dryden and some of our own people, and with Quarles, I had come to the conclusion that the nation's space program would advance most rapidly if we had working within our framework the so-called von Braun team at Huntsville, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) operated for the Army by Cal Tech. There was no warmth on the part of the staff for this proposal. Dryden, an old hand in government, recognized the values that could be had from the association but believed, I think, that we would have difficulty in convincing the Defense Department and particularly  the Army that such a move should be made. I was naive enough and stubborn enough to proceed with my plans, and Dryden gave his full support, once I had taken this decision. I discussed the matter with Killian and briefly with the president. In each instance there was agreement we should proceed. But I was not prepared for what then transpired.
Meetings were held with Secretaries McElroy and Quarles and with Roy Johnson and Herb York. I was encouraged to believe I would get full support in the move I wanted to make. I thought I was making a deal with the Office of the Secretary and that Quarles or McElroy would handle the matter with Wilber Brucker, Secretary of the Army. But such was not the case.
It must have been late in October when I met with Don Quarles one morning to complete these negotiations. Much to my surprise, he suggested that I walk down the hall and discuss the matter with Brucker. As I recall it, Bill Holaday, serving in the secretary's office as a sort of coordinator of the missile program, was with us. I noted that he was perturbed at this turn but, having no experience in these matters and having no knowledge of Brucker, I said I would do so immediately. Quarles arranged a meeting and I went to Brucker's office. With him were two generals. I think they were Trudeau and Hinrichs. They sat there like wooden horses throughout the entire conversation, never uttering a word. I began, in a halting fashion, to discuss the situation and finally made the proposal that we take over a substantial portion of von Braun's operation and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It became apparent immediately that "fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
Brucker became irate and, while stating the desire of the Army to be helpful, said he could not countenance such a move. He termed it "breaking up the von Braun team." To an extent, this was the proper characterization. I had not realized how much of a pet of the Army's von Braun and his operation had become. He was its one avenue to fame in the space business. He was supported by General Medaris, the commander officer of ABMA. I attempted to point out to Secretary Brucker that we wanted the technical competence of ABMA and that we recognized the necessity for providing for capability to carry on the Army's work on the Pershing missile and other systems such as the Sergeant.9 Brucker would have none of it and was emphatic in his statements. I finally left with my tail between my legs and called a session of our people to determine strategy.
I do not recall whether I went back that day to talk with Quarles and report to him the result of the discussion. That same evening, while at home, I received a call from Phil Goulding, the Washington correspondent of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He asked me about the session and led me to believe that one of the Baltimore papers - the Sun - was going to carry a strong article by Mark Watson  the next morning. At first I denied any significant problem. I tried to get in touch with the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Pentagon, Murray Snyder - and when I was finally able to do so, found that he knew nothing of any leak at the Pentagon. I determined that I had better make my peace with Goulding and called him back to tell him more about the story.
The next morning's Baltimore Sun carried an account that could only have been given to Watson by the secretary or by one of the generals who sat with us in that office. Seldom have I been so angry. But I determined I was not going to argue in the press and gave orders that we would have no comment. Although I am sure I talked further with Quarles, I do not remember the nature of those discussions. But I found it necessary that I talk once more with Brucker. I had told him over the phone just how I felt about the way in which he or his aides handled the matter. He denied any knowledge of how the word had gotten to Watson.
About a week later I set up another meeting with Brucker but insisted that only himself be present. Again I attempted to explain how we proposed to "split" the ABMA group. He reiterated his former position that I was attempting to break up the team. I pointed out that it was necessary and proper to divide developmental activities and this had been done without injury to the organizations other than immediate inconveniences. He became irate and leaned across his desk to say, "You young whippersnapper, are you trying to tell me that I don't know anything about research and development organizations?" I kept my temper and merely smiled at him and stated I had no intention of telling him anything but that I had experience in this field and was attempting to give him the benefit of it. Needless to say, nothing productive came of that particular meeting - at least, immediately.10
I had many meetings with Killian, Quarles, and others at this time. The first week in November, I made a trip to the west coast to visit industrial organizations and our Ames Laboratory at Moffett Field.11 While there, I learned that the Army had a proposition to make to us - proposing to turn over the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, provided we would make provision for that laboratory's mission on the Sergeant program. I assigned several people including Siepert and Hjornevik to negotiate.
Fortunately, the Army was represented by General Lyman Lemnitzer, one of the finest military men I have met. Quickly we came to terms and agreed that the transfer should be effective the first of the year. Dryden and I visited the west coast and had a talk with Lee DuBridge who seemed lukewarm about the transfer but agreed in principle.
 To finish up this narrative, McElroy and I visited the president to get his signature on the executive order making the transfer.12 Ike felt we were making a mistake - that except for the fact that he respected our agreement to move as we proposed to move, he would prefer to make the ABMA shift right away. Be that as it may, we won half a loaf, and a lot of headaches. JPL was not a well-managed laboratory - I doubt that it ever has been. Possessed of a bright and aggressive staff of young men, it lacked any sense of management techniques necessary to handling programs such as ours. They had done a good job for the Army under supervision but possessed more technical competence than the Army ever thought of having and thus were able to get their way. Such was not to be the case when they ran up against the people in NASA. We continued employment of McKinsey and Company to assist in integrating the JPL organization into NASA. It was to take many months, hard feelings, and a great deal of work.
