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Vol. 16, No. 1
Winter 1999



The NASA Johnson Space Center is searching for qualified individuals to work at JSC this summer to do research as part of its ongoing Oral History Program (OHP). Now in its second year of funding, the JSC OHP is a NASA initiative created to research and record the history of human space flight as told through those individuals that made it happen. Researchers will work with the JSC history office to conduct background research on key individuals, compile biographical data and participate in the interview process.

Anyone with a genuine interest in aerospace history plus a bachelor's degree (or be nearing completion of one) in history, english, library science, social studies, space science, or equivalent are welcome. Basic knowledge of historical research methodology and resources. Excellent oral and written communication skills are a must. Computer literacy including the use of Microsoft Office software (MS Word, MS Exchange, etc.) is also required. U.S. citizenship, be at least 17 years of age and able to work 40 hours per week. For more information contact: Glen E. Swanson, NASA Johnson Space Center, Mail Code GS2, Building 12 Room 267, 2101 NASA Road 1, Houston, TX 77058, 281-483-6924, fax 281-483-3012, e-mail


Space Exploration at the Millennium: In Remembrance of Carl Sagan, is a symposium co-sponsored by NASA scheduled to take place on 24 March 1999 at American University in Washington, DC. The symposium is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To help ensure your space, please register promptly at: http://www. The symposium features presentations by Buzz Aldrin, Richard Berendzen, Avery Brooks, Yvonne Cagle, Andrew Chaikin, Franklin Chang-Diaz, Hugh Downs, Ann Druyan, Timothy Ferris, Louis Friedman, John Glenn, Dan Goldin, Don Herbert, Ted Koppel, John Logsdon, Howard McCurdy, Bill Nye, Fred Ordway, Ned Potter, Kim Stanley Robinson, Donna Shirley, Edward Stone, Kathy Sullivan, and Jill Tarter.

This symposium will offer a retrospective on one of this century's crowning accomplishments the genesis of space exploration. It will include panel discussions, numerous exhibits and displays, and small session meetings with several panelists.


Space and the American Imagination (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997), written by Howard E. McCurdy and sponsored by the NASA History Office has been selected for the Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Literature Award. Awarded by the American Astronautical Society, the Emme Astronautical Literature Award recognizes truly outstanding books that increase public understanding about astronautics’ societal impacts and its potentialities for tomorrow. Previous winners include: Joseph N. Pelton, Arthur C. Clarke, Thomas O. Paine, Bruce C. Murray, and Frederick I. Ordway and Randy Lieberman.

This represents the fourth time that a NASA historical work has received the award. These earlier works are: Henry S.F. Cooper, Jr., Before Lift Off: The Making of a Space Shuttle Crew (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987); Karl Hufbauer, Exploring the Sun: Solar Science Since Galileo (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991); and James R. Hansen, Spaceflight Revolution: NASA Langley Research Center from Sputnik to Apollo (Washngton, DC: NASA SP-4308, 1995).


Available from the NASA History Office is W. Hewitt Phillips, A Journey in Aeronautical Research: A Career at NASA Langley Research Center (Monographs in Aerospace History, No. 12, December 1998). It provides an engaging perspective on aerodynamics research at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, between the late 1930s and the 1980s. This monograph is available free of charge from NASA History, Code ZH, Washington, DC 20546, with a self-addressed 9x12" envelope stamped for 15 ounces ($3).

Howard E. McCurdy’s Space and the American Imagination (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997) is now available in paperback for $17.95. To order contact Smithsonian Institution Press, P.O. Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172-0960, 800-782-4612, fax 703-661-1501.


The NASA History Office is pleased to announce that a paperback edition of This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, written by Loyd S., Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander and first published in the NASA History Series in 1966 is in press at the Government Printing Office. We should be receiving copies toward the end of February 1999. Ordering information may be obtained from the History Office.

We are also pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Beyond Mach 2: The D-558 Skyrocket Program (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4222, 1999). The Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak and D-558-2 Skyrocket were, with the Bell XS-1, the earliest transonic research aircraft built in this country to gather data so the aviation community could understand what was happening when aircraft approached the speed of sound (roughly 741 miles per hour at sea level in dry air at 32 degrees Fahrenheit). The number 1 Skyrocket first flew on 4 February 1948.

Last year, the Dryden Flight Research Center held a symposium in honor of the event. This book presents comments from the symposium. In addition, it includes 48 documents from the National Archives that complement the comments of the symposia participants. Stay turned for more information about this publication.

Set to appear in May, at the time of the 40th anniversary of the center's creation, is Dreams, Hopes, Realities: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's First Forty Years (NASA SP-4312, 1999). This is a large-format illustrated history written by Lane E. Wallace.

