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

La Vona Gebb Drankham (1918-2011) graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) in January 1940 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics. During the 1940s Drankham worked for Douglas Aircraft Company and then was hired by North American Aviation Aerophysics Lab (later Rockwell International) in 1949, where she worked for 25 years. Drankham was a Mass Properties Engineer in Advanced Engineering, and was responsible for estimating the weight of a vehicle, the distribution of that weight and the effect that weight has on performance. For several years she was one of the weight engineers on the NASA Apollo spacecraft project. She was also a member of the Space Shuttle Design Team for Rockwell International. She retired from Rockwell in 1974. In 1970 she was awarded the Apollo Achievement Award as a member of the Apollo Team.

Identifier

NASM.2013.0059

Creator

Drankham, La Vona Gebb

Date

bulk 1968-1983

Provenance

Juanita Gebb Acha, Gift, 2013

Extent

0.18 Cubic feet ((1 box))

Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Type

Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Speeches

Reports

Motion pictures (visual works)

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the following items relating to La Vona Gebb Drankham's space engineering career: Nuclear Reactor-Powered Space Station Mass Properties, 1970; Solar-Powered Space Station Mass Properties, 1970; Space Shuttle Mass Properties Status Report, 1973; Space Shuttle Program: Detail Mass Properties Report (Final), Volume 1. Summary, 1971; 1972 Annual Report for North American Rockwell; Apollo 8: First Manned Lunar Flight, color, silent, 8 mm film, December 1968; Apollo 11: Man on the Moon, color, silent 8 mm film, July 1969; Jon A McBride print autographed to Drankham; and a copy of a speech given by her in 1983 entitled "Space Shuttle Benefits."

Genre/Form

Speeches

Reports

Motion pictures (visual works)

Rights

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

Topics Astronautics
Space stations
Mathematicians

Citation

La Vona Gebb Drankham Collection, Accession 2013-0059, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Finding Aid Online Finding Aid