I have not mentioned any space vehicle launchings. I cannot resist, however, mentioning one incident that took place on 5 December 1958. Having lost the opening battle for ABMA but having won transfer of JPL, I decided to go to Cape Canaveral to witness the launching of an attempt on the part of JPL and ABMA to "hit the moon." 13 Subsequent to decisions relating to transfer of JPL, we determined that we must use launch vehicle systems produced by ABMA in conjunction with JPL. This meant we had to enter into an arrangement with Medaris to cover the costs. I think my trip must have been in the nature of a good will mission but it certainly had some of the elements of curiosity.
The shot was scheduled for late on the evening of 5 December or early the following morning. We were given a briefing by the Air Force relating the nature of the operations. Then we moved to the cape where we were met by General Medaris. I was taken to the blockhouse where I found a "hard hat" with my name painted on it. This was the first and only time I witnessed a launching from the blockhouse. It was a dramatic episode and I found myself much more interested in watching the faces of the men in the countdown than I was in watching the launch pad. The shot was successful but one or more of the upper stages failed, and the spacecraft traveled 70,000 miles into space and then fell back to the earth. Medaris was much in command and conducted the post-launch press conference about four o'clock in the morning. Everyone was dejected.
 Meanwhile, we determined to undertake Project Mercury on 5 October 1958 - five days after we declared ourselves operational.14 I am certain that the allocation of such a program to NASA had been agreed between Dryden, Killian, and DOD before NASA was born. The project was to be handled by a manned space flight task group resident at Langley and under the direction of Robert Gilruth. The philosophy of the project was to use known technologies, extending the state of the art as little as necessary, and relying on the unproven Atlas. As one looks back, it is clear that we did not know much about what we were doing. Yet the Mercury program was one of the best organized and managed of any I have been associated with.
In the course of the first months, it became apparent that the rocket-powered launch vehicles available (Thor, Atlas, and Jupiter) had been seriously over-rated as to their payload. 15 The principal long-range problem was that of developing launch vehicles possessing adequate thrust. We decided to call a conference - the military, industry, and our own people - to settle upon a program. This was scheduled for 15 December 1958 and participation was excellent. But the military services were not as responsive as they might have been. We did establish a program to lead to a family of launch vehicles extending from the Scout (capable of launching 75 lbs.) to the as yet unspecified vehicle that would use the F-1 engine (1,500,000 lbs.) for which we were about to contract.16 It made sense at the time, and focused attention on what was then and was to continue to be the limiting element in the space program.
 I will relate only one other incident that had its beginnings shortly after I reached Washington and which, for the sake of completeness, will be related somewhat out of its proper place in the approximate chronology that I am following. I discuss it here because it provides a good example of the sort of problem that faces an agency executive in the Washington scene. The villain in the piece is my good friend, Congressman Albert Thomas, Chairman of the Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee that handles the Independent Offices' appropriations bills. I had known him somewhat casually when I was in Washington on the AEC.17 Shortly after my return to Washington in 1958, I had a call from him expressing great pleasure at my return to the Washington scene. It soon became apparent that he had an ulterior motive in the call - he was anxious that his district in Texas centering around Houston should benefit from the space program. He suggested that we were going to need additional laboratory facilities. He told me that Rice Institute - now called Rice University - would be quite willing to give NASA 1,000 acres of land about 30 miles from Houston. He stated that there were several good institutions of higher education in that general area that could support such an installation. I responded that, so far as I was concerned, we were not about to build any new laboratory facilities beyond the one already authorized and on which construction had begun in Beltsville. He said, somewhat peevishly, that authorization had gone through without his sanction since he had been absent at the time. I pointed out that this was no fault of ours and that construction had begun and we expected that the laboratory would have to be completed. (At the time, I had expected we might spend as much as $10 million at Beltsville - I suspect expenditures exceeded $75 million by June 1963). He indicated that he would be talking with me about this matter as time progressed.
Throughout the fall, I had several calls from Thomas - each having to do with this subject. I maintained my position and even called on him two or three times to discuss the matter more fully. Our fiscal 1960 budget was sent to the Appropriations Committees about two weeks before the president's message to Congress. A few days after he had received it, Thomas called and opened the discussion in a pleasant way. Soon, he got around to the subject of the laboratory at Houston. I repeated my former comments and thought I was getting away with it when he broke in: "Now look here, Dr., let's cut out the bull. Your budget calls for $14 million for Beltsville and I am telling you that you won't get a God-damned cent of it unless that laboratory is moved to Houston." Fortunately, I retained my sense of humor and simply responded, "I think it's about time I bought you a drink, Albert."
We did not build additional large laboratories while I was in Washington, but during the first year of President Kennedy's term, the decision was made to "race  the Russians to the moon." Obviously, additional facilities would be needed. The first to be proposed was a "Manned Space Flight Center." I think every state in the union must have made a strong pitch for this "plum." But I was convinced, and so advised the representatives of the governor of Ohio, that Texas, and specifically Houston would be the site chosen. After all, Lyndon Johnson was, by then, the Chairman of the Space Council and Thomas continued to be Chairman of the House subcommittee on appropriations concerned with NASA's budgetary requirements.18
But to return to our activities during the year 1958, we had processed our budget request through the Bureau of the Budget and the White House and come up with an approved asking figure in excess of $550 million for FY 1960. We had initiated Project Mercury within days after we became operational. We had initiated the 1.5-million-pound thrust rocket engine project to be known as the F-1 and had called for bids on its development. We had taken the first steps toward the establishment of a national launch vehicle program. We had attempted several shots with indifferent success - most of them previously planned by the military for which we had taken over responsibility. It was in the course of these activities that we became acutely aware of the limitations in thrust that faced us. We had attempted to secure the transfer of ABMA and JPL from the Army and had come a cropper on ABMA! As a consolation prize, the Army did transfer JPL. We had acquired a number of very fine people for top posts and had solidified our thinking about organization. We had begun a national space program, although not in a formal manner, using the advice of the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences, people from industry and the universities and members of our own staff. I suspect we had made no lasting enemies (other than Brucker) and probably no steadfast friends. All in all, a great deal seemed to have been accomplished in those first four months.
