National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Vol. 14, No. 1 Winter 1997


Reconsidering Sputnik Symposium Planned
Four New Books Available
Aiming at Targets
Stages to Saturn (Reprint)
Exploring the Unknown, Volume 2
Flights of Discovery
Forthcoming NASA History Books
NASA History on the Internet
Surfing the Internet for Aerospace History
X-33 History Project
Upcoming NASA History Contracts
Space Times Articles Solicited
Internship Opportunity
Calls for Papers
Upcoming NASA Policy Symposium
Other Upcoming Meetings
Selected 1996 Aerospace Publications


This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite, which was launched on 4 October 1957. The NASA History Office, the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and George Washington University's Space Policy Institute are pleased to co-sponsor "Reconsidering Sputnik: Forty Years Since the Soviet Satellite," a two day symposium analyzing the importance of this event. This symposium is set to take place in the Smithsonian's Ripley Center on 30 September-1 October 1997. It will explore the preparations, immediate ramifications, and long term consequences of Sputnik on American and Soviet societies and space programs. To propose a paper please send a one-page abstSract, as well as a one- page vita, to Dr. Roger D. Launius, NASA Chief Historian, Code ZH, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, fax to 202-358-0383, e-mail to The deadline for proposals is 31 May 1997. Please also contact Dr. Launius if you wish to be placed on a mailing list to be kept informed of symposium preparations.


The NASA History Office is pleased to announce the publication of Aiming at Targets: The Autobiography of Robert C. Seamans, Jr. Dr. Seamans was NASA's Deputy Administrator for much of the Apollo program during the 1960s and continued his distinguished career in Federal service as Secretary of the Air Force and head of the Energy Research and Development Agency in the 1970s. Dr. Seamans shares his insights on managing complex technological endeavors in highly readable prose that provides many lessons for contemporary audiences. This hardcover book is available for $25 from the Government Printing Office (GPO) at 202-512-1800. Refer to stock number 033-000-01175-0.

Need a copy of Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles? We have just reprinted this classic technological history of the Saturn launch vehicles that were used in the Apollo missions. Originally published in 1980, this well-received book by Roger E. Bilstein was out of print for several years, but is now available for $37 from GPO at 202-512-1800. Refer to stock number 033-000-01176-8.

Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program; Volume II: External Relationships, John M. Logsdon, general editor, is now available. Coming after the successful first volume, the second volume covers the important topics of NASA relations with the military, foreign space agencies, and NASA-industry-university relations. Organized in a similar format as volume I, this book should be very useful to students of space exploration. It is available for $40 from GPO at 202-512-1800. Refer to stock number 033-000-01174-1.

Flights of Discovery: 50 Years at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, by Lane E. Wallace, is also back from the printers. This beautifully illustrated history spans a variety of flight research projects at Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. This book describes how a small organization in the Mojave Desert has influenced aeronautics in America and around the world. It is available for $42 from GPO at 202-512-1800. Refer to stock number 033-000-01167-9.


The next scheduled book in the NASA History Series is Beyond the Ionosphere: The Development of Satellite Communication. This volume, which is edited by Andrew Butrica, contains the official proceedings of the conference of the same title that was held in October 1995. It is due out in late spring.

We are now finalizing the next installment of the Aeronautics and Space Report of the President, Fiscal Year 1996 Activities. We anticipate it will be available for public use in early summer.

Astronautics and Aeronautics, 19861990: Chronology of Science, Technology, and Policy will also appear this summer. A long-standing reference series of note, this volume continues the classic documentary effort.

Way Station to Space: A History of the John C. Stennis Space Center is set for publication in late summer. This Field Center history is written by Mack Herring, one of the Center's first employees.

Pamela Mack is the editor for a book on the 19 NACA/NASA projects that have won the prestigious Collier Trophy award. The NACA/NASA Winners of the Robert J. Collier Trophy for Aerospace Research and Development is slated for publication in late 1997.

Each of these books will be available for public acquisition from the Government Printing Office or NASA. Stay tuned for more information as these books are published and made available.


All four volumes of the Apollo Spacecraft Chronology (SP-4009) are now available on-line thanks to the exceptional diligence of David Woods. Go to History/SP-4009/cover.htm. These out-of-print volumes are exceptionally useful references for researchers and we are delighted to make them available in electronic form.

In 1996, the NASA History Office continued its active publishing program, fielded a wide variety of inquiries, posted a great deal of information on the World Wide Web, and conducted many other related activities. A year-end review of activities in NASA history is available at History/1996.htm.

There is now a comprehensive list of NASA History Series publications on the Web at The list indicates whether each book or monograph is in print and if so, where it can be purchased. It also includes links to those works which are on-line.

Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of Apollo Lunar Exploration Missions is now available on the World Wide Web at William David Compton's 1989 book continues to be useful and popular reading.

Our site on the Apollo 204 accident ( recently won a "SpaceViews Site of the Week" award. We recently added Mary C. Zornio's detailed crew biographies to this site.

Hugh L. Dryden's Career in Aviation and Space is now available on-line at http:// Michael H. Gorn has written a fascinating "Monograph in Aerospace History" about this aerospace leader.


The year 1996 was a very exciting year for NASA in terms of scientific discoveries and technological challenges. A press release summarizing the year's highlights is available on the World Wide Web at 96-60.txt.


The X-33 Program Office, understanding that it will indeed be making history, has taken the appropriate steps to fund a contract for a historian to document its efforts to build a reusable launch vehicle. The project will record the historical evolution of the complex and revolutionary X-33 program from start to finish in the year 2000. By publishing a book-length history, as well as shorter articles and creating multimedia information, this history project will educate both the general public and policymakers about the importance of the X-33 program.


Dependent upon funding allocations the NASA History Office plans to award a contract for an historian to conduct oral history interviews with 10-20 key former NASA officials. The interviews will take place around the country and would be transcribed for use by future researchers. Stay tuned for more details.

Also pending funding, in anticipation of the centennial in 2003 of the first Wright Brothers flight, the NASA History Office is planning a documentary history of NACA/NASA aerodynamics research. A contractor will be selected to research, select, compile, and edit with introductions appropriate historical documents. The contractor should select approximately 250-350 documents, with an emphasis on previously unpublished works, for inclusion in a one or two volume publication. This work could be analogous to the Exploring the Unknown series of documentary histories of the U.S. civilian space program.

The Voyager probe to the outer Solar System during the 1970s and 1980 was enormously successful but has not yet been fully analyzed in historical perspective. With support from the NASA History Office, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory plans to select a contractor to write a scholarly history of Voyager. The contract will be a three-year firm, fixed-price contract.


Space Times, the bimonthly glossy magazine of the American Astronautical Society, seeks feature articles to 2000 words in length. It also published shorter op-ed articles of 500 words. These articles should be written in the present tense for a non-scholarly audience on current space policy, science, or technology issues. Please contact Roger D. Launius at for more information.


The NASA History Office is looking for a summer intern. The unpaid internship would be 20 hours per week. Master's students would be preferable, although college juniors and seniors also will be considered. The intern will have the opportunity to take on significant responsibility in editing, answering information requests, and preparing documents for the World Wide Web. For more information, please contact Steve Garber at


The Society for the History of Technology will hold its annual meeting on 16-19 October 1997 in Pasadena, CA. The program committee welcomes proposals for individual papers and sessions on topics related to all facets of the history of technology. Proposals sent by mail for individual papers must include 3 copies of: 1) an abstract of not more than one page, and 2) a one-page curriculum vitae, including current postal and e-mail address. Proposals sent by mail for complete sessions should include 3 copies of: 1) a description of this session's general topic, 2) a list of the presenters' names and paper titles, 3) an abstract and curriculum vitae (c.v.) for each of the presenters, 4) and a c.v. for the commentator, the chairperson and the session organizer--if he or she is not participating in the session. Send completed proposals to: Prof. Miriam R. Levin, SHOT Program Chair, Program in the History of Technology and Science, History Department, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, telephone 216-368-2380, fax 216-368-4681 e-mail: The deadline is 10 April 1997.

The History of Philosophy of Science Working Group will hold its second international conference on 12-15 March 1998. This meeting is organized in cooperation with the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame. Submissions of abstracts of papers of approximately 30 minutes reading length, and full panels of three to four papers are welcome. Abstracts of individual paper submissions should be 250-500 words. Panel proposals should include one panel abstract, names and contact addresses of all participants, and abstracts of 250 words for each of three to four papers. Preferred format for all submissions is plain ASCII text submitted by e-mail to with "HOPOS Submission" in the subject line of the e-mail. Other submissions should include three paper copies and one copy in plain ASCII format on a 3.5" DOS disk and be sent to: Cassandra Pinnick, Department of Philosophy, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101. Conference Registrar: James Maffie, 3280 Sentinel Drive, Boulder, CO 80301, e-mail maffiej@spot. All submissions should arrive by 1 September 1997.

Wright State University is planning a major conference on the first century of aviation/aerospace history for 1-3 October 1998. Conference organizers are seeking individual paper and panel proposals reflecting themes of flight and society, flight and public policy, and flight technology. Please contact the Aviation History Conference, Conferences and Events, Room E180 Student Union, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45434-0001. Paper/panel proposals are due 1 November 1997.


