During 2001 the efforts of the NASA History Office continued to focus on our core goals to conduct a high quality, academically sound program of research pertinent to NASA leadership's concerns; effectively acquire, preserve, and make available documentary information in the NASA Historical Reference Collection; and disseminate historical information and understanding to the widest practicable audience. In accomplishing this mission the NASA History Office is pursuing several objectives:

We accomplish this by developing a significant collection of reference documents for use by both NASA personnel and the public; providing historical perspective and documentary support for agency executives; and researching and writing NASA history for dissemination through a variety of publications and electronic media.

Communicate Knowledge Performance Targets and Indicators:

During fiscal year 2001 the NASA History Office refined its relationship to the Agency’s strategic plan to communicate knowledge to the public. As part of Target 1CK1, "Share the experience of expanding the frontiers of air and space with the public and other stakeholders by meeting 5 of the 6 indicators for this target," the History Office had one major goal: "Produce 10 new historical publications chronicling and placing NASA's activities and achievements in perspective for the American public." During the fiscal year the office published 14 new historical works.

For the fiscal year 2002 "communicate knowledge" performance plan the History Office will broaden its targets to include those shown in Table 1.



Communicate Knowledge-History FY 2002 Metrics

Strategic Plan Goal

Strategic Plan Objective

Annual Performance Goal


Ensure that NASA’s customers receive the information derived from the Agency’s research and development efforts that they want, when they want it, for as long as they want it.

Improve the external constituent communities’ knowledge, understanding, and use of the results and opportunities associated with NASA’s programs

Share the experience of expanding the frontiers of air and space with the public and other stakeholders by meeting 5 of the 6 indicators for this goal.

Produce 10 new historical publications chronicling and placing NASA's activities and achievements in perspective for the American public.

Ensure that NASA’s customers receive the information derived from the Agency’s research and development efforts that they want, when they want it, for as long as they want it.

Improve the external constituent communities’ knowledge, understanding, and use of the results and opportunities associated with NASA’s programs

Share the experience of expanding the frontiers of air and space with the public and other stakeholders by meeting 5 of the 6 indicators for this goal.

Produce one new electronic document—CD/ROM—making available to a larger audience documents significant in the history of the Agency.

Ensure that NASA's customers receive information derived from the Agency's efforts in a timely and useful form.

Disseminate scientific information generated by NASA programs to our customers

Inform, provide status, enthuse, and explain results, relevance and benefits of NASA's programs by meeting 3 of the 4 indicators for this goal.

Create one additional on-line exhibit on the NASA History web page.

Ensure that NASA's customers receive information derived from the Agency's efforts in a timely and useful form.

Disseminate scientific information generated by NASA programs to our customers

Inform, provide status, enthuse, and explain results, relevance and benefits of NASA's programs by meeting 3 of the 4 indicators for this goal.

The History Office shall respond to requests for information within fifteen working days 90 percent of the time.


Reference Collection and Research Support:

Information Requests

During calendar year 2000 NASA History Office personnel answered a total number of 12,964 research requests from government, educational, and private organizations on all manner of divergent research interests. This required a total number of 4,694 work hours by the office staff. Also during the year, the History Office provided research services to 578 on-site researchers using its collections. Table 2 breaks down the number and type of information requests handled by NASA history personnel during calendar year 2001.

Table 2 also depicts the large percentage of e-mail requests for information that the History Office is receiving. With the advance of this technology, querying the History Office has become easier than ever, and it represents a growing workload that must be met in the future. We remain committed to providing quality, timely service for those seeking information about NASA’s history but the challenges of doing so are becoming increasingly difficult as the number of requests continue to rise.

While the History Office has been able to reduce the amount of time given to each information request, demonstrating some efficiencies not previously obvious, the annual workload for information requests is more than two full-time equivalent personnel. Since the History Office does not have these resources in-house, we have relied on student interns for some of this work, but the rise in the workload is a matter that requires continued attention if we are to meet the requirements of NASA on this score. Table 3 reports the trend for the number of information requests and work hours since 1990.




New Accessions and Ongoing Archival Projects:

The NASA History Office staff received approximately 264 boxes of material from various sources during 2001. Archivists appraised the material for historical value and arranged and filed those items that were retained in the Historical Reference Collection. Three large collections were readied for transfer to either the Washington National Records Center or National Archives and Records Administration. These were the Space Station Collection, 102 cubic feet, received from Dan Hedin in Code M; the X-33 Collection, 34 cubic feet, from former X-33 historian Andrew Butrica; and the Dan Goldin Collection, 50 cubic feet Seven boxes of material, recalled by Code G from the Records Center to satisfy a FOIA request, were loaned to us to review and to make copies of significant documents for our collection. Of the 264 boxes received last year only a dozen remain in our backlog to be reviewed. A description follows giving more specific details on our acquisition and processing activities.

