Vol. 20, No. 4 November 2003
In This Issue
We are pleased to welcome NASA’s new Chief Historian, Dr. Steven J. Dick.
Steve has worked as an astronomer and historian of science at the U. S. Naval Observatory since 1979. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in astrophysics (1971), Master of Arts and Ph.D. (1977) in history and philosophy of science from Indiana University.
He is a well-known expert in the field of astrobiology and its cultural implications. He spent three years at the Naval Observatory's Southern Hemisphere station in New Zealand. Steve served as the first Historian of the Naval Observatory, and has most recently been the Acting Chief of its Nautical Almanac Office.
Steve has authored more than 100 publications, including: Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant (Cambridge University Press, 1982); The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science (Cambridge University Press, 1996); and Life on Other Worlds (1998), the latter translated into four languages. He was also editor of Many Worlds: The New Universe, Extraterrestrial Life and the Theological Implications (2000).
The NASA Ames Research Center continues to build its history program. John W. Boyd serves as Senior Advisor for History. He will direct the NASA Ames History Office and do a variety of projects on the cultural history of the Center. Jack has been with the Center since 1947, and most recently served as Executive Assistant to the Director. Glenn Bugos, who wrote a history of the Center a few years ago, returns as Historian with plans to write a monograph on thermal protection systems. Leilani Marshall, trained in archives and public history, joins the office as Archivist. A NASA Ames History Advisory Committee of representatives from the Center directorates is helping to survey ongoing historical work at the Center. We welcome them all to the NASA history team.
The Air Force History Office is pleased to welcome their new Director, Mr. C. R. "Dick" Anderegg. He is a former USAF fighter pilot and squadron commander who retired as an O-6 in 1997
after 30 years of service. Anderegg flew more than 4,000 hours in USAF fighters, including F-4s and F-15s. His assignments have included instructor pilot, commander of an F-15 squadron, and staff officer/executive officer at the Pentagon.
On 8 September 2003, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that Dr. John F. Fox, Jr., would be the agency’s new Historian. Fox joined the FBI in 1999 as a paralegal specialist in the Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts Section. He received his Ph.D. in American history from the University of New Hampshire in 2001.
On 1 October 2003, President Bush signed Public Law 108-90, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2004, that includes legislative language for the establishment of an Office of History. The authorization language is the culmination of a fourteen-month bipartisan effort by various members of Congress and the National Coalition for History. Support for the History Office came from individual members of the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council, as well as both Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate in the 107th and 108th Congresses.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is currently looking to fill a $52,312-$105,664 salary range Historian position. The job is posted on the JPL Career site, http://careerlaunch.jpl.nasa.gov under requisition number 509. A qualified candidate would have extensive research and publishing experience, excellent communication skills, and a Ph.D. in a related discipline and six years work experience or a MA/MS in a related discipline with eight years work experience. The JPL Historian is responsible for working with the JPL Archivist to preserve JPL’s rich history, overseeing JPL’s historical research program, participating in the NASA History historical research program, and supporting the JPL oral history program.
In conjunction with NASA’s Glenn Research Center, the NASA History Office held a one-day public conference entitled “Realizing the Dream of Flight.” It took place in the auditorium of the Great Lakes Science Center, 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44114, on 5 November 2003. It was a great success with over 200 people in attendance.
The three panels for the conference featured approximately 12 presentations by leading historians including Tom Crouch, Roger Launius, William Leary, and Roger Bilstein on key American aviation and space pioneers of the last century such as Wernher von Braun, Amelia Earhart, Robert Gilruth, Donald Douglas, and Bessie Coleman.
Wilbur and Orville Wright: A Chronology Commemorating the Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of Orville Wright, August 19, 1871 (NASA SP-2003-4532, 2003), compiled by Arthur G. Renstrom. This is a reprint of the 1971 edition of the chronology which includes a flight log and a diary of significant events and accomplishments involving the Wright brothers. It is slated for distribution in November 2003.
The Wind and Beyond: Journey into the History of Aerodynamics in America; Volume I: The Ascent of the Airplane (NASA SP-2003-4409) edited by James R. Hansen. This first volume of a six-volume historical reference work will be an aeronautics companion to the highly regarded Exploring the Unknown series of documentary volumes on space flight. This book is expected November 2003.
Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket, 1958-2002 (NASA SP-2003-4230, 2003) by Virginia P. Dawson and Mark D. Bowles. This project history uses the Centaur as a case study in how technological knowledge has advanced, over the history of NASA, discusses the nature and development of technological R&D, and analyzes the role of technology transfer in the aerospace arena. This book also features an accompanying DVD, full of interesting and relevant media on the Centaur. The Centaur is a liquid hydrogen and oxygen fueled upper stage rocket that maintains shape through pressurization. This book should be published in December 2003.
The Smell of Kerosene: A Test Pilot's Odyssey, by Donald Mallick, chronicles his career as a naval aviator, as well as his 30 years as a NACA and NASA research pilot. In total, Mallick flew over 11,000 flight hours in 125 different aircraft, including general aviation, sailplanes, the SR-71, the lifting bodies, the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, and many fighter, bomber, and transport vehicles. This articulate, well told story is due to be published in December 2003.
Runway to Orbit: Reflections of A NASA Engineer, by Dr. Kenneth Iliff, ushers the reader through some of the pivotal aerospace projects undertaken by NASA since the early 1960s. Iliff made critical contributions to research on the X-15 aircraft, the lifting bodies, the XB-70 bomber, high angle-of-attack aircraft, and the Space Shuttle, among others. His highly personal and thoughtful narrative also describes his seminal contributions to parameter estimation. Runway to Orbit is scheduled for publication in January 2004.
NASA’s Nuclear Frontier: the Plum Brook Research Reactor (NASA SP-2003-4532), by Mark Bowles, is a short, heavily illustrated monograph about this unique Glenn Research Center facility. It is scheduled for distribution in February 2004.
Reconsidering a Century of Flight edited by Roger D. Launius and Janet R. Daly Bednarek. Leading historians contributed essays to the book about the role of aviation in the twentieth century. The book is available in clothback for $49.95 and in paperback for $19.95 from the University of North Carolina Press. Please visit http://uncpress.unc.edu/FMPro?-DB=pubtest.fmp&-Format=a-detail.html&-RecID=12690621&-Script=visited&-Find for more information.
Single Stage to Orbit: Politics, Space Technology, and the Quest for Reusable Rocketry by Andrew J. Butrica. This book details the evolution of the single stage to orbit concept. It is part of the John Hopkins University New Series in NASA History. It is available for $45.00 from Johns Hopkins University Press. Please visit https://www.press.jhu.edu/books/title_pages/2359.html for more information.
Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles by Roger E. Bilstein. This book, published by the University Press of Florida, is a reprint of the original NASA SP-4206. The entire text as well as illustrations and pictures are
included in this publication. The publication may be ordered directly from the University Press of Florida's website. Please visit http://www.upf.com/fall2003/Bilstein.htm on the web for more information.
Aerial Navigation, to 1903 by J. LeCornu and translated by Henry C. Dethloff. This manuscript was originally published before the Wright brothers’ 1903 flight. It is available from Intaglio Press http://www.intagliobooks.com/intaglio/ on the web.
The Library of Congress has released an online exhibit of Wright brothers papers and images. Included in the exhibit are diaries detailing glides and powered flight, family correspondence, scrapbooks, and drawings. The exhibit may be accessed by visiting http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/wrighthtml/wrighthome.html online.
This fall the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission and the Franklin Institute Science Museum are challenging students in grades K-12 to predict the weather conditions at Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC, for 17 December 2003. On that day, the world will watch man attempt to re-create the first flight with the most accurate reproduction of the 1903 flyer ever built.
Teachers will be able to access interactive Web learning modules, online quizzes, classroom activities and historical weather data that students can analyze as a basis for predicting the weather on 17 December, 2003. The site will highlight projects as 17 December draws closer and will announce the winners shortly after the event.
Registration for the 2003 Flight Forecast contest is available through the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission Web site (www.centennialofflight.gov). Teachers may register their students for the contest from 26 September to 3 November. The Commission will accept forecast predictions by students, teams or entire classes between 3 November and 17 November. Once on the Web site, teachers also will find activities and information to help their students explore aviation and meteorology.
Forecasts will be collected in three grade groupings, K-4, 5-8, and 9-12, with the complexity of the forecast increasing at the higher grade levels. Forecasts must be submitted online no later than 17 November 2003, and prizes will be available for the most accurate forecasters within each grade group.
As of 17 October, 270 teachers have registered, representing 43 states and about 15,000 students.
This fall, more than 4,300 hospitalized children nationwide battling cancer, heart ailments, burn trauma and other medical conditions are taking on the tremendous creative effort to paint a 25,200-pound Douglas DC-3 airplane to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first flight in Kill Devil Hills, NC.