Finally, we anticipate the late spring publication of The Space Shuttle Decision: NASA’s Quest for a Reusable Space Vehicle (NASA SP-4221, 1999), written by T.A. Heppenheimer. This study focuses on the development of the Space Shuttle, emphasizing both the technological process and political debate that occurred during the period between the early-1960s and the 1972 presidential decision to construct the vehicle. Stay turned for more information about this publication.


The thirtieth anniversary of the historic landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon in 1969 is fast approaching. In commemoration of the event, the NASA History Office is planning the production of several works. The most important product is a book, "Before this Decade is Out…": Personal Reflections on the Apollo Program (NASA SP-4223), a collection of oral histories compiled and edited by Glen E. Swanson. We are also producing a CD/ROM containing a significant number of key documents, reports, movies, images, and publications. Finally, we have underway several fact sheets and a monograph on Apollo that will be ready in time for the anniversary. Stay tuned for more information on these materials.


On 18 November 1998, in Houston, Texas, the NASA History Office joined the Johnson Space Center (JSC) History Program in a one-day workshop on the history of human spaceflight. There are many historical activities underway both here and at JSC, as well as at a variety of other locations, and it seemed appropriate to compare notes and help each other. This was an additional activity of the American Astronautical Society, which held its annual meeting in Houston during the same period.

Special thanks go to Glen E. Swanson, William A. Larsen, Michael L. Ciancone, and the Signal Corporation staff for bringing the attendees up to date on the JSC oral history efforts. Also special thanks to Stephen E. Doyle for chairing the morning's AAS History Committee meeting and for providing lunch. The JSC Life Sciences Data Archive presentation and the other short updates were very informative and helpful.


We are pleased to announce that a new set of Apollo technical diagrams and drawings is now available on the Web. This set, as well as the sets for Projects Mercury and Gemini, is available through on the Web. In the coming months, we hope to make available similar sets for the other U.S. human space flight programs. Special thanks to Kipp Teague, who has scanned all the diagrams and put them in a convenient format for the Web.

We are also pleased to announce that Apollo Expeditions to the Moon (NASA SP-350, 1975) is now available on-line at:  This richly illustrated work contains chapters written by key figures in the Apollo program such as James Webb, Robert Gilruth, and Wehner von Braun. Out of print for many years, this Web version should be of special interest due to the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in July 1999. Our thanks go to Hans-Peter Engle, who did a tremendous job scanning and formatting the text and the many full-colored images for the web.

We are also pleased to announce that Liquid Hydrogen As A Propulsion Fuel, 1945-1959 (NASA SP-4404, 1978) is now available on-line at URL: Special thanks to Chris Gamble for scanning all the photos, diagrams, and other images and creating an attractive and functional Web design. This out of print book is an excellent historical look at an important aspect of rocketry. As former Administrator James Fletcher notes in the book's foreword, this historical story should prove useful to current managers of high technology projects as it examines such enduring themes as the use of technologies that are perceived to be dangerous, the individualistic innovator versus the group managers, and the flawed hindsight argument of "an idea whose time had come."

We are also pleased to announce that Quest for Performance: The Evolution of Modern Aircraft (NASA SP-468, 1985) is now available at on the Web. This generously illustrated book is an excellent overview to the development of the airplane during the twentieth century. Written by a former aerodynamics engineer at Langley Research Center, Laurence K. Loftin, Jr., this book focuses on U.S. aircraft and the roles that the NACA and NASA had in their development. While not a part of the formal NASA History Series, this could be a very useful book for those interested in aeronautics history. Chris Gamble undertook this major Web project, formatting the scanned text and scanning hundreds of images, so we offer a special thanks to him.

Finally, just in time for the Apollo anniversary, we have placed on-line a 1995 monograph, Enchanted Rendezvous: John C. Houbolt and the Genesis of the Lunar-Orbit Rendezvous Concept. It is located at URL:  James R. Hansen wrote this fascinating story of how NASA decided to use the lunar orbit rendezvous mode to get to the Moon for Project Apollo.


The University of North Dakota's Space Studies Department has assumed publication of Quest: The Magazine of Spaceflight. The magazine is once again exclusively covering the history of spaceflight, and has been renamed Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly.

"We will work to further Quest's growth in both stature and readership… Our aim is to make Quest the journal of choice for space historians, with fully peer-reviewed articles, along with well written shorter pieces that will entertain as well as educate," says editor Dr. Stephen Johnson.

Quest seeks and publishes diverse articles on the history of humanity's endeavors in space. These have included articles on military and civilian rocketry, human spaceflight, robotic exploration, and the American and Soviet programs. In addition, Quest now includes historical articles on other topics such as ground systems technology, European and Asian space programs, and media coverage of space activities.