Processing of the Administrator’s Collection:

Throughout the year 2001, Archivist Jane Odom organized and coordinated an effort to develop a comprehensive organizational system for the papers of NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. This project resulted in the continued cataloging of his papers and creation of an electronic finding aid (database). She worked with the Administrator’s office to determine the extent of the collection and timing as far as transfer to the History Office and met with the NASA Headquarters Records Manager to establish document disposition procedures. The collection now comprises nearly 220 boxes and is arranged into seven distinct series or types of material—Trips, Meetings, Town Meetings, Subject Files, Speeches, Hearings, and Tapes.

In December 2001 the History Office received a third accession of nearly 50 cubic feet of material. Chris Delaware, a former Code A intern, returned over the Christmas break to work at NASA and was on loan to us for three weeks to assist with the processing of this addition to the Goldin Collection. We will soon be hiring a temporary contractor under the NCI contract to finish the work on the third accession. Once completed all of the Administrator’s records will be housed in a secure records retirement room on the concourse level of NASA Headquarters pending its transfer to the National Archives.

The database contains nearly 6,000 records describing the Administrator’s collection with this number sure to increase as additional materials are added in early 2002. The History Office staff continues to make copies of significant items from the Administrator’s collection for inclusion in the NASA Historical Reference Collection.

Other NASA Historical Reference Collection Acquisitions:

Other notable collections we received during 2001 included:

Oral History Projects

Recording, transcribing, and permanently accessioning in the NASA Historical Reference Collection the recollections of NACA/NASA personnel has been one of the most important activities undertaken by the NASA History Office since its inception in 1959. Many NASA oral histories originated when historians interviewed participants to obtain firsthand information to facilitate writing their volumes in the NASA History Series. Other oral histories can be more properly categorized as exit interviews. NASA Historical Reference Collection holds 2,002 separate oral histories on a widely divergent set of individuals. They include oral histories focusing on all the major projects of the agency, and organizational culture, engineering practice, program management, aerospace medicine, and other specialized topics. Other NASA centers also have large collections of oral histories. The Johnson Space Center, for example, had a collection of 2,119 oral histories as of September 2001. While the majority of the oral histories available from NASA have been conducted during the course of writing specific historical works, increasingly so as time progresses, the agency has undertaken oral history for its own sake as a means of preserving knowledge. Often supporters of this effort have been motivated by the realization that the first generation of agency officials are passing from the scene, and that it is important to capture as much of their knowledge as possible. Accordingly, several discrete projects have been taken, and some are still underway, recording the recollections of key officials.

Often these oral history efforts record the entire careers of individuals covering a broad spectrum of activities. They have a similarity to the oral histories of Columbia’s Oral History Research Office; and to the senior officer oral history programs of the various armed services. In every case these works are transcribed, edited, and placed in the history collections of the agency. They often also are copied and find permanent retention in various presidential libaries and university special collections.

In the last decade of the twentieth century, historians have accelerated these programs and undertaken several discrete initiatives. The paragraphs that follow discuss several of the efforts.

NASA Career Oral History Project: Beginning in 1994, the NASA History Office supported the conducting of a set of more than one hundred oral histories, amounting to more than five hundred hours of interviews documenting significant aspects of NASA’s spaceflight and other major programs. Among the interviewees were:

These efforts have continued to the present.

Herstories: Begun in 1999, this effort collects oral histories with women in the NACA and NASA. As a traditionally masculine organization, NASA and its predecessor has not until recently employed significant numbers of women beyond the clerical level. At the same time, these individuals have made enormously significant, but largely unrecognized, contributions to the development of flight in the air and in space.

The NASA "Herstories" oral history project extends a larger effort to collect first-hand recollections of key NACA/NASA personnel. This project follows a similar procedure to record the recollections of other NACA, NASA, government, university, and industry people who were "present at the creation" of the agency but focuses exclusively on the record of women involved in all aspects of the agency’s activities.

