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Author Topic:   San Diego Air & Space: Atlas imagery archive
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 32609
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-21-2013 05:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
San Diego Air and Space Museum release
Museum Receives Rare Historic Atlas Rocket Film Collection — Only One of its Kind in the World

Unique films document many of America’s space missions

The San Diego Air & Space Museum received a historic Atlas space launch vehicle film collection donation from Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance (ULA), totaling approximately 3,000 reels of 16-millimeter film. The collection is being digitized by the Museum and will be made available online for worldwide public access. In addition to the film, $50,000 to preserve and catalog this collection was provided to the Museum by Lockheed Martin and ULA, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company that designs, builds and launches the Atlas and Delta rockets that deliver critical missions for the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and other commercial customers.

The Atlas film collection includes interviews and lectures by early rocket pioneers, such as Krafft Ehricke, known as the "Father of the Atlas;" James Dempsey, who headed development of the original Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program; and Dr. Charles Draper, known as the "Father of Inertial Navigation." Films of both presidential and early astronaut visits to Atlas facilities are included, as are films documenting many of America's most historic space missions. The collection includes data, photographs, and film of virtually every launch over more than 50 years of the Atlas program. Virtually every aspect of the program is captured, including images of the vehicle, the design, development, test facilities, operational sites, and the men and women who made this era of spaceflight possible.

"Lockheed Martin is honored to continue to partner with the San Diego Air & Space Museum to help preserve the historical role of these heritage space technologies and monumental achievements," said John Karas, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company's vice president of Business Development. "Historical lessons learned, missions accomplished, and frontiers reached support and inspire us today as Lockheed Martin and others take on new challenging missions such as building and launching spacecraft that will travel to Mars and study the Martian atmosphere, rendezvous and return samples from an asteroid, and carry humans into space as part of our Nation's next generation of human spaceflight."

San Diego is the birthplace of the original Atlas ICBM, one of America's air and space "giants." Designed, developed and manufactured in San Diego by the Convair, and, later, the Space Systems Division of General Dynamics Corporation, Atlas provided an effective Cold War deterrent in its initial role as America's first ICBM, and later served as a reliable and more powerful space launch vehicle for sending America's first astronauts into Earth orbit. Atlas launched the first satellite to project a human voice from space in 1958, broadcasting a message to Earth from President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Atlas also launched the Surveyor moon missions, which provided the foundation for Apollo human exploration voyages, as well as Mariner missions to Mars and the outer planets, critical national security missions, weather and climate monitoring satellites, and vital communications and navigation satellites such as today's Global Positioning Satellite system.

Lockheed Martin Corporation's heritage companies include the General Dynamics Space Systems division that was originally headquartered in San Diego, CA, where over 500 Atlas ICBM and space launch vehicles were designed and built. In 1994, the space division was acquired by Martin Marietta and the following year Martin Marietta joined Lockheed to form Lockheed Martin. Following this merger Lockheed Martin donated a significant archive of historic photos and films to the Museum. The records gained at that time constituted an unprecedented historic treasure, consisting of 165,000 Atlas images, as well as 77,750 Convair aircraft images and 3,500 corporate images. The film collection most recently acquired complements the earlier Atlas collection donation.

ULA was formed in December 2006 by Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company and provides the nation assured access to space on its Atlas and Delta launch vehicles. Since it was formed, ULA has launched 75 consecutive, successful missions – 32 of which were Atlas V launches.

"United Launch Alliance is very proud to make this priceless collection of Atlas history available to the museum and the public," said Matthew Smith, ULA's vice president of engineering and information technology. "This history of the Atlas rocket is remarkable and a testament to our nation's resilience in leading the world into space." Smith, who began his career with the Atlas program in 1983 as an engineer for the Convair division of General Dynamics, added that it also is gratifying to be launching the evolved version of the rocket – the Atlas V.

"Over more than 50 years, Atlas has played a critical role in defending our country, furthering our knowledge of the universe and supporting human spaceflight. United Launch Alliance continues the tradition of excellence, delivering many of the nation's most critical and prized assets into space on Atlas V as well as our Delta family of launch vehicles."

Katrina Pescador, Director of the Library & Archives at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, said she was most pleased to receive this important, one-of-a-kind collection. "It is especially noteworthy, and captures a very important and remarkable period of San Diego's air and space history. It is a perfect complement and companion to the historic photos and films Lockheed Martin donated to the Museum in 1994. Once digitized, we expect there will be a high level of researcher interest, worldwide, and will significantly broaden our online successes."


Posts: 376
From: Delray Beach Florida USA
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 11-21-2013 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow. I believe I could watch the whole collection!


Posts: 1355
From: Huntington Beach
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 11-25-2013 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reminds me of a bit of NBA trivia I recently revisited. The Houston Rockets were born in San Diego as the San Diego Rockets. The rocket they are named after is the Atlas. There is your NBA Space Trivia of the week.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 32609
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-25-2015 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
San Diego Air & Space Museum release
Museum Receives Grant to Catalog Atlas Missile...

Museum's Library & Archives received a two-year Federal grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) which will provide access to more than 165,000 images.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum received a $99,000 grant to process and catalog 165,000 historic photo negatives from the Atlas missile and space launch systems that were built designed, developed, tested and manufactured by the Convair/General Dynamics Corporation in San Diego. Designed as a Cold War deterrent, the Atlas was the nation's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). With over 500 successful launches, it is still used today as a space launch vehicle.

The two-year Federal grant was awarded to the San Diego Air & Space Museum's Library & Archives Department by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) on behalf of the National Archives and Records Administration. In addition to processing and cataloging 165,000 images, 50,000 of them will be digitized and placed online.

"The Atlas program was a critical component of the advancement of aerospace industry, and digitizing this collection of images is essential to unlocking its full historic potential and ensuring its long term survivability," said Jim Kidrick, president of the San Diego Air & Space Museum. "Receiving this grant from the NHPRC is a direct reflection of the excellent and historically important work being conducted by our Museum's Library & Archives."

The Atlas digitization process is a continuation of the Museum's Library & Archives ongoing Great Explorations: Increasing Access to Our Aerospace Heritage program. Through the digitization of the records from the Museum's one-of-a-kind Convair/General Dynamics Atlas collection, Great Explorations will greatly advance research into the history of America's national defense, the space program, the development of the aerospace industry, and the Cold War.

As ICBM technology advanced and the Atlas was no longer considered cutting-edge as a missile, it found a new life, a life perhaps even more important to history: It was modified and used as a space launch vehicle for the last four manned missions of Project Mercury, the first U.S. manned space program, which included the first American, John Glenn, to orbit the earth.

When Lockheed-Martin purchased the Convair/General Dynamics Space Systems Division in 1993, they acquired the nation's most reliable space launch vehicle, the Atlas, but did not have much use for the records of its earlier heritage. Lockheed-Martin eventually donated the records documenting the Atlas heritage to the San Diego Air & Space Museum. The records gained by SDASM constitute a potential historic national treasure.

Once completed, the digitized materials will be available for viewing on the Museum library's Flickr site. In addition, select images will be uploaded into a shared online portal, the Balboa Park Commons. Links to the digital images also will be added to the existing finding guide for the Convair/General Dynamics corporate papers, which will soon be uploaded to the Museum's library online catalog system, Aerocat.

In 2013 the Museum began digitizing film on the Atlas history donated by Lockheed-Martin and United Launch Alliance. Of the 3,000 reels donated by the two companies, over 1,000 have been digitized and placed online on the Museum's YouTube site.

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