Vol. 20, No. 3 August 2003
In This Issue
The NASA chief historian position, NASA Headquarters vacancy announcement number HQ03B0228, is being advertised at http://www.nasajobs.nasa.gov/ and http://www.usajobs.opm.gov on the Web. The deadline for applications is 19 August 2003.
The position is at the GS-14/15 level. This position is open to all U.S. citizens.
Qualified candidates should have significant aerospace history and management experience. The chief historian is responsible for the handling of multiple projects simultaneously and should be willing to travel for conferences, meetings, and research. In addition, a qualified candidate will have an accomplished record of research and writing, a Ph.D. in history or a related field, and live in, or be willing to relocate, the Washington, DC, area.
The work entails significant coordination and cooperation with academic scholars, but is obviously situated in a Government context. The job has great potential to be exciting and influential in public history, aerospace history, and NASA circles.
Further details about the application process are included in the vacancy announcement on the Web sites listed above.
Quantum Services, Inc., is hiring an Archivist at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. This position will be part time, with potential for full time. Responsibilities include: opening and managing a new history office, surveying extant materials, drafting finding aids, compiling bibliographies, answering historical queries, supporting the work of historians, facilitating an oral history program, and helping with various exhibits and publications. The Archivist is expected to work independently, with guidance from the Ames Senior Adviser for History, and in collaboration with records managers, librarians, and media specialists. The Archivist needs to follow best practices as established by the NASA History Office. Responsibilities approximate those of the GS-1420-12 job classification. A qualified candidate should have a ALA-accredited MLS degree or a master’s degree in an appropriate field of history, plus substantial archival experience. Experience with federal and scientific records is a plus, and computer skills are essential. This is an Equal Opportunity Employment position. To apply, send resume as a Word or PDF file attachment to: Quantum Services Project Office, email@example.com.
In conjunction with NASA’s Glenn Research Center, the NASA History Office is planning a one-day public conference entitled “Realizing the Dream of Flight.” It will take place in the auditorium of the Great Lakes Science Center, 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44114, on 5 November 2003.
The conference is a centennial of flight event cosponsored by the Great Lakes Science Center; History Associates of Case Western Reserve University; Department of History, Cleveland State University; The Western Reserve Historical Society, a Smithsonian affiliate; the International Women’s Air and Space Museum; and the Tuskeegee Airmen association.
The three panels for the conference will feature approximately 12 presentations by leading historians including Tom Crouch, Roger Launius, William Leary, and Roger Bilstein on key American aviation and space pioneers of the last century such as Wernher von Braun, Amelia Earhart, Robert Gilruth, Donald Douglas, and Bessie Coleman.
Concept to Reality: Contributions of the Langley Research Center to the U.S. Civil Aircraft of the 1990s (NASA SP-2002-4529, 2002) by Joseph R. Chambers. It is a companion to Partners in Freedom: Contributions of the Langley Research Center to Military Aircraft of the 1990s (SP-2000-4519). This substantial monograph is free to the public and available by sending a self-addressed 9”x12"envelope with appropriate postage for 17 ounces (typically $3.95 within the U.S., $5.70 for Canada, and $12.15 for overseas - international customers can purchase U.S. postage through an outlet such as www.stampsonline.com) to the NASA Headquarters Information Center, Code CI-4, Washington, DC 20546.
The Spoken Word: Recollections of Dryden History, The Early Years, edited by Curtis Peebles (Monograph in Aerospace History #30, NASA SP-2003-4530). This interesting and informative set of oral history interviews, conducted by the Dryden History Office, covers the time period from the arrival of Walt Williams and the first group of NACA engineers at Muroc in 1946 to NASA's inception in 1958. It includes interviews with Walt Williams, Scott Crossfield, Betty Love, and others. This monograph is available by sending a self-addressed 8"x11" flat-rate Priority Mail envelope, stamped for 17 ounces, to the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center History Office, Building 4800, Mail Stop 1613, P.O. Box 273, Edwards, CA 93523.
Thinking About NASA History folder. This folder contains materials aimed at familiarizing scientists and engineers with the manner and process in which NASA History materials are created. The materials also provide a good example of historical models and thought processes for historians not familiar with NASA. To request a free copy, call (202) 358-0384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
American X-Vehicles: An Inventory – X-1 to X-50 (SP-2003-4531) by Dennis R. Jenkins, Tony Landis, and Jay Miller. This is a short but illustrated and very informative monograph about experimental aircraft. It is free to the public and available by sending a self-addressed 9"x12"envelope with appropriate postage for 17 ounces (typically $3.95 within the U.S., $5.70 for Canada, and $12.15 for overseas - international customers can purchase U.S. postage through an outlet such as www.stampsonline.com) to the NASA Headquarters Information Center, Code CI-4, Washington, DC 20546.