The results thus far have been impressive. In all, thirty-two oral histories have now been completed. Some of these are group recollections such as those for the NACA "computers," a group of workers—usually women—who performed the mathematical calculations necessary to analyze wind tunnel and flight research data in an era before electronic computational methods. It also includes interviews with several of the First Lady Astronauts Trainees (FLATs). In 1960, Dr. William Randolph "Randy" Lovelace II invited Geraldyn "Jerrie" Cobb to undergo the physical fitness testing regimen that he had helped to develop to select the original U.S. astronauts, the Mercury Seven. Jerrie Cobb became the first American woman to pass those tests. Lovelace and Cobb then began to recruit other women to take the tests. Jacqueline Cochran, the famous American aviatrix and an old friend of Dr. Lovelace, joined the recruiting effort and volunteered to pay for the testing expenses. By the end of the summer of 1961, twenty-five women had undergone the examinations at the Lovelace Clinic. The women came to New Mexico alone or in pairs for four days of tests. All of the women were skilled airplane pilots with commercial ratings. Some of them believed that this would lead to their becoming NASA astronauts, despite the fact that NASA was not involved in the tests and had no plans at the time for women astronauts. This episode has attracted considerable investigation from historians interested in gender studies and the completion of these oral histories assists in building the documentary record.

In addition, several women have been interviewed to record their contributions to NASA and spaceflight over the years as part of a "Herstories" oral history project. As one example, NASA interviewed Eilene Galloway (1906– ), who served on the staff of the Congressional Research Service (formerly the Legislative Reference Service) Library of Congress, as national defense analyst 1951–1966, and from 1966–1975 as senior specialist in International Relations (National Security). In this connection, she was appointed special consultant to the Senate Special Committee on Space and Astronautics in 1958, the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, 1958–1977, and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, 1977–1982. She participated in a unique manner in the legislative process leading to the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, and her oral history is critical to understanding the development of public policy during the first thirty years of the space age..

As a second example, NASA interviewed Nancy Grace Roman (1925– ). She was the senior woman at NASA headquarters in the 1960s, when she served as an astronomer in the Office of Space Science and Applications. She had also worked at the University of Chicago as an astronomer (1946–1955) and then at NASA as an administrator of astronomical programs (1959–1979). She was involved in ground-based lunar and planetary astronomy before the establishment of NASA, especially as it related to the work of Kuiper and Urey, and then, after NASA’s formation, in NASA’s support for such astronomy and its relation to space astronomy.

As a third example, NASA also interviewed Donna Shirley. Dr. Shirley began her career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab as an aerodynamic analyst in 1966. In 1991, she became chief engineer of a $1.6 billion project to explore asteroids, a comet, and Saturn. Later, as director of the Mars exploration program, she successfully started a low-cost program that will continue to send missions to Mars through 2005. She has also been outspoken about the need for the discipline of aerospace engineering to become less of a male-dominated culture.

NASA History Office Online Catalog (Database):

The current database began operating in May 1998 and has begun to alleviate the press of space in the NASA History Office as we image and store electronically discreet parts of the NASA Historical Reference Collection. Planning began the previous year on a long-term effort to scan and create in an electronic format a database of historically significant, one-of-a-kind documents from a paper collection maintained only in the NASA Historical Reference Collection. This project accomplishes several tasks:

To start the process we requested a review of the viability of placing in electronic form (online or on CD-ROM) several major collections as candidates for placement in electronic form. Some of the significant scanning efforts the NASA History Office has completed to date include:

At the end of 2001, the NASA History Office has underway the following scanning efforts:

More specifically, during this year we scanned and checked into the DMS nearly 28,000 items, creating 131 cataloging records describing these documents. Just over 340 database records describing our non-scanned holdings were updated, and 319 new cataloging records were created as materials were added to the reference collection. Through these efforts we have succeeded in making NASA historical materials more widely available to NASA staff and visitors who come from outside the Agency.

Special Staff Studies

A priority during the year was providing background information and documentary records to aid NASA decision-makers in their work. In so doing, the office prepared several types of historical background papers and staff studies on a variety of subjects:

NASA History Program Review, March 2001:

Since early in the history of NASA, the Agency’s History Program began holding periodic meetings with our center history points of contact and with a group of outside scholars and aerospace professionals to assess the state of the program. These annual reviews have been exceptionally important in helping to shape the direction and even the nature of the NASA History Program. It is an important opportunity to draw together the resources working on historical issues at NASA, and to reflect on the nature of the program and plan for the future. We held the program review on March 7-9, 2001 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The agenda for this program review included:

Some of the major issues discussed included those contained in the following paragraphs.

After a welcome by Roy Bridges, KSC director, the meeting got underway with an overview of the NASA history program, a status review of the NASA History publication program, and some general discussion about the increasing workload of the history offices. We discussed in detail the development of automated responses and how to expand their use. Elaine Liston from KSC also suggested that the NASA History Office share its standard responses to information requests with the history contacts at each center. From their discussion involved the overarching efforts underway to collect, preserve, and disseminate the history of NASA to the broadest possible audience.

