Welcome and thank you for visiting my site. I have been collecting for several years now; primarily motivated by the desire to affiliate and learn more about the U.S. Space Program; to educate, preserve and provide hands-on access to artifacts to youth and institutions, while offering a potential source of reference for others similarly interested. The site and collection reflects interest areas ithe U.S. Manned Space flight program (the Apollo Lunar and affiliated SATURN V, Gemini and Mercury Programs conducted in the 1960's and early 70's); mono/bi-propellant liquid rocket systems (for space application) and flight vehicle technology affiliated with robotic exploration missions to our neighboring Planets and Amateur Astronomy.
My preeminent objective is in the preservation of America’s early space heritage. As such I am proactively engaged in acquisition of spacecraft flight vehicle components, subsystems (both prototype and production representative flight hardware), launch system flight hardware, rocket propulsion systems, models and documentation from the U.S. Space Program.
Since the conclusion of the first U.S. Space programs, much important history has been lost. Unfortunately, with the exception of what resides in national museums, the majority of 1960's era material residual from Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo and robotics missions has been indiscriminately destroyed by NASA, the contractors who engineered and built the hardware and even by some of the museums the artifacts were originally consigned to. A few items were retained by the employees of these organizations but often once the individual passes-on, their family members will also discard the artifacts as they have either no interest or understanding of their historical significance. Museums in the current distressed economic environment are not able to do it all; they tend to target their limited staff and budgetary resources to preserve and display those items which are either major assemblies/complete flight vehicles or items whose function in a given program are easily recognizable by the general populace. In such circumstances, private curators of Space history have a significant role to play. While augmenting formal institutions in their capacity as the principle curators, private collectors of Space program technology artifacts, documents and memorabilia:
- Serve as a supplemental repository and implement best conservatory practices to preserve U.S. Space Heritage (this may include initial condition assessment and as merited cleaning, restoration, tagging), proper storage, and protection.
- In those instances where lost, re-affiliate an understanding of the role the artifact played (as well as its specific functionality) in the overall scope of the program.
- Integrate artifacts in efforts that support advocacy, education and outreach for the US Space Program and expand the experience to include tactile interaction with the items under careful supervision (something not normally permitted in an institution).
- Provide artifacts for study and technical analysis to support back-engineering. The criticality of this was recently demonstrated in Project Constellation and efforts to develop the Ares-1 launch system which was being pursued by NASA as a replacement for the Space Shuttle. The upper stage included an upgraded legacy J-2 engine (Saturn IB and Saturn V heritage). Absent institutional knowledge, Marshall Space Flight Center engineers heavily leveraged Saturn V valves like the examples within my collection for study in order to reconstitute a similar architecture on the new launch system.
Concurrent with curatorship, a major focus of my effort is to establish a persistent presence on the internet to extend virtual access to the artifacts. The internet provides an ideal medium for proliferation of the information conveyed by these pieces and allows for knowledge mining via search engines. Online electronic archiving increases the probability that the data harvested from the people who designed and built the technology, and the artifacts themselves will remain accessible indefinitely.
For those in possession of material from the U.S. Space program, please do consider donation to the collection as a potential option for curatorship of material that would otherwise be relegated to a dumpster or go unappreciated in your absence. If donation is not an option I am prepared to leverage personal funding to support a acquisition. In either case, I will ensure your material continues to communicate the achievements of those who enabled the technology and survive as a lasting monument/testimonial of America’s ability to achieve the impossible.
I encourage you to contact me at the below listed number or either of the email addresses.
Recently retired from active duty as a US Navy Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) C4ISR officer, I am currently employed in Department of Defense federal service. My military carreer spanned 30 years, the first 16 as an enlisted "squid" before receiving an Officer's commission. Prior tours include the Aircraft Carrier USS Forrestal (CV-59), Guided Missile Cruiser USS Belknap (CG-26), a very short stint onboard Battle Ship USS Iowa (BB-61), Tender USS Puget Sound (AD-39), The 3rd Fleet Flagship USS Coronado (AGF-11), (2) NATO tours in Northern Europe, the 6th Fleet Flagship USS Lasalle (AGF-3) the 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), Pearl Harbor Hawaii (Officer in Charge of the Pacific Command Contingency C4I Package). For my final duty station, I had the priviledge of serving as one of the few Navy service representatives with the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) at Fort Huachuca Arizona (approximately 70 miles southeast of Tucson).
Drop me an email or call with comments/questions anytime.