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


Processing Information

Additional material: This collection consists only of the interview transcripts, not the tapes. The tapes are housed in the National Air and Space Museum Department of Space History.


DeVorkin, David H., 1944-




Space History, NASM, Transfer, 1999, 1999-0034, Varies


3.59 Cubic feet (19 boxes)


The collection consists of the transcripts for the Space Astronomy Oral History Project (SAOHP), which examined the early use of rockets and satellites to study the upper atmosphere and space for the period 1946 through the early 1960s. This project constitutes one of several oral history projects conducted within the Department of Space History, NASM. The principal investigator for the SAOHP was David H. DeVorkin, and the interview set contains 225 hours of interviews with 56 individuals. The central thread of this collection is how the availability of new technologies for research, first the rocket and later satellites, helped to create a new social matrix for research. The following were interviewed: Jules Aaron; Ball Brothers; William Baum, William Behring; Jay Bergstrahl; Richard Bleach; William Brunk; Arthur Code; Jerry Conner; Frank Drake; William Fastie; Lorence Fraser; Herbert Friedman; Phyllis Frier; Robert Frosch; George Gianoplis; Thomas Gold; Leo Goldberg; Martin Harwit; Ralph Havens; Albert Hibbs; Noel Hinners; Hans Hinteregger; Charles Johnson; Francis Johnson; Adolph Jursa; Henry Kondracki; Ernst Krause; Alfred Nier; Gerry Neugebauer; Werner Neupert; Ray Newburn; Gordon Newkirk; Edward Ney; Charles O'Dell; William Pickering; Richard Porter; James Purcell; William Rense;Walter Roberts; Nancy Roman; Milton Rosen; Dan Scheiderman; Ronald Schorn; Martin Schwarzschild; Richard Silberstein; John Simpson; Lyman Spitzer; Kaj Strand; Nelson Spencer; John Strong; Gerald Tape; Clyde Tombaugh; Richard Tousey; Mona Tycz; James Van Allen; Gerald Wasserburg; James Webb; James Westphal; Charles Whitsett; Fred Wilshusen; and George Withbroe.


The audio cassette tapes of these interviews have yet to be remastered and, due to their fragility, are unavailable to researchers. Transcripts are available to researchers though, there are restrictions placed on a number of them. A NASM staff member will advice the patron which transcripts are available for copying or viewing and how to order copies of transcripts and/or CDs.


Collection descriptions

Archival materials


Arrangement note

The Space Astronomy Oral History Project interviews are arranged alphabetically by interviewee.

Scope and Contents

Audio cassettes and transcipts.




Permissions Requests


National Air and Space Museum (U.S.). Division of Space History

Space Astronomy Oral History Project (SAOHP) (U.S.)

Aaron, Jules

Baum, William

Behring, William

Bergstralh, Jay T.

Bleach, Richard

Brunk, William Edward, 1928-

Code, Arthur D.

Connor, Jerry

DeVorkin, David H., 1944-

Drake, Frank D.

Fastie, William

Fraser, Lorence

Friedman, Herbert

Frier, Phyllis

Frosch, Robert

Gianoplis, George

Gold, Thomas

Goldberg, Leo

Harwit, Martin, 1931-

Hibbs, Albert R.

Hinners, Noel W.

Hinteregger, Hans H.

Johnson, Charles Yothers, 1920-

Johnson, Francis

Jursa, Adolph S.

Kondracki, Henry

Krause, Ernst H.

Neugebauer, G. (Gerry)

Neupert, Werner

Newburn, R. L. (Ray L.)

Newkirk, Gordon Allen, 1928-

Ney, Edward

Nier, Alfred

O'Dell, Charles

Pickering, William

Porter, Richard W. (Richard William), 1913-1996

Purcell, J. DeWitt (James DeWitt), 1912-1986

Rense, William

Roberts, Walter

Roman, Nancy Grace, 1925-

Rosen, Milton W.

Scheiderman, Dan

Schorn, Ronald

Schwarzschild, Martin

Silberstein, Richard

Simpson, John A. (John Alexander), 1916-

Spencer, Nelson

Spitzer, Lyman, 1914-

Strand, K. Aage (Kaj Aage), 1907-

Strong, John

Tape, Gerald

Tombaugh, Clyde William, 1906-

Tousey, Richard, 1908-1997

Tycz, Mona

Van Allen, James Alfred, 1914-

Wasserburg, Gerald

Webb, James E. (James Edwin), 1906-

Westphal, James

Whitsett, Charles

Wilshusen, Fred

Withbroe, G. L. (George L.)

Topics Rockets (Aeronautics)
Atmosphere, Upper -- Rocket observations
Artificial satellites


Space Astronomy Oral History Project, Acc. 1994-0034, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

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