Historical Symposia and Conference Sessions:

Looking Backward, Looking Forward: Forty Years of U.S. Human Spaceflight

On May 8, 2001, the NASA History Office co-sponsored with George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute a symposium honoring the fortieth anniversary of human spaceflight was a huge success. The symposium, "Looking Backward, Looking Forward: Forty Years of U.S. Human Spaceflight," included panels on the history of human spaceflight, the astronaut’s view of spaceflight, and perspectives on the future. Of note, Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox, authors of Apollo: Race to the Moon, spoke. Likewise, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium, Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society, and William Shepherd, Commander of Expedition One of the International Space Station (ISS), presented at the symposium. The day’s activities were well attended with approximately 400 people participating. The program included the following:

Keynote Address

Perspectives on the Past Forty Years of Human Space Flight

The Space Flyer Perspective

Perspectives on the Past Forty Years of Human Space Flight

Closing Remarks

"They Taught the World to Fly": The Wright Brothers and the Age of Flight

On October 22-25, 2001 the NASA History Office helped organize and participate in the historical symposium, "They Taught the World to Fly: The Wright Brothers and the Age of Flight." This major international symposium on aerospace history was held at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Sponsored by the First Flight Centennial Commission and the First Flight Centennial Foundation of North Carolina, this exciting international symposium had more than 200 participants speaking on all manner of aerospace historical topics. Some of the featured speakers included:

The symposium featured a series of themes linking the Wright brothers and the larger history of flight. These included:

Roger Launius, NASA Chief Historian, served on the planning committee and organized four separate sessions on the program, including the plenary session on "Innovation in Flight" featuring the well-known historians Roger E. Bilstein, Hans-Joachim Braun, and Thomas P. Hughes. Stephen J. Garber of the office gave a paper at the symposium comparing the technology of the Space Shuttle and the Buran.

Support to National History Day:

National History Day is a highly regarded and academically challenging history program. This educational contest fosters academic achievement and intellectual growth. In addition to acquiring useful historical knowledge and perspective during the series of district, state and national competitions, students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that will help them manage and use information now and in the future. During FY 2001 the theme was "Frontiers in History," and this prompted many students to focus on space exploration as a theme in their project.

During FY 2001 the NASA History Office provided information to National History Day participants through an extensive World Wide Web page,, with an average monthly hit rate of more than 100,000. The History Office also provided to NASA's Teacher Resource Centers package of historical publications and materials that were accessed by teachers around the nation.

Support to Centennial of Flight Commission:

The History Office has been supporting extensively the activities if the Centennial of Flight Commission. NASA Chief Historian Roger D. Launius was asked by Gen. John R. Dailey, chair of the Commission to serve as co-chair of a "History and Education Panel." This panel has been assigned four major tasks:

  1. Develop criteria and oversee process for how events on the Commission's website calendar (located at should receive recognition of the Commission.
  2. Develop criteria and oversee process for the use of the Centennial of Flight Commission's logo on various products seeking the Commission's endorsement. These may include educational and historical publications, multimedia activities, and events, as well as commercial items.
  3. Provide subject matter expertise on all manner of products being prepared for the Commission. These include a set of posters underway through Code FE, a major website with a timeline of the history of aeronautics, and brochures and exhibit content.
  4. Develop criteria and oversee process for the designation of Centennial Partners.

This has required considerable time, and it is doubtful that it will abate anytime soon.


NASA Historical Publication Program:

A very important element of the NASA history program continued this last year with the preparation of solid, well-researched works on the history of the U.S. civil space program. During the year 2000 the NASA History Office published several major new books and other publications. These are shown in the list below:

Special Publications

Other Publications

NASA History Office Books from Other Publishers

NASA History in the News

Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program, Volume IV: Accessing Space

Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program, Volume IV: Accessing Space (NASA SP-4407, volume IV, 1999) received the Thomas Jefferson Prize for best documentary book from the Society for History in the Federal Government. The Society presents this award annually to the documentary work it deems "to be an outstanding contribution to furthering history of and in the Federal Government on the basis of significance of subject matter, depth of research, rigor of methodology, clarity of presentation, and quality of style." John M. Logsdon is the general series editor and Ray A. Williamson, Roger D. Launius, Russell J. Acker, Stephen J. Garber, and Jonathan L. Friedman also contributed to this volume.

This is the fourth volume in an ongoing series of reference books useful to those interested in both space history and space policy. The documents are grouped into four thematic chapters with an introductory essay for each subject. Chapter one is devoted to the Saturn V launch vehicle, chapter two covers the Space Shuttle, the third chapter details commercializing space transportation, and the fourth chapter explores future space transportation possibilities. Ray A. Williamson is the author of the introductory essays for the first two chapters. John M. Logsdon and Craig R. Reed wrote the introductory essay for the third chapter, and Ivan Bekey introduced the fourth chapter.