As I prepared to dictate these notes on the important or interesting aspects of the year 1959, I found myself up against a formidable problem. In the first place, I did not want to set down a play-by-play account of each day's activities, nor could I have done so had I wanted to. Consequently, I am attempting merely to give a summary of some of the important and, to me, interesting events of the year. Accordingly, to an even greater extent than was the case in the earlier portions of this summary, I will deal with incidents, impressions and problems as I can recall them without much concern for chronology.
 One of the problems that faced us early in the game was the extent to which NASA should develop a program in the life sciences. This problem arose from Project Mercury, a perfect example of the man-machine system in which we knew a great deal more about the machine than the man. The Air Force and the Navy had developed strong and, at times, competing programs in bio-astronautics in connection with their need to understand man's ability to withstand the stresses in high-performance airplanes flying faster than the speed of sound and at exceedingly high altitudes. But there was little of fundamental science involved in their activities. We undertook to develop such a program and were fortunate to acquire the services of Dr. Clark Randt of the Western Reserve Medical School, an experimental psychologist interested in the field although having no real experience in it.
This was never a happy situation and I give great credit to Randt for his dogged pursuit of a sensible answer to the problems that faced us. All of our people were physical scientists or engineers and thus he had little in the way of understanding supervision. Furthermore, Project Mercury had been staffed with doctors from the Navy and the Air Force, and there was resentment against having Randt in that program, on the part of both the service people and the NASA staff. We called together a committee of eminent life scientists under the chairmanship of Dr. Seymour Kety of NIH and agreed upon a program of development. The cognizant committees in Congress viewed all of this with a certain amount of mistrust and I am sure they were aided in their suspicions by people in the military departments. Randt stuck it out for more than two years and accomplished a great deal, although I am sure he would be the first to say it was an uphill battle and productive of much less than satisfactory results. To have plunged ahead on a program of our own without concern for those already existing in the military services would have been possible. But to have done so would certainly have adversely affected our relationships with the military services. Thus I would have to admit to a reasonable sense of failure in attempting to deal with this most important problem.19
I spoke earlier of processing our budget request through the BOB and the Executive Office of the President. Maurice Stans was the Director of the Bureau of the Budget throughout my term in Washington and I came to know and admire him. NACA had established a reputation for forthrightness in dealing on budgetary matters. We continued this throughout my term and yet fought with the personnel of the BOB assigned to our agency. Usually, I took the initiative in stating our case to Stans before he could clue me on what he wanted on behalf of the president and indicated the figure I proposed to shoot for. Naturally, this was always cut back somewhat, but in no instance did I accept as final my discussions with Stans. I fought for the figure we wanted, always involving the president with Stans in a final determination of the figure to be included in the budget. On two or three occasions, others such as Bob Anderson, Secretary of the Treasury, were involved.  Once the figure had been settled upon, I made it a rule never to undercut the president's budget in any discussions before Congressional committees. This seemed to earn for me and for NASA the respect of General Persons and others on the White House staff who then carried my colors into battle with the president. I tried to operate as a member of the president's team and I think we were successful. Hugh Dryden's unquestioned sincerity, integrity and scientific competence provided the greatest support in these matters.
As the year began, I had my first introduction to the preparation necessary for defending our budget in Congress. It was quite apparent that my top staff was concerned about my ability to handle this matter and we set up, late in January, several sessions - each three or four hours - of what we termed the "murder court." Members of the staff questioned me about the budget as though they were members of the congressional committees. In most instances, they were asking questions about matters where their knowledge was significantly more complete than my own. This was a humbling and, at times, frustrating experience. I would attempt answers and could see by their faces that they were less than satisfied. In exasperation, I would ask, "Well, what in hell would you say in answer to that question?" This exercise proved excellent training for it was important that the Administrator take the lead in answering questions posed by members of the congressional committees. Usually, I had Hugh Dryden with me and could turn to him for advice or even ask him to supplement my answer. This practice seemed to be accepted, and we managed to get through the hearings, which extended over many weeks, without loss of money. It should be remembered, however, that the climate in Washington and particularly on the Hill was such that only a blundering fool could have seriously harmed the program. We continued this practice of budgetary rehearsal throughout my time in Washington.
My initial appearance before a congressional committee - other than the brief hearing held at the time of our confirmation - was before the so-called Senate Preparedness Committee. Lyndon Johnson was chairman but appeared seldom. He appointed a subcommittee under Senator Symington who was determined to prove that none of us knew much about what we were doing. In company with our Assistant Administrator for Congressional Liaison, Jim Gleason, I had paid a call on Symington on 16 January 1959. Gleason had formerly been the head of the office staff of Senator William Knowland of California and thus was known to Symington. The Senator lectured us on organizational practices and left no stone unturned in his determination to paint himself as the expert on industrial organization. I developed a dislike for him at this meeting that has continued to this day, and I must say that many incidents have occurred in the interim to support this feeling.