Children and their families at more than 40 hospitals in major U.S. cities will paint floral designs on self-adhesive panels that will be affixed to a DC-3 airplane. The panels will be as large as 14 feet x 14 feet. Once the painted panels are affixed to the vintage airplane in early December, the view of the DC-3 in the air will be a jubilant field of flowers. Hospitalized children who participate will be given commemorative bookmarks and foam gliders with a 2-foot wing span as well as a set of paints to create their own history.
The initiative is being lead by Portraits of Hope, which develops creative therapy programs to unify the healing arts with public art to benefit children and adults coping with adversity, trauma, disability and/or serious illness. The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission, NASA and the First Flight Centennial Celebration also are supporting the effort. The DC-3 for the program’s use is being donated by Dan Gryder in conjunction with Steve Merritt of the NCDOT and use of the hangar is provided by The North Carolina DOT.
The Portraits of Hope DC-3 will be on display 12-17 December at the First Flight Centennial Celebration at the Wright Brothers National Memorial Park in Kill Devil Hills, NC. The decorated DC-3 is also scheduled for 12 flyovers during the event, including a 100-plane flyover with aviation heroes on 17 December– the 100th anniversary of flight. These flyovers will allow visitors to see the children’s work of vibrant colors and floral designs in the air.
The History Office recently received and added to its holdings several video tapes including: Administrator O’Keefe’s press conference and congressional hearings on the Columbia accident, O’Keefe’s briefing to NASA employees and the press conference following release of CAIB report, the Stafford/Covey press briefing, the House Science Committee Hearing on the “Future of Human Space Flight,” and NASA’s 45th Anniversary Celebration. We received a number of oral histories, a series of interviews conducted for the forthcoming “History of Atmospheric Sciences” book; an interview with Ames biologist, Bonnie Dalton; an interview with NASA Advisory Committee member Charles Kennel, and the Columbia Recovery Oral History Project interviews. We also received a copy of Admiral Gehman’s testimony before the House Science Committee after the release of the CAIB report and 6 cubic feet of material on Space Shuttle operations.
Processing of the White House Collection and the Propulsion Files is ongoing. The White House Collection, 1958-present, includes NASA reports to the White House, information on the National Space Council, the President’s Science Advisory Committee, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, material on each Presidential Administration, and Administration transition files. The Propulsion Files, ca. 1952 present, include information on general topics as well as material on liquid, solid, nuclear, and other forms of propulsion.
Scanning activity has resumed with work beginning on the Administrator’s Chron Files, 1962-99. Selected years that lend themselves well to scanning will be digitized; other copies (primarily onionskins) will be maintained in hardcopy form in the History Office. The electronic copies will be available for use in the History Office Online Catalog, a system (database) only accessible in house with a staff-provided user ID and password.
NACA Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory staff and Glenn Research Center hosted NACA Reunion X at the Holiday Inn Select in Cleveland, Ohio 10-12 October 2003. More than 250 individuals from all of the Centers attended.
The eagerly anticipated Udvar-Hazy Dulles extension of the National Air and Space Museum will be opening on 15 December 2003. The extension will be home to more than 200 aircraft and 135 spacecraft. For more information please visit: http://www.nasm.si.edu/museum/udvarhazy/status.cfm on the Web.
“The Wright Brothers & the Invention of the Aerial Age” exhibit has opened at the National Air and Space Museum. The exhibit contains artifacts, interactive exhibits, photographs, and the Wright Flyer. For more information, please see http://www.nasm.si.edu/galleries/gal209/wrights.htm on the Web.
The Space History Division of the National Air and Space Museum is currently looking to fill a GS 11/12 curatorial position. The job is posted on www.usajobs.opm.gov under announcement number 03MH-1372. For more information please visit http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=19397234&AVSDM=2003%2D10%2D07+13%3A31%3A00&Logo=0&col=dltc&cy=&brd=3876&lid=17514&fn=&q= or email Roger Launius at Launiusr@nasm.si.edu if you have questions
The National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, provides three residential fellowships to support research in aerospace history: the Guggenheim Fellowship for predoctoral and recent postdoctoral scholars, the A. Verville Fellowship, open to academic and non-academic historians, and the Ramsey Fellowship in Naval Aviation History, which is similarly open. Stipends range from $20,000 to $45,000 a year, plus money for travel and miscellaneous expenses. The application deadline for the academic year 2002-2003 is 15 January 2004, and successful applicants will be notified in mid-April. Further information can be found on at: http://www.nasm.si.edu/getinvolved/fellow/index.cfm on the Web. Potential applicants are also encouraged to investigate the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Fellowships program. Information can be found at: http://web1.si.edu/ofg/ on the Web.