The work publishes 134 key documents on the history of launch vehicles. It emphasizes NASA’s development of the Saturn 5 Moon rocket, the Space Shuttle as a launch vehicle, the commercialization of space transportation, and the development of Shuttle follow-on launch systems such as the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) and the X-33. Each document is introduced by a headnote providing context, bibliographical information, and background information necessary to understand the document, and includes an Index and a Biographical Appendix.

Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Race to the Moon, 1945-1974

The NASA History Office published in the fall of 2000 Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974 (NASA SP-2000-4408, 2000) by Asif A. Siddiqi. This thousand-page, hardcover book is a truly pathbreaking study. It is the first comprehensive history to appear on the Soviet human space flight program since the opening of the archives in the early 1990s. As a result, it benefits from exceptionally strong primary source materials, as well as perspective on an important challenge that helped to define the U.S. space effort until the 1980s. Going beyond the basic facts, however, Siddiqi has created a gripping narrative that weaves together several broad interpretive themes. The 8 January 2001 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology has a story entitled, "Policy and Technology Shape Manned Space Ops," focusing on forty years of human space flight, pp. 44-48. Challenge to Apollo, is explicitly used as a source in the story. There is also a special sidebar specifically for the book on p. 48.

NASA History Web Site:

For the last several years the NASA History Office has been working to place as much information as possible on-line in an easy to navigate World Wide Web site that will be useful to all. During 2001, the NASA History Office substantially increased its electronic resources, especially on the World Wide Web. Our main page has continued to be and the generic history office e-mail account for public information requests is In addition to being one of the largest NASA Web sites, the NASA History site continues to be one of the most popular NASA Headquarters sites.

During the last year, we added approximately two dozen significant, new Web pages or sites. While some of these were put together and/or hosted at field centers or other NASA offices, outside volunteers take the credit for most of these new sites. These volunteers have scanned and formatted for the Web a number of book-length publications that are typically out of print and thus not easily found in hard copy elsewhere. The volunteers live and work literally around the world, from the U.S. to Switzerland to Australia. NASA History interns and the NASA Headquarters printing and design office also made significant contributions to our Web presence.

The largest single site that we added this year was the on-line version of the multi-volume "Rogers Commission" report on the Challenger accident ( 51lcover.htm). Volunteer Chris Gamble handled this mammoth project, with some help from the NASA text processing office, which entailed scanning and formatting thousands of pages of text and complex graphics.

In addition, volunteer Eric Jones continued to edit the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal ( with the help of his own dedicated team of international volunteers. Eric usually sends a number of updated electronic files to be uploaded to this Web site each weekend.

In a similar vein, volunteer David Woods edits the Apollo 15 Flight Journal ( He is preparing to launch a new companion site on the flight of Apollo 8 during 2002.

Another major accomplishment for the NASA History Web site was making its approximately 100 subdirectories and tens of thousands of individual pages compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In practice, this means that for every graphical image on a NASA History html page, there should be an appropriate "alt" tag that enables visually impaired users with text reader software to read a caption describing the image. Thanks to a major effort by a dedicated team of support contractors, all of our existing Web pages were modified to make them ADA compliant retroactively. The members of the computer support contractor team also went out of their collective way to give special briefings on ADA compliance to volunteers abroad in the interest of ensuring that all future NASA History Web pages are ADA compliant. The NASA History Web was one of the largest and first sites at NASA Headquarters to become ADA compliant.

The NASA History Office is also pleased to have a special new on-line resource for historical photos. GReat Images in NASA (GRIN) is now on-line at and features over 1,000 historically significant black and white and color images in four resolutions ranging from thumbnail to a high resolution that is suitable for publishing. Public users may download any of these images without charge. While other somewhat similar photo databases are on-line, the specific format of this one is rather unique and has been well received. We hope to add many more images to GRIN in the future.

In addition to its substantial Web presence, the NASA History Office continued its electronic publishing activities by issuing new CD-ROMs. The Office's second CD, "The Mission Transcript Collection: U.S. Human Spaceflight Missions from Mercury Redstone 3 to Apollo 17 (NASA SP-2000-4602) received strong reviews and soon went out of print. We expect a private publisher to reissue this CD in 2002. The third CD, "Shuttle-Mir: The United States and Russia Share History's Highest Stage" is NASA SP-2001-4603 and should be out by the end of January 2002.