In this instance, Symington drove ahead in an attempt to extract from us the organizational relationship between NASA, the Department of Defense and the individual military services. He wanted a long-range plan. We had been in business for little more than four months and had been heavily occupied in doing a variety of things that taxed the capabilities of the people on our staff. Our dealings with the military services, though at arm's-length, were reasonably under control. But we  had not begun to develop a long-range - say, a ten year - program. I tried to point out that time had not permitted such a program - that we needed to know more about our capabilities in rocket thrust, payload weights, etc. Symington did not shake our adherence to this stand but I must confess that these hearings had a great effect on our determination to develop such a program. It took almost a year before the program was available for discussion with the Congress.20
Symington also wanted to probe into the activities of the Space Council, by law, an advisory body to the president, who was its chairman. Under these circumstances, he could invoke the doctrine of "executive privilege" and refuse to reveal to Congress anything about the advice he was getting from the council. For several hours, I attempted courteously to point this out to Symington. We gave him dates of meetings, but stuck to our guns with the support of President Eisenhower. It was a most unpleasant experience, but I think it did me good in the sense that I learned there is no other approach to be taken in dealing with congressional committees than to be patient, courteous and forthright. In any event, we lived through the experience and gained by it. A year later, I was to have another brush on this matter with the House Committee on Science and Astronautics.21
As a result of the studies conducted by John Corson, we decided to employ an Associate Administrator (general manager). Dryden and I had been searching for such a man. We turned to industry and to some of the top people in government agencies, particularly the Department of Defense. I tried to interest Jim Dempsey of Convair and had a talk with Frank Pace of General Dynamics. Nothing came of this approach, although Frank was helpful. The job, as I recall, paid $21,000 and it was difficult to find a man in industry at that salary who would be capable of handling the job and willing to take the beating that was sure to be entailed.
I had developed a friendship with Dick Horner, then the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Research and Development. I tried to interest him in the job but he pointed out that he had been in government for almost twenty years and his children were getting to a point in life where he must think of college education and the attendant expenses. He planned to retire as of June 1959. My relations with  General Thomas D. White, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, had been good. I appealed to both of them to nominate one or more general officers who might be encouraged to retire and take on this post. I did the same with Admiral Roscoe Wilson of the Navy.22 Several persons were proposed and some little time spent in interviewing. Finally, it appeared that General Monty Canterbury of the Air Force possessed the qualifications. There ensued a number of sessions with him spread over several weeks. Each time he came in, he had another set of conditions. At first, we acceded to his wishes but it became apparent that he was really a victim of a plot on the part of his superiors. I decided that we should break off these negotiations and discuss the matter with Dick Horner who agreed that Canterbury was becoming impossible.
Much to my surprise and gratification, Dick Horner then said to me that he had led me down the primrose path for a long time and he felt honor bound to take the job for a period of one year if we still wanted him. The deal was made without delay, although the Air Force had not yet fully accepted the fact that Dick had made up his mind to retire. Horner turned out to be a good choice and, because of his past associations with the military, we were able before the end of 1959 to come into reasonable agreement with the Air Force on the division of effort between us. I shall always be grateful for Dick's willingness to put aside his interests and take on that difficult task. I treasured his friendship as much as I appreciated his effective efforts.
Another person with whom I developed a reasonable rapport was General Bernard Schriever, now Commander of the Air Force Systems Command. Bennie had been in charge of the missile program for the Air Force and had carried that program forward with energy and effectiveness. He was determined to secure the largest possible role for the Air Force in the space program, but I found it possible to deal with him on a reasonable basis for the most part.
 President Eisenhower had the habit of asking the heads of independent agencies to sit in on cabinet meetings or meetings of the National Security Council from time to time. Usually, these occasions involved a discussion of overall budget policy or some element of the nation's involvement in science and technology. On several occasions, Dryden and I made presentations.
In a quite different aspect of my job, I must admit to an aversion, strongly held, to arguing with anyone in the press and, although I recognize the right of the public to full disclosure of the uses of its money, I find it difficult to think continuously in terms of the impact of the actions of an agency such as NASA on the public. I think I must be one of the few persons who has spent the better part of 30 months in an important job in Washington without indulging in a press conference called for the purpose of revealing my thoughts.
I did participate in several press conferences when it was necessary that we make some public pronouncement. One occurred on 9 April 1959 when I had the privilege of introducing our seven astronauts to a waiting and breathless world. Our press room was a little-used, unventilated, unattractive assembly room. On this day, of course, the room was packed with photographers and reporters. I did little more than open the meeting and introduce the men. I then turned the meeting over to one of our press officers.23 One other press conference remains fixed in my mind. This was the one where I again had the privilege of introducing two astronauts - in this case, the monkeys, Able and Baker. Again, the room was crowded with photographers and newsmen. I suppose it was only my own obtuseness that prevented me from understanding the great interest the public would have in these animals.24
I developed a special antipathy toward the trade press during my stay in Washington. Two publications seemed always to get in our hair - Aviation Daily and Missiles and Rockets. These publications existed primarily on advertising, and their mission was advocacy rather than objective reporting. Their attacks on the....
....agency were hard to stomach. Similarly, the absolute authority with which people at Time magazine castigated our operations was also hard to live with.
However, I did find a few members of the press who seemed more interested in responsible reporting than in headlines. Among them were Phil Goulding of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Courtney Sheldon of the Christian Science Monitor, and Richard Harkness of NBC News. Through the latter, I had two or three opportunities to speak to top columnists and news bureau chiefs in off-the-record sessions. Correspondents took the vow that they would not violate my confidence. In my experience, they always respected this vow. And their columns seemed more responsible than others. Roscoe Drummond was another columnist - at the New York Herald Tribune - for whom I developed considerable respect.
