Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

David H. DeVorkin (1944- ) is a curator in the National Air and Space Museum's Space History Department. This collection of photographs was compiled by DeVorkin while researching for his 1992 book, 'Science with a Vengeance', which documents early rocket technology from the 1940s onwards. This book traces the exploration of the upper atmosphere with ballistic missiles systems, particularly the V-2. The first part of the book deals with the military context of upper atmospheric research: the military interest in seeing that such work was being done, the formation of appropriate groups in military labs capable of doing the work, and the development of the technical and managerial infrastructure requred to get the work done. The later half of the book examines the specific problems each scientific group addressed, including the technical, professional and managerial obstacles they faced as they explored the use of rockets for studying the sun, cosmic rays, the upper atmosphere, and the ionosphere.




DeVorkin, David H., 1944-



bulk 1942-1948


David H. DeVorkin, transfer, 1994, 1994-0056, unknown


2.93 Cubic feet (7 legal document boxes)


No restrictions on access


Collection descriptions

Archival materials




Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised primarily of photographs showing the manufacture and test launching of V-2 missiles, both in Germany and in the United States (White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico) during and after World War II. There are also images of the facilities at Peenemunde and American confiscation of the technology. American projects documented include: Aerobee rockets, Project Blossom, and Viking rockets. There are also photographs of various instruments and technical graphs and charts. The photographs are black and white, except for approximately 40 color images (prints and 35mm color slides). A number of 4 x 5 inch copy negatives, 8 x 10 inch negatives, one glass lantern slide, some recent correspondence and several newspaper/magazine clippings are also included in the collection. Some of the sources from which the photographs were obtained include: the Applied Physics Laboratory; William Baum; the Deutsches Museum; William Dow and Nelson Spencer of the University of Michigan; Charles Johnson, Frances Johnson, Ernst Krause, and Richard Tousey of the Naval Research Laboratory; U.S. Air Force Air Materiel Command; and the University of Colorado.






Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests


Project Blossom (U.S.)

DeVorkin, David H., 1944-

Topics V-2 rocket
Launch complexes (Astronautics) -- Peenemunde, Germany
Launch complexes (Astronautics) -- White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico
Rockets (Aeronautics)
Aerobee rockets
Viking rocket

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Finding Aid Online Finding Aid