More details about the NASA History Office's new Web sites are below:

The text of Atmosphere of Freedom: Sixty Years at NASA Ames Research Center (NASA SP-2000-4314) is available on-line at on the Web. Thanks to David Morse at Ames for making this center history available on-line.

The NASA History Office has revised and expanded our Space Policy Documents page at on the Web. Organized chronologically by decade, this site now has links to many useful policy documents.

Information regarding the flight of Robert Goddard’s first liquid fueled rocket, which took place on 16 March 1926, is available at on the Web. This site also includes historical information about NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The NASA History Office has added an on-line version of America at the Threshold: America’s Space Exploration Initiative, commonly known as the Stafford Report, May 1991, to our site at on the Web. Thanks to Mike Walker of the NASA Headquarters Printing and Design Office for creating this attractive set of full-color pdf files.

Because of the 15th anniversary of the Challenger accident, STS-51L, on 28 January 2001 the NASA History Office significantly updated and revised its World Wide Web site on this tragic event. The address is on the Web.

The Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident (commonly called the Rogers Commission Report), June 1986 and Implementations of the Recommendations, June 1987. This is available on-line at URL: http:// and makes available detailed information on events prior to the accident, the accident itself, its cause, and recommendations. Also within the report are numerous charts and documents, as well as personal testimony. The Implementations of the Recommendations section, as it suggests, details the actions by NASA in implementing the Rogers Commission's proposals.

The NASA History Office has also added a site covering President Kennedy’s Moon declaration of 1961. The site, titled "The Decision to Go to the Moon: President John F. Kennedy's 25 May 1961 Speech Before a Joint Session of Congress, includes links to full text and audio recordings of the historic speech. The site also contains links to PDF versions of the original documents and the Apollo Project at

The Ride Report (Leadership and America's Future in Space: A Report to the Administrator by Dr. Sally K. Ride, Aug. 1987) was the product of a task group formed by NASA Administrator Dr. James Fletcher (1971-1977, 1986-1989). With the goal of stimulating discussion on the future of the organization, the report details initiatives such as solar system exploration, a moon outpost, and human exploration of Mars. The report is available in HTML and PDF formats. The latter includes full color photos. It may be accessed at URL:

The Paine Report (Pioneering the Space Frontier: The Report of the National Commission on Space, May 1986) attempted to provide a vision for the future of the American space program. The report contains the "Declaration for Space" and the commission’s list of goals for the program’s future. Please note that this is a full-text html version; no graphics are included due to copyright issues. Special thanks to Eracenia Kennedy and Diane Reid for scanning this document.

In commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the shuttle’s first launch, NASA has created "Wings into Space: The Flight of STS-1, April 12-14, 1981." This site provides a wealth of information on the shuttle program. Included are biographies of key shuttle personnel, essays on the shuttle, a photo gallery, bibliographies, and links to related sites. This site is available at on the Web.

"Life into Space" is an overview of space life sciences research conducted by NASA Ames Research Center and Kennedy Space Center. The 35+ years of research are made accessible for general readers and specialists, alike. The two volumes in the set, Life into Space, 1965-1990 and Life into Space, 1991-1998, were published by NASA in 1995 and 2000, respectively. To make the information contained in these volumes more widely available, the Life Sciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center has adapted the print publications for electronic distribution. Each volume is offered in two formats, a Web version for online viewing and searching, and a downloadable PDF version for printing the books in their original format.

The GReat Images in NASA (GRIN) photo database is now on-line at The database contains more than 1,000 searchable images. Available in four formats, the images are suitable for everything from quick reference to publishable 300 dpi high-resolution photos. Everything is available electronically and free of charge. To get started, we suggest reading the information at Please note that we intend to add images, but feel free to let us know, at, if you find errors or have suggestions. Special thanks to a variety of folks, but especially Michael Hahn, Dwayne Day, Erin Needham, and John Betts for getting this system up and running.

Skylab: Our First Space Station (NASA SP-400, 1977), edited by Leland F. Belew, and Skylab: A Guidebook (NASA EP-107, 1973), by Leland F. Belew and Ernst Stuhlinger are now on-line at and http:// on the web, respectively. A very special thanks to Chris Gamble, who scanned and set up these attractive and informative books for the web.

We are pleased to offer several useful NASA and contractor documents that cover the evolution of space suits from Project Mercury to the Space Shuttle. These documents about space suits were assembled into a single PDF file at http://history.nasa. gov/spacesuits.pdf on the web.

The 1973 report of the NASA Investigation Board Report on the Initial Flight Anomalies of Skylab 1 covers the loss of the meteoroid shield and a solar array that caused other problems on the first Skylab mission. It is available at http://history.nasa. gov/skylabrep/SRcover.htm on the web. Special thanks to Dirk Stoffels for his work formatting the report for the web. Please note that the site includes TIF images so you may need to check the configuration of your browser software.

