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.




Drankham, La Vona Gebb


bulk 1968-1983


Juanita Gebb Acha, Gift, 2013


0.18 Cubic feet ((1 box))


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Collection descriptions

Archival materials



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."




Motion pictures (visual works)


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Topics Astronautics
Space stations


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

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

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