NASA's Office of Policy and Plans is planning a symposium to focus attention on the "unresolved" policy questions facing NASA in the next ten years. Potential issues to be addressed include the International Space Station, possible prior life on Mars and Europa, and the Clinton Administration space policy. The symposium is targeted for 7 May 1997. To suggest a presentation topic or other input, please contact Dr. Roger D. Launius, NASA Chief Historian, at Stay tuned for more details.


On 3-5 March 1997, the American Astronautical Society (AAS) will hold its 35th Goddard Memorial Symposium at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. The theme of this year's conference is "Space Exploration: A Driving Force for Economic Growth." Contact the AAS at 703-866-0020 or via e-mail at

During the week of 17 March 1997, the National Air and Space Museum and the American Association of Museums are cosponsoring the tenth annual seminar on mutual concerns for air and space museums. For further information, please contact Pamela Blalock, Office of Cooperative Programs, NASM MRC 321, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, 202-357-4473, e-mail NASEM013@SIVM.SI.EDU.

On 3-4 April 1997, the Society for History in the Federal Government will hold a conference at the National Archives Facility in College Park, MD. The conference will include a session entitled "New Views of the Space Race: U.S./U.S.S.R. Conflict and Cooperation in the Exploration of Space." For more information contact the session chair, Roger D. Launius, at or 202-358-0383.

On 4-5 April 1997, a "Conference on the Future of Business History" will be held at the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Museum. Contact Roger Horowitz, Hagley Museum & Library, P. O. Box 3630, Wilmington, DE 19807, fax 302-655-3188, e-mail

On 10-14 April 1997, the annual meeting of the Society for Military History will be held in Montgomery, AL and at Maxwell AFB, AL. The theme is "New Interpretations in Military History." Contact Dr. Stephen McFarland, Dept. of History, Auburn Univ., Auburn, AL 36849-5207, 334-844-6640.

On 17-20 April 1997, the Organization of American Historians' annual meeting will be held in the San Francisco Hilton, San Francisco, CA. The theme will be "The Meaning of Citizenship." Contact: Organization of American Historians, 112 North Bryan St., Bloomington, IN 47408-4199.

On 22-26 April 1997, the Air Force Association will sponsor a "Fiftieth USAF Anniversary Celebration" in Las Vegas, NV. Contact the AFA at 703-247-5800.

On 1-4 May 1997, the National Council on Public History will hold its annual meeting in Albany, NY. The theme will be "Public History and Public Memory." Contact David G. Vanderstel, 327 Cavanaugh Hall-IUPUI, 425 University Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46202-5140, 317-274-2716

On 28-29 May 1997, an Air Force History & Museum Program Symposium entitled "Aim High: History of the U.S. Air Force" will be held in Arlington, VA. Contact Jacob Neufeld, AFHSO/HOP, 110 Luke Ave, Ste. 405, Bolling AFB, DC 20332-5113, fax 202-767-5527.

On 29-30 May 1997, Siena College's annual Conference on the Anniversary of World War II will focus on "1937, Beginnings," and "1947, the Aftermath." Contact: Prof. Thomas O. Kelly, Dept. of History, Siena College, 515 Loudon Rd., Loudonville, NY 12211-1462, 518- 783-2595, fax 518-783-4293.

On 4-5 June 1997, the American Astronautical Society will hold its National Space Forum at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. Contact the AAS at 6352 Rolling Mill Place, Ste 102, Springfield VA 22152-2354, 703-866-0020, fax x3526.

On 25-27 June 1997, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of Thomas A. Edison's birth, the National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site; the Organization of American Historians and the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance will sponsor a conference, "Interpreting Edison." This conference will examine Edison's impact on innovation, manufacturing, business, and popular culture. For more information, contact Leonard DeGraaf, Edison National Historic Site, Main Street and Lakeside Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052, telephone 201-736-0550, x22, e-mail:

On 23-25 September 1997, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will host its 1997 Defense & Space Programs Conference and Exhibit at the von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, AL. Contact: AIAA, Ste. 500, 1801 Alexander Bell Dr., Reston VA 20191-4333, 703-264-7500.

On 25-29 September 1997, the annual meeting of the Oral History Association will be held in New Orleans, LA. Contact Rebecca Sharpless, Exec. Sec., Oral History Association, Baylor Univ., Box 97234, Waco TX 76798-7234.

On 2-5 October 1997, the U.S. Naval Academy's Dept. of History will sponsor the 13th Naval History Symposium at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. Contact: William McBride, Dept. of History, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 21402-5044, 410-293-6290, fax 410-293-2256.

On 13-16 October 1997, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will host World Aviation Congress '97 at the Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, CA. Contact the AIAA at Ste. 500, 1801 Alexander Bell Dr., Reston VA 20191-4344, 703-264-7500, fax x7551.