We always had a press conference after a launching and usually held another in Washington to fill in the information not readily available at the post-launch conference held at Canaveral. These sessions were usually chaired by a member of the public information staff with questions handled by our scientific and technical staff. We adopted the practice of holding an explanatory press conference at the time the budget went to Congress. This was usually handled by Dryden and by Associate Administrator Horner or, subsequently, Robert Seamans.
Let me now talk a bit about the events that led up to the transfer, finally, of ABMA to NASA. Throughout the first seven or eight months of 1959, ABMA was under contract to NASA for launch services and for the provision of certain  launch vehicle systems. We came to have considerable respect for Wernher von Braun and his "team." I had never lost interest in bringing them into the NASA fold and, with the help of Hugh Dryden, laid plans to do this in the latter months of 1959.25 In the interval, Don Quarles had died suddenly - his passing was a real loss to the nation. Tom Gates, Secretary of the Navy, had moved up to the post of Deputy Secretary of Defense. In conversations with McElroy and Gates, initiated about August or September, we reviewed the problems facing us in late 1958 when Wilbur Brucker had frustrated our efforts to acquire ABMA. I made it clear that I proposed to make a new deal, if any, only with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and that I expected Brucker to be told the results of the deal once it had been made. Tom Gates, who has remained a good friend, was a very forthright person and McElroy left the bulk of the discussion to him. For once, we were able to contain the information until our negotiations were essentially complete. By this time, I am sure Brucker had recognized that, much as he might desire it, he was not to have a major role in space and could not continue to hold on to ABMA much longer. The Huntsville people were much more interested in the space program than in the missile program, in which their participation had been drastically reduced.
As I recall it, the deal had been pretty well set and I think that Brucker had been told of the impending change when I made a visit to Huntsville to look at Saturn.26 General Medaris conducted me on this tour and acted as if he had little knowledge of what was going on. During the course of our visit to several shops, I noted that he was called away to the telephone on several occasions. Finally, he called me to one side and asked me to come to his office. As I recall, there had been considerable discussion in Washington involving Herb York and ARPA with the Air Force and, to a limited extent, NASA people. The Defense Department had been able to find no real reason for developing a super-booster such as Saturn but wanted to upgrade Titan I to a more powerful configuration that would be able to launch their DynaSoar. Word had leaked that Saturn might be abandoned. Medaris revealed that he had some knowledge of the impending transfer and stated that if I would agree for Saturn to be retained, he would personally go to Washington and urge the transfer. As I recall, I was noncommittal - taking the position that all of the evidence was not in. However, I am sure I did indicate that we had no immediate reason for canceling Saturn and that we would deal with the problem on the basis of our requirement for a powerful first stage booster that could carry into orbit a spacecraft weighing many thousands of pounds.
I returned to Washington and shortly thereafter, the president signed an executive order transferring ABMA to NASA and instructed the Department of  Defense, specifically Army, to negotiate the details. It was necessary that such an executive order be reported to the Congress for its consideration and debate, if any. Sixty days must elapse, by law, before the transfer would become final unless the Congress interposed objections. The executive order became public, as I recall, shortly before or after the end of 1959. We had finally achieved our end, although the transfer did not occur until 1 July 1960 so the problems of transferring such a large group of people - 5,500 - and a considerable amount of property could be worked out.
Toward the end of 1959, Wernher von Braun asked to see me and I asked him to come to my apartment one evening. He tried to secure something of the plans we had in store for ABMA and to negotiate an operating position for himself and his team. I refused to be drawn into this discussion and simply said we had great need of their talents and he could rest assured that they would have every freedom possible to pursue the programs we proposed to assign to them, involving the development and operation of launch vehicle systems. Wernher finally ended the conversation by saying, "Look, all we want is a very rich and very benevolent uncle." What a personality!
Throughout my years in Washington I developed an affection and a great deal of respect for President Eisenhower. I suppose I saw him in his office on the average of once every four weeks and at intervals at meetings of the cabinet or the NSC. Prior to Sherman Adams' departure from the government, I had often thought that Ike was being shielded from some of the nasty problems of organizational relationships and that he exhibited less than the force one might expect from a man in his position. All of this changed drastically when Adams left. Ike seemed much more on top of his job, more decisive when matters were brought to his attention. I tended to work closely with his staff and particularly with Stans, Persons, Killian, and later George Kistiakowsky, his general counsel Gerald Morgan, and certain members of the cabinet. Parenthetically, I may say that it seems my successor, Mr. Webb, places more reliance on his relations with Congress and less on his relations within the Executive Branch than I ever did.
In late November 1959, we were preparing our budget for the 1961 fiscal year, which would be proposed to Congress in January 1960. We had started out with a request in excess of $1.250 billion and had been whittled back to a little more than $900 million. This was later increased by a supplemental to about $965 million. 27 The trade papers had been taking NASA and the administration to task for their apparent unwillingness to throw caution to the winds and place really large sums on programs that I was certain could not move much faster than plans called for.28 In truth, we lacked a rocket-powered launch vehicle that could come anywhere near the one possessed by the Soviets. And it would take years to achieve such a system, no matter how much money we spent.
 The Air Force had finally come to the point of firing several Atlases downrange from Cape Canaveral with amazingly good results.29 Nevertheless, the trade press seemed to be saying that the ability of the Soviets to orbit very heavy payloads was to be equated with their ability to place nuclear warheads on any spot in the United States. This was a new twist - one not understood easily by the man in the street.