We are pleased to announce that a history of Shuttle-Mir Phase I web page is now on-line at Produced in conjunction with the newly released NASA book authored by Clay Morgan entitled Shuttle-Mir: The United States and Russia Share History’s Highest Stage (NASA SP-2001-4225), the fully searchable web page offers additional resources that exploit the full capabilities of the word wide web. These include on-line documents, text, videos, animation, interviews and audio that collectively chronicle the history of this unique program.

We are pleased to announce that Lunar Impact: A History of Project Ranger (Washington, D.C.: NASA SP-4210, 1977) by R. Cargill Hall is now on-line at htm on the Web. As the book's preface begins, "Ranger was the first successful American project of lunar exploration." This robotic spacecraft project of the early 1960s laid the groundwork for Project Apollo and much future robotic space science work. Hall tells an engaging story, complete with failures as well as triumphs and the scientific, engineering, and political struggles in between. Special thanks go to volunteer Dirk Stoffels for formatting the text and images of this out of print book for the Web.

Project Orion: A Design Study of a System for Detecting Extrasolar Planets (NASA SP-436, 1980), edited by David C. Black and formatted for web publication by Chris Gamble is also now on-line. Black discusses the motivation behind Project Orion, which can perhaps be best understood by answering the question "Why is a search for other planetary systems important?" This book is located on-line at

Skylab's Astronomy and Space Sciences (NASA SP-404, 1979), edited by Charles A. Lundquist. In addition to its well-known value as an orbital workshop that demonstrated the ability of astronauts to live in space for extended periods of time, the Skylab program also produced some significant scientific results. The Skylab crews' long times in orbit permitted them to make large contributions in areas such as far-ultraviolet astronomy and observations of the Comet Kohoutek. Special thanks to Chris Gamble for formatting the images and text of this informative volume for the Web. Skylab's Astronomy and Space Sciences is now on-line at on the Web.

Established by the United Nations, World Space Week was 4-10 October to commemorate the launch of Sputnik and the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. For more information on Sputnik, the Outer Space Treaty and to see how the rest of the world celebrated, visit spaceweek.html.

NASA History has a new web page entitled SETI: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Learn more about the quest to find out whether we are alone in the universe. This page, located at, also has a variety of links, including an article describing the circumstances behind the Congressional cancellation of NASA's formal SETI effort as well as the publication, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (NASA SP-419, 1977).

NASA’s Space Science Web Page has posted the introductory essays for each chapter of Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program, Volume V: Exploring the Cosmos on-line. The essays are available at

We are also pleased to announce the on-line edition of Apollo by the Numbers: A Statistical Reference (NASA SP-2000-4029) by Richard W. Orloff. It is available from on the Web. This on-line version includes all the extensive text and useful tables of the original hard copy edition. The author has also made a number of corrections to the data in the hard copy edition. The on-line version does not include the original photos. To purchase a hard copy edition of this book, see order.html on the Web. Special thanks to Rich Orloff himself for formatting this publication for the Web. It is a great reference tool for all those who are interested in the Apollo project.

The Aeronautics and Space Reports of the President for fiscal years 1999 and 2000 are on-line from at on the Web. Special thanks to Douglas Ortiz of the Headquarters Printing and Design Office for creating an attractive and functional Web

Historical Publications Nearing Publication:

Also during the year, NASA historians worked toward the publication of several other histories on a wide diversity of subjects. Here is a list of major projects presently nearing completion, along with projected publication dates. The dates of publication, of course, may slip due to the exigencies of funding.


Professional Activities:

Members of the History Office staff were involved at several levels in professional activities germane to aerospace history during 2001. The first area was as co-organizers of various professional conferences or symposia. Second, Dr. Roger D. Launius and Stephen J. Garber each participated in conferences and symposia during the year, giving papers and participating in panels. Jane Odom attended regional and national archival association meetings in 2001, participating in meetings of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in Philadelphia in May and of the Society of American Archivists in Washington in August. Several staff members also published historical books, articles, and book reviews during the year. Here is a list of NASA History Office public presentations at conferences and other gatherings:



3/15/2001 – Session Chair, "Writing the History of the Soviet Space Program: The Federal Government and the Documentation of a Cold War Effort," at Society for History in the Federal Government annual meeting, Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Roger Launius

Steve Garber - 358-0385

3/16/2001 – Numerous on-camera interviews concerning the 75th anniversary of Robert Goddard's first rocket launch, GSFC, Greenbelt, MD