The Society for the History of Technology will hold its annual meeting on 16-19 October 1997 in Pasadena, CA. For information contact Dr. Lindy Biggs, Executive Secretary, 334-844-6645, fax 334-844-6673, e-mail, or http://

On 29-31 October 1997, the National Security Agency will hold its 7th annual Symposium on Cryptological History at its headquarters at Ft. George Meade, MD. Contact: Joseph Yankowski, Center for Cryptologic History (S542), NSA, 9800 Savage Rd, Ste. 6886, Ft. George G. Meade MD 20755-6886, 301-688-2336, fax 301-688-2342.

On 31 October-2 November 1997, the eighth biennial Conference of Historic Aviation Writers will be held at the Midland Holiday Inn Hotel and the Confederate Air Force Museum, Midland TX. For details, contact Robin Higham, Sunflower University Press, 131 Yuma (Box 1009), Manhattan KS 66502-4228, 913-539-1888, fax 913-539-2233.


In 1996 several new publications appeared on a variety of aerospace topics. While the NASA History Office does not endorse any privately published works, this selective list may prove useful to researchers and those interested in aerospace developments.

Baker, David. Spaceflight and Rocketry: A Chronology. New York: Facts on File, 1996.

Bilstein, Roger E. The American Aerospace Industry: From Workshop to Global Enterprise. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1996.

Brush, Stephen G. Fruitful Encounters: The Origin of the Solar System and the Moon from Chamberlin to Apollo. "A History of Modern Planetary Physics," Vol. 3. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Brush, Stephen G. Nebulous Earth: The Origin of the Solar System and the Core of the Earth from Laplace to Jeffreys. "A History of Modern Planetary Physics," Vol. 1. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Brush, Stephen G. Transmuted Past: The Age of the Earth and the Evolution of the Elements from Lyell to Patterson. "A History of Modern Planetary Physics," Vol. 2. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Dick, Steven J. The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Debate and the Limits of Science. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Doel, Ronald E. Solar System Astronomy in America: Communities, Patronage, and Interdisciplinary Science, 1920-1960. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Fischer, Daniel, and Duerbach, Hilmar. Hubble: A New Window to the Universe. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1996.

Frierson, J.Q. Rocketed into History: NASA Claims a Paradise. Des Moines, IA: Rivercross Publishing, Incorporated, 1996.

Goldman, Nathan. American Space Law: International and Domestic. San Diego, CA: Univelt, Inc., 1996, 2d ed.

Harrison, James P. Mastering the Sky: A History of Aviation from Ancient Times to the Present. New York: Sarpedon Publishers, Incorporated, 1996.

Jensen, Claus. No Downlink: A Dramatic Narrative About the Challenger Accident and Our Time. Translated by Barbara Haveland. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1996.

Kolb, Rocky. Blind Watchers of the Sky: The People and Ideas that Shaped our View of the Universe. Reading, MA: Helix Books, Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 1996.

Lewis, John S. Mining the Sky: Untold Riches from the Asteroids, Comets, and Planets. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1996.

Malphus, Benjamin K. The History of Radio Astronomy and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory: Evolution Towards Big Science. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Co., 1996.

Mather, John, and Boslough, John. The Very First Light: The True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the Universe. New York: Basic Books, 1996.

Moore, Patrick. The Planet Neptune: An Historical Survey Before Voyager. New York: John Wiley in association with Praxis Publishers, 1996.

Spudis, Paul D. The Once and Future Moon. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996.

Stine, G. Harry. Halfway to Anywhere: Achieving America's Destiny in Space. New York: M. Evans and Co., 1996.

Stoker, Carol A., and Emmart, Carter. Editors. Strategies for Mars: A Guide to Human Exploration. San Diego, CA: Univelt, Inc., 1996.

Vaughan, Diane. The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.


James R. Hansen's Spaceflight Revolution: NASA Langley Research Center from Sputnik to Apollo has won the Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Literature Award. This annual award is given by the American Astronautical Society for an outstanding book promoting public understanding about the impact of astronautics upon society.

You can now receive NASA History: News and Notes via e-mail. This will save NASA time and money in mailing, and will also help deliver this information faster. To subscribe send a message to Leave the subject line blank. In the text portion simply type "subscribe history" without the quotation marks. You will receive confirmation that your account has been added to the list for the newsletter and to receive other announcements that may interest you.

More questions about NASA History? Please check out our NASA History Home Page at The general public is also invited to come to our office in person to do research. For further information, please contact our office at 202-358-0384, fax 202-358-2866. E-mail Roger D. Launius at or Steve Garber at We also welcome comments about the content and format of this newsletter.