It seemed to me that it was time for the president to state publicly the policy of his administration - that we were pursuing an orderly but aggressive policy in space and were proceeding as rapidly as our technologies would permit. The recent successes of the Atlas launches would permit him to portray dramatically - possibly by television or a demonstration for the press - the effectiveness of the Atlas as a nuclear warhead carrier. I decided I would broach this matter to the president and, accordingly, set up a date to talk with him at Augusta where he was vacationing in November, 1959. I wrote a lengthy memorandum stating my position, which wound up with a request that he make a public statement on these problems. I reproduce here, in full, this letter that I read to him at Augusta. I stated that I understood he did not like to have lengthy memoranda presented to him; therefore, I proposed to read it if he would listen. He smiled and agreed to hold his peace until I had finished. The letter read as follows:
16 November 1969
Dear Mr. President:
Ike seemed to accept my proposal and I did attempt, with the help of his staff, to prepare a speech for him. Events overtook us, and it seemed that transfer of ABMA and an increase in the budget for Saturn provided a full answer to critics of the U.S. program. At least, the speech never was given.
Throughout my term in Washington, there was clamor on the part of the so-called scientific community and to a lesser extent, on the part of some industrialists expressing their strong convictions, that the space program was being developed without sufficient input from persons outside NASA. As early as 1959, there was a good bit of debate about continuing with Project Mercury - the nation's first manned space flight project - when so much needed to be known about the space environment before any really deep penetration of space could be undertaken by a manned spacecraft. Partly to answer these charges and partly because it is a good thing to seek outside advice, we did call into being, from time to time, advisory groups. One such was the Greenewalt Committee since Crawford Greenewalt of DuPont was its chairman. I recall that Paul Nitze, Frank Stanton, Jim Perkins, Mervin Kelly, Ed Purcell, Walt Rostow, and several others were among those present. Greenewalt turned out to be an excellent chairman although he was rather strongly biased against any attempts to put man into space. Mervin Kelley thought the entire space program much overrated. But out of those sessions there came a reasonable endorsement of our activities, with the usual caveats about overdoing any part of the program.
I never failed to find interesting and cooperative people to serve on committees of this sort. The Kimpton Committee on organization, was another good example.31 In all these operations, we tried to be as objective as possible in presenting the entire picture to the committee, although I am certain there was little  question in the minds of committee members as to the beliefs of our people in the program. Our relations with the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences was not nearly so cordial. Composed almost entirely of scientists, this board had a strong urge to run the program - not just be an advisory group. We did pay attention to its recommendations but treated it more routinely as a group comparable to our own scientific staff.32
1. On the creation of NASA see, Robert L. Rosholt, An Administrative History of NASA, 1958-1963 (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4101, 1966); Enid Curtis Bok Schoettle, "The Establishment of NASA," in Sanford A. Lakoff, ed., Knowledge and Power (New York: The Free Press, 1966), pp. 162-270; Alison Griffith, The National Aeronautics and Space Act: A Study of the Development of Public Policy (Washington, DC: Public Affairs Press, 1962), pp. 19-24. The history of the NACA is analyzed in Alex Roland, Model Research: The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, 1915-1958 2 vols. (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4103, 1985).
2. John S. Packard, and his wife Ruth, were friends of the Glennans. Packard was a businessman, a partner in Treadway Inns Corp. Polly and Sally are two of Glennan's daughters, formally named Pauline and Sarah.
3. This became the Goddard Space Flight Center, opened in 1961. See Alfred Rosenthal, Venture into Space: Early Years of Goddard Space Flight Center (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4301, 1968).
4. This was a famous event in which Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI) accused the Army of harboring communists and homosexuals. On McCarthy see David Caute, The Great Fear: The Anti-Communist Purge under Truman and Eisenhower (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978); Richard M. Freeland, The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism: Foreign Policy, Domestic Politics, and Internal Security, 1946-1948 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972); Jeff Broadwater, Eisenhower and the Anti-Communist Crusade (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992). Specific discussion of the Army hearings in 1954 can be found in Stephen E. Ambrose, Eisenhower: Vol. 2, The President (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984), pp. 161-89.
5. In the unedited diary Glennan commented in a footnote: "Governor Adams resigned under fire for violation of 'conflict of interests' reasons about two months after the incident I have described. Washington requires that a man's operations not only be conducted with propriety but that they have all the appearances of being conducted with propriety."
6. The National Security Council was established by the National Security Act of 1947 "to advise the President with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to the national security so as to enable the military services and the other departments and agencies of the Government to cooperate more effectively in matters involving the national security." It was formally located in the Executive Office of the President. The Operations Coordinating Board was established by Executive Order 10483 on 2 September 1953. The board - made up of representatives from the Departments of State, Defense, CIA, United States Information Agency, and the Executive Office of the President - was responsible for the effective coordination and implementation of national security policies (United States Government Organization Manual, 1959-60 [Washington, DC: General Services Administration, 1960], pp. 63-65).
7. The Advanced Research Projects Office (ARPA) had been established under the Department of Defense in 1959 as a means of conducting high technology research and development in areas that were not service specific and that were not immediately identified with a specific military requirement. The initial project assignments were oriented toward military space technology, ballistic missile defense, and solid propellant chemistry.