The Wind and Beyond: Journey into the History of Aerodynamics in America; Volume I: The Ascent of the Airplane (NASA SP-2003-4409) edited by James R. Hansen. This will be the first volume of a six-volume historical reference work that will be an aeronautics companion to the highly regarded Exploring the Unknown series of documentary volumes on space flight. This book is expected fall 2003.
Wilbur and Orville Wright: A Chronology Commemorating the Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of Orville Wright, August 19, 1871 (NASA SP-2003-4532, 2003), compiled by Arthur G. Renstrom. This is a reprint of the 1971 edition of the chronology which includes a flight log and a diary of significant events and accomplishments involving the Wright brothers. It is slated for distribution in September 2003.
Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket, 1958-2002 (NASA SP-2003-4230, 2003) by Virginia P. Dawson and Mark D. Bowles. This project history uses the Centaur as a case study in how technological knowledge has advanced, over the history of NASA, discusses the nature and development of technological R&D, and analyzes the role of technology transfer in the aerospace arena. This book also features an accompanying DVD, full of interesting and relevant media on the Centaur. The Centaur is a liquid hydrogen and oxygen fueled upper stage rocket that maintains shape through pressurization. This book should be published early this fall.
NASA’s Nuclear Frontier: the Plum Brook Research Reactor (NASA SP-2003-4532), by Mark Bowles, is a short, heavily illustrated monograph about this unique Glenn Research Center facility. It is scheduled for distribution in October 2003.
Crafting Flight: Early Aircraft Pioneers and the Story of the Contributions of the Men and Women of NASA Langley Research Center (SP-2003-4316, 2003) by James Schultz. This is an updated reprint of the 1980s Winds of Change, an illustrated Center history. This book is slated for publication this fall.
Single Stage to Orbit: Politics, Space Technology, and the Quest for Reusable Rocketry by Andrew J. Butrica. This book details the evolution of the single stage to orbit concept. It is part of the John Hopkins University New Series in NASA History and will be published in November 2003.
Dyna-Soar: Hypersonic Strategic Weapons System by Robert Godwin. Godwin chronicles the Dyna-Soar project’s more than twenty-year history, from World War II to cancellation in 1963. Included with the book is a DVD with video footage of the Dyna-Soar pressure suit and simulator testing. This book may be purchased from CG Publishing at http://www.cgpublishing.com/dynasoar.htm on the Web.
The Thinking About NASA History folder is now available at http://history.nasa.gov/thinking/index.html on the Web. This folder contains materials aimed at familiarizing scientists and engineers with the manner and process in which NASA History materials are created. The materials also provide a good example of historical models and thought processes for historians not familiar with NASA.
A number of categories and images for the Great Images in NASA (GRIN) website have been added throughout summer 2003. Some of the categories and images include: Apollo 1, Center Directors, Challenger (STS-51L), Columbia (STS-107), Communication Satellites, Earth Science and Weather Satellites, Early Aerospace Pioneers, NASA Administrators, NASA Deputy Administrators, Space Station Concepts, and Women. We are continually adding to the wealth of information on this site. The GRIN site may be accessed by visiting http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/ on the Web.
The History Office is in the process of adding an anniversary forecast to the NASA History website. This feature will include an updated list of all major space-related anniversaries for the upcoming three-month period. Look for a link from http://history.nasa.gov/anniv.htm to the new page and in an upcoming issue of News and Notes.
The NASA History Office is also pleased to announce a major new Web site, the Apollo 16 Flight Journal, by David Woods and Tim Brandt. It is now on-line at http://history.nasa.gov/ap16fj on the Web.
Publications from the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) are available at http://www.wws.princeton.edu/ota/ns20/legacy_n.html on the Web. The OTA closed on 29 September 1995 after 23 years of service, and responsibility for publishing extensive reports for Congress on complex scientific and technological issues.
NASA has had a number of centennial activities since the last newsletter and many more are planned.
Through 18 August, a Centennial of Flight exhibit is on display at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Over 150,000 visitors a day stop by to view it.
The main centennial exhibit was featured at Inventing Flight in Dayton, Ohio, and at EAA Airventure 2003, attended by over 770,000 people. In addition to the exhibits and NASA aircraft was the unveiling of the Dryden sponsored Robert McCall mural “Celebrating a 100 Years of Powered Flight: 1903-2003.” This mural highlights significant aircraft over the last century of flight. In conjunction with the unveiling of the mural, a new poster depicting the mural has been released.