Cost for a subscription is $29.95/year for U.S. residents, $35/year in Canada and Mexico, and $45/year for overseas subscribers. To subscribe, please fill contact UND-Quest, Space Studies Department, Box 9008, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9008. More information about Quest can be found on the internet at, via email at,
or contact Suezette Bieri at (701) 777-4856.


The NASA History Office currently has an internship program for undergraduates. We are looking for interns for both the academic year and the summer. The unpaid internship is approximately 20 hours per week and college sophomores and juniors are preferred. Interns have the opportunity to take on significant responsibilities in editing, doing research, answering information requests, and preparing documents in HTML for the World Wide Web. See on the Web for more information.

We currently have an intern in our office, Madeleine Short. She is a sophomore at American University, majoring in International Studies. We welcome her and extend to her our gratitude for all of her hard work.


The Society for the History of Technology will hold its next annual meeting in Detroit, Michigan, 7-10 October 1999. The program committee invites proposals for individual papers and sessions on topics related to all aspects of the history of technology. Deadline for submission is 15 March 1999. Contact Dr. Hans Weinerger, SHOT Program Chair, Dept. of History of Science and Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel: +46 8 790 87 99; fax: +46 8 24 2 63; e-mail:

The organizing committee of the XII International Symposium on the History of Astronautics and Aeronautics is seeking abstracts for presentation in the Symposium, which will be held in Moscow and St. Petersburg on 7-12 June 1999. The subject of the Symposium is: "History of Aerospace Exploration: Results and Perspectives". Contact Honorary Chairman of the Symposium Academician B.V. Rauschenbach 103012, Moscow, Russia, Staropanski per.1/5. Fax: (095) 925-99-11 Phone: (095) 921-08-68, (095) 925-2-28. E-mail:

The Interdivisional History of Physics Group of the European Physical Society, with the Commission on the History of Modern Physics is seeking papers for presentation at the 4th European Physical Society Conference on the History of Physics, "Volta and the History of Electricity," to be held on 11-15 September 1999 at Pavia University, in Italy. Deadline for submission is 1 May 1999. For more information check the Web site at URL: or e-mail:

The 9th Biennial Conference of Historic Aviation Writers (CHAW) will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, on 22-24 October 1999. Contact: David Montgomery, Dept. of History, Brigham Young University, Provo UT 84602.

The International Committee of Historical Sciences will hold its 19th international congress in Oslo, Norway, on 6-13 August 2000. It invites proposals for presentations on all subjects. Contact the 19th International Congress of Historical Sciences, Department of History, P.O. Box 1008, Blindern, N-0315, Oslo, Norway.


On 17-18 March 1999 the American Astronautical Society is hosting the Goddard Memorial Symposium in Greenbelt, MD. For more information contact the AAS Business Office, 6352 Rolling Mill Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22152-2354, telephone 703-866-0020, e-mail:

On 18-19 March 1999 the Society for History in the Federal Government will meet at Archives II, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD. For more information contact, Society for History in the Federal Government, Box 14139 Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044-4139.

On 22-25 March 1999 the American Association of Museums and the National Air and Space Museum will hold the annual Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums Seminar in Washington, D.C. For more information, please call 202-218-9114 or send and e-mail to

On 24 March 1999 American University will be hosting a conference, "Space Exploration at the Millennium," on its campus in Washington, D.C. For further information check out the Web page at or contact Dr. Richard Berendzen, at 202-885-2798, or

On 26-28 March 1999 the Haas Business School and the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, is sponsoring a conference on R&D Investment and Economic Growth in the 20th Century." For further information visit r&d/call.html or contact John Douglass (Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley) at or 510-643-9211.

On 5-8 April 1999 the United States Space Foundation will host the 15th Annual Space Symposium at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For more information, contact: United States Space Foundation, 800-691-4000, Website:

On 9-11 April 1999 the Midwest Junto for the History of Science will hold its annual meeting in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Contact: Majorie Malley, 918-336-4537,

On 16-18 April 1999 the graduate students of the Cornell University Science & Technology Studies Dept. will present a conference entitled "Technology & Identity." Contact: Dan Plafcan, Science & Technology Studies, 726 University Ave., 2nd Floor, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, E-mail

On 22-25 April 1999 the Organization of American Historians will meet in Toronto, Ontario Canada. For information contact: Organization of American Historians, 112 Bryan Street, Bloomington, IN 47408, 812-855-7311, fax: 812-855-0696, e-mail:

On 24-26 April 1999 the annual meeting of the American Association for History and Computing will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The theme for 1999 is "How Computing Technology Will Transform Teaching, Learning, and Education." Contact: G. Mick Smith, P.O. Box 3009, Malvern, PA 19355-0709, 610-251-2716, E-mail: gmsmith@