8. Huntsville, Alabama, was the site of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, a part of the Redstone Arsenal, that transferred to NASA and was renamed the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center on 1 July 1960 (U.S. Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, NASA Authorization Subcommittee, Transfer of Von Braun Team to NASA, 86th Cong., 2d Sess. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1960); Robert L. Rosholt, An Administrative History of NASA, 1958-1963 (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4101, 1966), pp. 46-47, 117-20.
9. The Pershing and Sergeant boosters were Army systems with a small payload capability. The Sergeant emerged from JPL at the end of World War II as a follow-on to its solid-rocket work on the Private and Corporal launch systems. The Pershing as seen as a medium-range ballistic missile follow-on to the Honest John and Sergeant systems (David Baker, The Rocket: The History and Development of Rocket & Missile Technology [New York: Crown Publishers, 1978], pp. 73, 106-107, 132, 141, 143, 145, 191 195).
10. In the unedited diary Glennan made the following comment in a footnote: "Wilbur Brucker was a man completely dedicated to the Army. In many ways, he was one of the most stupid persons I have ever met. But he fought for his people and they believed in him. In my opinion, their retention of the ABMA worked to the detriment of the modernization of other parts of the Army - those which were most particularly concerned with their principal mission."
11. The Ames Aeronautical Laboratory had been activated by the NACA near San Francisco in 1939. On its history see Elizabeth A. Muenger, Searching the Horizon: A History of Ames Research Center, 1940-1976 (Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, SP-4304, 1985).
12. This was Executive Order 10793, signed by President Eisenhower on 3 December 1958. This order is attachment A to T. Keith Glennan, "Executive Order 10793, December 3, 1958," Management Manual, General Management Instructions, 13 October 1959, JPL Organizational Files, NASA Historical Reference Collection.
13. The launch of Pioneer III, on a Juno II booster, took place on 6 December 1958 at Cape Canaveral. It was the third U.S.-IGY probe launched. Its goal was to send a payload in the proximity of the Moon, but it failed in that mission. It did reach an altitude of 63,580 miles, however, and found that the Van Allen Radiation Belt was comprised of at least two bands (Aeronautics and Aeronautics, 1915-1960 [Washington, DC: NASA, 1961], p. 104).
14. On Project Mercury see Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander, This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4201, 1966).
15. The Thor was a medium-sized liquid-fueled booster developed originally for the Air Force in the latter 1950s. The Atlas was the first true intercontinental ballistic missile, built by the Air Force in the late 1950s. The Jupiter had been development by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in the mid-1950s as an intermediate-range ballistic missile. For more on these boosters see Frank H. Winter, Rockets into Space (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990); John L. Sloop, Liquid Hydrogen as a Propulsion Fuel, 1945-1959 (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4404, 1978); Richard E. Martin, The Atlas and Centaur "Steel Balloon" Tanks: A Legacy of Karel Bossart (San Diego: General Dynamics Corp., 1989); Edmund Beard, Developing the ICBM: A Study in Bureaucratic Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976); Jacob Neufeld, Ballistic Missiles in the United States Air Force, 1945-1960 (Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1990).
16. The Scout booster began in 1957 as an attempt by the NACA to build a solid-fuel rocket that could launch a small scientific payload into orbit. To achieve this end, researchers investigated various solid-rocket configurations and finally decided to combine a Jupiter Senior (100,000 pounds of thrust), built by the Aerojet Corporation, with a second stage composed of a Sergeant missile base and two new upper stages descended from the research effort that produced the Vanguard. The Scout's four-stage booster could eventually place a 330-pound satellite into orbit, and it quickly became a workhorse in orbiting scientific payloads during the 1960s and beyond. It was first launched on 1 July 1960, and despite some early deficiencies, by the end of 1968 had achieved an 85 percent launch success rate (Richard P. Hallion, "The Development of American Launch Vehicles Since 1945," in Paul A. Hanle and Von Del Chamberlain, eds., Space Science Comes of Age: Perspectives in the History of the Space Sciences (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981), pp. 115-34. The F-1 engine was developed for the Saturn V booster that launched the Apollo spacecraft to the moon. Five of these engines in the first stage generated 7.5 million pounds of thrust. This engine represented one of the most significant engineering accomplishments of the program, requiring the development of new alloys and different construction techniques to withstand the extreme heat and shock of firing. On this subject see, Roger E. Bilstein, Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4206, 1980).
17. On the history of the Atomic Energy Commission see, Richard G. Hewlett and Francis Duncan, Atomic Shield, 1947-1952: Volume II, A History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1969); Richard H. Hewlett and Jack M. Holl, Atoms for Peace and War, 1953-1961: Eisenhower and the Atomic Energy Commission (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989).
18. Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973), had been interested in the U.S. efforts in space since Sputnik I and as Vice President for John F. Kennedy between 1961 and 1963, he chaired the National Aeronautics and Space Council. See, Robert A. Divine, "Lyndon B. Johnson and the Politics of Space," in Robert A. Divine, ed., The Johnson Years: Vietnam, the Environment, and Science (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987), pp. 217-53.
19. On the life sciences program during the early years of NASA see, Mae Mills Link, Space Medicine in Project Mercury (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4003, 1965); John A. Pitts, The Human Factor: Biomedicine in the Manned Space Program to 1980 (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4213, 1985), pp. 13-90.
20. This plan was completed late in 1959. See, Office of Program Planning and Evaluation, "The Long Range Plan of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration," 16 December 1959, NASA History Reference Collection, NASA History Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC.