Roger Launius

3/28/2001 – "Looking Backward/Looking Forward: Space Flight at the Turn of the New Millenium," presentation to the 39th Goddard Memorial Symposium, American Astronautical Society, Greenbelt, MD

Roger Launius

4/25/2001 – "Ten Tough Challenges for Spaceflight in the Twenty-first Century," presentation to "Space in the Years 2020 and 2050" Seminar, George Mason University, Dulles, VA

Roger Launius

5/8/2001 – Session Chair, "Forty Years of Human Spaceflight" session at "Looking Backward, Looking Forward: Forty Years of U.S. Human Space Flight" Symposium, George Washington University, Washington, DC

Roger Launius

6/28/2001 – "NASA Origins and Development," NASA Contracting Intern Program (NCIP) Orientation, Kennedy Space Center, FL

Roger Launius

7/9/2001 – Chair of "The Wright Brothers and Their Aircraft" session at the 37th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT

Roger Launius

7/11/2001 – "100 Years of Flight: What the Past May Tell us About the Future," presentation to 37th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT

Roger Launius

7/13/2001 – Radio interview on Project Apollo, WRKW, Dayton, OH

Roger Launius

9/28/2001 – "The Wright Brothers, Government Support for Aeronautical Research, and the Progress of Flight," keynote speech at "Following in the Footsteps of the Wright Brothers: Their Sites and Stories" Symposium, Wright State University, Dayton, OH

Roger Launius

10/5/2001 – Session chair, "Faster, Better, Not Cheaper: The American Quest for the Ultimate Weapon" session, at Society for the History of Technology Annual Meeting, San Jose, CA

Roger Launius

10/6/2001 – "NASA in the American West," presentation at Western History Association annual meeting, San Diego, CA

Roger Launius

10/22-25/2001 – Presentations at "They Taught the World to Fly: The Wright Bothers and the Age of Flight" conference, Raleigh, NC

Roger Launius

11/4/2001 – "NASA: From the Past to the Future," Margaret Chase Smith Library, Skowegan, ME

Roger Launius

11/8/2001 – "Core Challenges for Spaceflight in the Twenty-First Century," keynote presentation at "Space Infrastructure Development: Commercial Needs" Fall 2001 Aerospace Technology Working Group (ATWG) National Meeting, Center for Innovative Technology, George Mason University, Herndon, VA

Roger Launius

12/14/2001 – "Reflecting on a Century of Flight: Honoring the Past, Inventing the Future," Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC

Roger Launius

Steve Garber

Personnel Issues:

Goodbye to Dill Hunley


Effective August 24, 2001, Dr. J.D. Hunley, known to all as Dill, retired as the historian at the Dryden Flight Research Center, a position he has held since 1995. He has led a stellar effort to document the history of the Center, overseeing the publication during his tenure of seven monographs and five full-size books. Dill also edited both The Birth of NASA: The Diary of T. Keith Glennan (NASA SP-4105, 1993) and The Problem of Space Travel: The Rocket Motor (NASA SP-4026, 1995). Dill will be accepting the Ramsey Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum where he will be writing a history of rocketry during the 1930s-1950s.

Dr. Michael H. Gorn succeeds Dill as historian at Dryden. Many of you already know Mike and his superb qualifications for the job. Mike is a well-known historian who has written several pathbreaking books, including Prophecy Fulfilled: "Toward New Horizons" and its Legacy (Air Force History and Museums Program, 1994), The Universal Man: Theodore von Kármán’s Life in Aeronautics (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992), Expanding the Envelope: Flight Research at NACA and NASA (University Press of Kentucky, 2001), and the forthcoming On the Frontier: Flight Research at Dryden, 1946-2000 (NASA SP-2001-4315).

Goodbye to Mark Kahn

As of September 1, 2001, one of our longtime contract historians in the NASA History Office, Mark Kahn, is departing for new opportunities as a civil service archivist with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. Mark has been with our office for the last six years, and many have benefited from both his helpful nature and his expertise in the NASA Historical Reference Collection. Our congratulations to Mark in his new position.

Thanks to NASA History Office Interns

During 2001, the NASA History Office was fortunate to have two excellent interns. Jon Hoganson, a history graduate student at Virginia Tech, worked in our office full time during the summer. Jennifer Davis, a senior at Brigham Young University, worked four days a week from September through December 2001, as part of her school's Washington Semester program. Both Jon and Jennifer accomplished a great deal in a variety of areas such as answering research requests, preparing Web pages and other electronic media, editing our quarterly newsletter, handling archival preservation tasks, and preparing bibliographies.


Roger D. Launius

NASA Chief Historian

January 29, 2002