On 1 August, “Aerospace Design” a collaborative exhibit with the Art Institute of Chicago and NASA debuted. Academy award winning actor Gary Sinise was the keynote speaker at the exhibit preview. This exhibit highlighting art in aerospace design will run through 8 February 2004 at the Art Institute of Chicago. From there it will travel, over the next three years, to Washington, DC, and across the country. The book corresponding to the exhibit will be available for general release in mid September.
Wolf Trap presents Face of America 2003:A Celebration of Flight on 6 September 2003. In addition to honorary host Senator John Warner, the following people will co-host: Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, Secretary of the Air Force James Roche, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, National Park Service Director Fran Mainella, National Air and Space Museum Director John R. Dailey, Tuskegee Airman Colonel Charles McGee, and the Wright brother’s great-niece Amanda Wright Lane. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin has agreed to be the spokesperson.
The National Air Tour, celebrating the Golden Age of Aviation, will consist of approximately 33 rare and vintage aircraft following a 4,000-mile route and visiting 26 cities. On 20 September 2003, the National Air Tour will be at the First Flight Airstrip with the planes in a circle around the base of the Wright Brothers National Memorial. On 21 September 2003, the National Air Tour will be in Richmond, Virginia, and then Dulles International Airport, in the metropolitan Washington DC area. The tour will stop at Dayton, Ohio, as well. These stops will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this collection of historic aircraft. More information is available at http://www.nationalairtour.org/ on the Web.
From 17-20 October 2003 Sci Trek Museum of Science in Atlanta, Georgia, will be hosting the Microsoft Wright Flyer Simulator that provides a computerized simulation of the first powered flight. Visitors will be able to “pilot” the simulator by utilizing hand levers and a shifting hip mechanism while observing the Earth from above on a panoramic projection screen. Information about this event is available at http://www.scitrek.org/VisitorInfo/Calendar.asp?authID=1153603456 on the Web.
A centennial exhibit will be featured at the Los Angles County Fair in September, Shorefest in Long Beach, California, 3-5 October, and at the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk 12-17 December.
The Outer Banks History Center in Manteo, North Carolina is the latest venue for the NASA Art exhibit “Pushing the Limits: Aviation Flight Research as Seen Through the NASA Art Program,” and will open 24 August and run through the end of the year.
These are only a few of the Activities NASA will be participating in and undertaking over the next few months in celebration of the centennial of powered flight.
The U.S. Air Force’s Centennial of Flight Office has conducted many centennial of flight activities and has many planned for later this year. These include the Tournament of Roses parade; numerous fly-overs; Tattoo in San Antonio, Texas; Air Power; an 18,000 square foot exhibit; the Coca Cola 600 Air Force NASCAR racing car; art exhibits and many other activities. Details are available on the Air Force site at http://www.centennialofflight.af.mil/ on the Web.
There has been an increased amount of international interest in the Centennial celebration. To date, the Centennial of Flight Commission has been contacted and/or is working with individuals and organizations in the following countries: Canada, Britain, Australia, Korea, Argentina, Norway, China, Italy, Israel, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, Spain, New Zealand, Germany, Brazil, France, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Russia, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, and Costa Rica, among others. The Commission is in the process of finalizing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Yugoslavia, and already has an MOA with The Royal Aeronautical Society in Britain and the Crown Agents Stamp Bureau.
The History Office recently received and added to its holdings several video tapes of Columbia Accident Investigation Board press conferences and briefings; annual and semi-annual reports of the Office of Inspector General (IG), 1978-2003; annual plans, strategic plans, and performance plans of the IG’s Office from various years; and an interview with former Headquarters assistant administrator Wes Huntress.
Processing of the White House Collection and the Propulsion Files is ongoing. The White House Collection, 1958 to present, includes NASA reports to the White House, information on the National Space Council, President’s Science Advisory Committee, Office of Science and Technology Policy, material on each Presidential Administration, and Administration transition files. The Propulsion Files, ca. 1952 to present, include information on general topics as well as material on liquid, solid, nuclear, and other forms of propulsion.
Scanning activity has resumed with work beginning on the Administrator’s chron files, 1962 to 1999. Selected years that lend themselves well to scanning will be digitized; other copies (primarily onion skins) will be maintained in hardcopy form in the History Office. The electronic copies will be available for use in the History Office Online Catalog, a system (database) only accessible in house with a staff-provided user ID and password.