21. The National Aeronautics and Space Council had been created by law in 1958, at the same time that NASA was mandated in Public Law 85-568. The council was specified as advisory to the president in fulfilling his duty to survey all federal aerospace activities, "develop a comprehensive program" of federal aerospace activities, designate responsibility for direction of those activities, provide for cooperation between NASA and DOD in the conduct of aerospace activities, and resolve inter-governmental disputes regarding aerospace activities. The council was originally the inspiration of Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, who sought a central focus for space planning so that "nothing vital to the national interest would be lost or overlooked by assigning responsibilities solely to NASA and DOD." Eisenhower had little evident enthusiasm for the Council, as did Glennan. The president did not appoint an executive secretary, and that function was filled by staff borrowed from NASA or the Office of the President's Science Advisor. The council also met infrequently. For more on the council see Edward C. Welsh, "Highlights of National Aeronautics and Space Council History," 1968, NASA Historical Reference Collection.
22. There appears to have been no Admiral Roscoe Wilson of the Navy at that time. Glennan may have been thinking of Vice Adm. R.E. Wilson, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics), in Washington during this period.
23. The NASA astronaut selection process began early in January 1959 under the leadership of Robert Gilruth and the Space Task Group at Langley Research Center. Contrary to a NASA priority that these six astronauts be civilians, President Eisenhower directed that they come from the armed services' test pilot force. A grueling selection process had narrowed the candidates to seven by early April 1959. Unable to cut the last candidate, NASA decided to appoint seven rather than six men as astronauts. NASA publicly unveiled the astronauts in a circus-like press conference on 9 April 1958. The seven men - from the Marine Corps, Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr. (1921- ); from the Navy, Lt. Cdr. Walter M. Schirra, Jr. (1923- ), Lt. Cdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr. (1923- ), and Lt. M. Scott Carpenter (1925- ); and from the Air Force, Capt. L. Gordon Cooper (1927- ), Capt. Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom (1926-1967), and Capt. Donald K. Slayton (1924- ) - became heroes in the eyes of the American public almost immediately, a development that surprised many people at NASA. The astronauts essentially became the personification of NASA to most Americans during the Mercury project. On this subject see Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1979), pp. 109-20; Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander, This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4201, 1966), pp. 159-65, among numerous other sources.
24. This meeting took place on 30 May 1959 in Washington, DC. There were about 50 media people at the press conference, and Glennan told them only partly jokingly, "I'm not sure that the monkeys' ordeal in flight is comparable to the one that they have just been thruogh [sic] here." Able, an American-born rhesus monkey, and Baker, a South American squirrel monkey, had flown in a life science experiment aboard a non-orbital mission on 28 May 1959 in a capsule atop a Jupiter booster. On this event see, Jack Raymond, "2 Monkeys' Pulses Steady in Space," New York Times, 31 May 1959; Eugene M. Emme, Aeronautics and Astronautics: An American Chronology of Science and Technology in the Exploration of Space, 1915-60 (Washington, DC: NASA, 1961), pp. 109-10.
25. The Army Ballistic Missile Agency was transferred from the Department of the Army to NASA effective 1 July 1960. The agreement for this change, however, was executed on 16 November 1959. See, "Agreement Between the Department of the Army and NASA on the Objectives and Guidelines for the Implementation of the Presidential Decision to Transfer a Portion of ABMA to NASA," 16 November 1959, Glennan Files, NASA Historical Reference Collection.
26. On the development of the Saturn launch vehicle, which had first started as an Army project but transferred with the ABMA to NASA in 1960, see Bilstein, Stages to Saturn.
27. The NASA budget for fiscal year 1961 turned out to be $964,000,000 (Aeronautics and Space Report of the President, Fiscal Year 1991 Activities [Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1991], p. 180).
28. On this controversy see, "Glennan Looks to Moon, But With Purpose in Mind," Times Herald, 4 February 1960; "Space Death Wouldn't Halt U.S. Effort, Glennan Says," Baltimore Sun, 11 April 1960; "Glennan Has Goal in Space," New York World Telegram, 5 February 1960; "Capital Circus," New York Times, 30 December 1959; "An Exclusive Interview, T. Keith Glennan," Boston Sunday Globe, 23 October 1960.
29. Of three launches of the Atlas in 1957, only the last, taking place on 17 December was successful. In 1958, 8 of 14 launches were successful to some degree, and in 1959, 14 of 23 launches were successful. See, General Dynamics, "Atlas Flight Program Summary," 27 March 1969, NASA Historical Document Collection, Atlas Launch Vehicle file.
30. This letter is also available in the NASA Historical Reference Collection.
31. This committee, formally called the "Advisory Committee on Organization" - under the chairmanship of Dr. Lawrence A. Kimpton who had just resigned as Chancellor of the University of Chicago in favor of a job with Standard Oil of Indiana - was formed in April 1960 to review the overall organizational structure of NASA and to make recommendations for streamlining and other improvements. It held eight 2-day meetings over a 6-month period between April and September 1960. It used the studies that had been completed by McKinsey & Co., and submitted a final report on 12 October 1960, the Kimpton Report. It's findings revolved around the "basic concept" guiding NASA, the overall organizational structure flowing from the concept, the relations with other governmental agencies, headquarters organization, and several miscellaneous organizational issues. For more on this report see, Robert L. Rosholt, An Administrative History of NASA, 1958-1963 (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4101, 1966), pp. 162-70.
32. On this subject see, Norriss S. Hetherington, "Winning the Initiative: NASA and the U.S. Space Science Program," Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives, 7 (Summer 1975): 99-108; John E. Naugle, First Among Equals: The Selection of NASA Space Science Experiments (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4215, 1991), pp. 29-40, 71-74.