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Alfred Koestler (1934-2014) was born in Kelheim, Germany. He studied engineering for two years at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, before attending Baylor University, Texas, where he received his doctorate in experimental and industrial psychology. Koestler conducted aerospace medical research for the United States Air Force at Holloman in support of Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. He was a Research Psychologist (Physiological and Experimental) in the Comparative Psychology Division's 6571st Aeromedical Research Laboratory. He worked with comparative-experimental psychology in evaluating behavioral performance in chimpanzees in aerospace and related hazardous environments which posed risks to the military and civilian populations. His most notable work was in space decompression studies. After his work at Holloman, he taught at the University of Texas at El Paso, and then became Director of Psychological Services for Blue Bell, Inc. in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1987 he became Vice President for Human Resources for the US Operations of the Robert Bosch Corporation.




Koestler, Alfred., 934-2014


bulk 1960-1975


Audrey Koestler, Gift, 2015


2.5 Cubic feet ((8 boxes))


No restrictions on access.


Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Lantern slides

Photographic prints


Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 2.5 cubic feet relating to to Dr. Alfred Koestler's research relating to behavioral performance of chimpanzees in aerospace environments, particularly regarding space decompression. The following types of material are included: black and white photography; color prints and slides; newspaper articles; Ham and Enos ink footprints; over 140 4 by 3.25 inch glass-mounted lanterns slides; publications about both the general aeromedical work at Holloman and specifically about the work of Dr. Koestler; and publications authored by Dr. Koestler.


Lantern slides

Photographic prints



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Topics Astronautics
Aviation medicine


Holloman Space Decompression Studies [Koestler], Accession 2015-0011, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

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