The National Air and Space Museum is also offering Aviation/Space Writer Award grants of $5,000 to support research toward publication on aerospace topics. Funds may be used to support research travel and expenses, or the publication of research. Applicants for NASM or Smithsonian Fellowships are encouraged to apply for the Aviation/Space Writers Award, but recipients of the award need not be in residence at the National Air and Space Museum. The deadline for submission is 15 January 2004. For more information, please see http://www.nasm.si.edu/getinvolved/fellow/writer_grant.cfm, or contact: Dr. Dominick A. Pisano, Aeronautics Division, MRC 312, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012, email@example.com.
In addition, the Museum offers the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History. Senior scholars with distinguished records of publication who are working on, or anticipate working on, books in aerospace history, are invited to write letters of interest for the academic year 2005-2006 or later. The Lindbergh Chair is a one-year appointed position; support is available for replacement of salary and benefits up to a maximum of $100,000 a year. Please visit http://www.nasm.si.edu/getinvolved/fellow/lindfellow.cfm or for topics in aviation contact, Dr. Dominick A. Pisano, Aeronautics Division (MRC 312), National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, firstname.lastname@example.org; for space history topics, Dr. Michael J. Neufeld, Space History Division (MRC 311); National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012; email@example.com.
Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly seeks space history articles on any facet of space history. Quest currently features space history articles related to technology, international programs, human flight, robotic exploration, military programs, space museums and archives, space business, oral histories and interviews, culture and media relations, and space history book reviews. For information, contact Quest editor Dr. Stephen Johnson at 719-487-9833, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Quest at http://www.spacebusiness.com/quest on the Web.
The Canadian Journal of Space Exploration publishes papers of an innovative yet practical nature relating to the exploration and development of space. It invites submissions in the following fields of study: astro/exobiology, small bodies, atmospheric research, life support systems, analog studies, planetary geology, astronomy and astrophysics, space law and policy, public outreach and education, and Canadian space history. Inquiries or completed submissions should be sent to: Chandra Clarke, Canadian Journal of Space Exploration, 4 Sherman St., Thamesville, Ontario, N0P 2K0 Canada, e-mail Chandra@scribendi.com, or fax 801-469-6206.
On Thursday, 20 November 2003, 4:30-6:00 p.m. at 2110 Taliferro Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, Michael Schiffer will be speaking about “Scientific Authority and Technological Development: Electric Motors as a Motive Power in Mid-19th Century.” For more information, please contact David B. Sicilia at email@example.com.
On Thursday, 20 November 2003, at 8p.m. join distinguished test pilot A. Scott Crossfield in the National Air and Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater for From Mach 2 to Kitty Hawk. Tours of the new exhibition “The Wright Brothers & the Invention of the Aerial Age” will precede this lecture at 7 p.m. Free tickets for this lecture are available by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit http://www.nasm.si.edu on the Web.
On Thursday, 4 December 2003, 4:30-6:00 p.m. at 2110 Taliferro Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, Philip Scranton will be speaking about “Reinventing Specialty Production: From World War II to Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering Technologies”. For more information, please contact David B. Sicilia at email@example.com.
On Thursday, 11 December 2003, Andrew Butrica will be speaking about "National Politics and the Closing of NASA's Electronics Research Center".
For more information on this lecture, please contact Michael Neufeld at firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-Smithsonian visitors must RSVP to Michael Neufeld no later than 48 hours prior to the lecture.
The History of Science Society will have their annual meeting 20-23 November 2003, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please go to http://www.hssonline.org/meeting/mf_annual.html on the Web.
The American Astronomical Society will hold a meeting 4-8 January 2004, in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please visit http://www.aas.org/meetings/aas203/ on the Web.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will hold an aerospace sciences meeting and exhibit 5-8 January, 2004, in Reno, Nevada. For additional information, please visit: http://www.aiaa.org/calendar/index.hfm?cal=5&luMeetingid=665 on the Web.
The American Historical Association will hold their annual meeting 8-11 January 2004 in Washington DC. For more information, please visit http://www.theaha.org/ANNUAL/index.cfm on the Web.