On 29 April-1 May 1999 the National Council on Public History will hold its annual meeting in Lowell, MA. For more information contact, NCPH Executive Offices, 425 University Blvd., Cavanaugh 327, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5140, 317-274-2716, e-mail:

On 24 May 1999 the 11th Annual Greater Washington Aviation Open will be held at Indian Spring Country Club, Silver Spring MD. For more information call 215-56-2703

On 2-3 June 1999 the 3rd National Space Forum at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. and sponsored by the American Astronautical Society takes place. For more information call 703-866-0020

On 22-24 June 1999 the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Aeronautical and Astronautical Asssociation of France with the patronage of the European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment have plans for the International Conference on Lightning and Static Electricity to be held at the Palais de Congress in Toulouse, France. For more information contact SAE at 724-772-7199; FAX: 724-776-1830 or e-mail:

On 23-26 June 1999 the Canadian Aviation Historical Society will hold its annual meeting at CFB Borden, located 60 miles north of Toronto, Canada. The theme of this year’s conference will be "The Evolution of Military Aviation in Canada." Contact: Don Evans, CAHS Sec’y/Treasurer, CAHS National Headquarters, P.O. Box A, Willowdale, Ontario M2N 5S8, Canada, Tel. (416) 410-9774,
E-Mail: cahstor@idirect.comm.

On 25-26 June 1999 the British Society for the History of Science and the Institute of Contemporary British History will join with the Science Museum in London, England to present a conference titled "Defiant Modernism," which will examine the effects of World War II technologies as they were exploited in wartime and adapted to civilian use thereafter. Contact: Robert Bud, E-mail:

On 28-30 June 1999, the 13th AIAA Lighter-Than-Air Technology Conference will be held at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel, Norfolk, Virginia. Contact: AIAA, 1801 Alexander Bell Dr, Ste. 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344, 703-264-7500, Fax x7551.

On 14-17 July 1999 the 11th Biennial International Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology will be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Geography in San Jose, California. The theme will be "Technological Spaces." Contact:

On 19-23 July 1999 UNISPACE III will take place, a global gathering of United Nations member states to discuss the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, will be held in Vienna, Austria. Its purpose is to support an exchange of ideas among space agencies, space industries, and other space-related organizations. Contact: Howard O'Brien, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, #1801, Reston, VA 20191, 800-639-2422, E-mail:

On 12-15 August 1999, the Mars Society’s 2nd Annual Conventionwill be held in Boulder, Colorado. Contact: The Mars Society, P. O. Box 273, Indian Hills, CO 80454, E-Mail:

On 15-19 August 1999 AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Conference at the Westin Alyeska Prince Hotel in Girdwood, Ark. And sponsored by the American Astronautical Society takes place. For more information call 703-86-0020.

On 16-21 August 1999 the annual meeting of the International Committee for the History of Technology will be held in Belfort, France. The theme will be "Technological Change." Contact: Prof. Carroll Pursell, History Dept., Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, 216-368-2261, E-mail:

On 22-25 September 1999, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots will hold its 43rd Annual Symposium and Banquet at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. Contact: Society of Experimental Test Pilots, P.O. Box 986, Lancaster, CA 93584, fax 805-940-0398,

On 4-8 October 1999, the 50th International Astronautical Congress will take please in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. For additional information contact, The IAF Secretariat, 3/5 rue Mario Nikis, 75015 Paris-France, e-mail,

On 7-10 October 1999 the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology will be held in Detroit, Michigan. Contact: Lindy Biggs, SHOT Secretary, History Department, 310 Thach Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849-5259, 334-844-6645/Fax 6673,

On 19-21 October 1999, the IAA/SAE World Aviation Congress will be held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in San Francisco, California. Contact: AIAA, 1801 Alexander Bell Dr, Ste. 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344, 703-264-7500, Fax x7551,

On 3-7 November 1999 the 75th anniversary meeting of the History of Science Society will be held in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Contact: Fred Gregory, E-mail: or Edith Sylla, E-mail:

On 16-18 November 1999, the American Astronautical Society will hold its 46th Annual Meeting and Conference at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel in Pasadena, California. For more information contact the AAS Business Office, 6352 Rolling Mill Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22152-2354, 703-866-0020, e-mail:

NASA History News and Notes is published quarterly by the NASA History Division, Office of Policy and Plans, Code ZH, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546.

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For further information, please contact our office at 202-358-0384, fax 202-358-2866. Send e-mail to Roger D. Launius at roger.launius@ or Steve Garber at We also welcome comments about the content and format of this newsletter.