The Space History Division of the National Air and Space Museum anticipates filling a GS 11/12 curatorial position in the fall time frame. Further details about this position are forthcoming. Please email Roger Launius at Launiusr@nasm.si.edu if you have questions. Please stay tuned to www.usajobs.opm.gov for the formal announcement.
The National Air and Space Museum offers the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History. Senior scholars with distinguished records of publication that are working on, or anticipate working on, books in aerospace history are invited to write letters of interest for the academic year 2005-2006. The Lindbergh Chair is a one-year appointed position; support is available for replacement of salary and benefits up to a maximum of $100,000 a year. Please email Dr. Dom Pisano PisanoD@nasm.si.edu or contact the Aeronautics Division, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560 for more information.
The National Air and Space Museum also offers the A. Verville Fellowship. The fellowship is open to all interested candidates with demonstrated skills in writing and research. The fellowship does not require candidates to have advanced degrees in history, engineering, or related fields. The 12-month fellowship includes a $45,000 stipend and limited reimbursement for travel and miscellaneous expenses. Interested individuals should visit http://www.nasm.si.edu/nasm/joinnasm/fellow/fellow.htm on the Web for more information.
National Air and Space Museum also offers the Guggenheim fellowship. The fellowship is open to pre or post-doctoral researchers interested in aviation and space history. It is a competitive 3-12 month residence fellowship, which offers a $20,000 stipend for pre-doctoral candidates and a $30,000 stipend for post-doctoral candidates, as well as limited funds for travel and miscellaneous expenses. Interested individuals should visit http://www.nasm.si.edu/nasm/joinnasm/fellow/fellow.htm on the Web for more information.
Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly seeks space history articles on any facet of space history. Quest currently features space history articles related to technology, international programs, human flight, robotic exploration, military programs, space museums and archives, space business, oral histories and interviews, culture and media relations, and space history book reviews. For information, contact Quest editor Dr. Stephen Johnson at 719-487-9833, email@example.com, or visit Quest at http://www.spacebusiness.com/quest on the Web.
The Canadian Journal of Space Exploration publishes papers of an innovative yet practical nature relating to the exploration and development of space. It invites submissions in the following fields of study: astro/exobiology, small bodies, atmospheric research, life support systems, analog studies, planetary geology, astronomy and astrophysics, space law and policy, public outreach and education, and Canadian space history. Inquiries or completed submissions should be sent to: Chandra Clarke, Canadian Journal of Space Exploration, 4 Sherman St., Thamesville, Ontario, N0P 2K0 Canada, e-mail Chandra@scribendi.com, or fax 801-469-6206.
The SCMS Caucus on Class is calling for papers for a panel on the topic "Media and the New Cold War." Possible topics may focus on TV and online media activism, pro-war advertising, contemporary war films, media war profiteering, and the U.S. vs. international media. The deadline for paper submission is 15 August 2003. For more information please see http://www.cinemastudies.org on the Web.
Special thanks to our summer staff, Amber Pezan, Katrina Thompson, and Jennifer Troxell. Amber Pezan was a summer contractor and will be attending law school at the University of Notre Dame in the fall. Amber worked on the Great Images in NASA (GRIN) website. Katrina Thompson is a National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) intern, and will be returning to the State University of New York, Stoneybrook, where she is a Ph.D. candidate in History. Katrina worked on the GRIN site as well as a number of archival and publishing projects. Jennifer Troxell is a NASA summer intern and will be a NASA Stay-in-School student this fall when she returns to American University to continue work on a master’s degree in political science. Jennifer works on the GRIN site, history information requests, the history website, the history newsletter, and a number of research projects.
The History Channel will be airing the documentary FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION based on the book by Gene Kranz on 24 August at 9:00 pm ET/PT.
The next meeting of the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission will be a joint meeting with the First Flight Centennial Federal Advisory Board. It will be held 9 September 2003 in Washington, DC.
The first International Conference on the History of Records and Archives (I-CHORA) will be held 2-4 October 2003 at the Faculty of Information Studies at University of Toronto. Forty scholars and practicing professionals have been invited to present papers and discuss recent works, theoretical perspectives, needs and opportunities for research in the area of the history of records, record-keeping, and archives. For registration and program details, please visit the conference web page at http://www.fis.utoronto.ca/research/i-chora/home.html on the Web.
The Society for the History of Technology annual meeting will be held 16-19 October 2003 at the Sheraton Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia. This will be a joint meeting with the Society for the Social Studies of Science. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see http://shot.press.jhu.edu/annual.htm on the Web.
The History of Science Society’s 2003 annual meeting will be held 20-23 November 2003 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information please visit http://www.hssonline.org/meeting/mf_annual.html on the Web.