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Robert J. Parks Collection, 1945-1966.

Author: Robert J ParksLouis G DunnWilliam H PickeringHoward S SeifertDean W WooldridgeAll authors
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The items in the collection were collected by Robert J. Parks. Parks' career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) lasted from 1947 to 1987. During the span dates of the collection, Parks served as an Engineer in the Guidance and Control Section (1947-50), Chief of the Guidance Section and its various incarnations (1950-60), Project Director of the Sergeant Missile Program (1957-60), and Flight Projects Director
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Details

Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Archival Material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Robert J Parks; Louis G Dunn; William H Pickering; Howard S Seifert; Dean W Wooldridge; James C Fletcher; Jack N James; Phil A Tardani; Frank W Lehan; Robert M Stewart; Eberhardt Rechtin; Benn D Martin; Clarence R Gates; William D Merrick; Albert R Hibbs; TRW, Inc.; Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation.; Bell Aircraft Company.; Boeing Aircraft Company.; Ryan Aeronautical Company.; Hughes Aircraft Company.; North American Aviation.; Glenn L. Martin Company.; Northrop Aircraft Company.; Sperry Utah Engineering Laboratory.
OCLC Number: 733100235
Description: 1.2 cubic ft. (74 folders)
Contents: Series 1. Contract JPL-15 --
series 2. JPL Reports --
series 3. Journal Reprints --
series 4. Flight Projects --
series 5. Deep Space Network --
series 6. Miscellaneous.

Abstract:

The items in the collection were collected by Robert J. Parks. Parks' career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) lasted from 1947 to 1987. During the span dates of the collection, Parks served as an Engineer in the Guidance and Control Section (1947-50), Chief of the Guidance Section and its various incarnations (1950-60), Project Director of the Sergeant Missile Program (1957-60), and Flight Projects Director (1961-84).

Represented in the collection are correspondence, reports, journal reprints, handwritten notes, brochures, and photographs. The collection is divided into six series: Contract JPL-15, JPL Reports, Journal Reprints, Flight Projects, Deep Space Network, and Miscellaneous. The bulk of the collection is between 1948-1961. Each series is filed chronologically unless otherwise noted.

At a conference held at Wright Field, Ohio in May 1948, the U.S. Air Force Air Materiel Command assigned JPL a project to evaluate and assess the guidance and control of guided missile projects underway at eight different contractors. This project, Contract W33-038-AC-18709, was known as JPL-15.

The eight contractors (and their missiles) that were evaluated were: Bell Aircraft Company (MX-776 Shrike/Rascal), Boeing Aircraft Company (MX-606 Ground-to-Air Pilotless Aircraft [GAPA]), Ryan Aeronautical Company (MX-799 Firebird), Hughes Aircraft Company (MX-904 Tiamat), University of Michigan (MX-794 Wizard), North American Aviation Company (MX-770 NATIV), Glenn L. Martin Company (MX-771A Matador) and Northrop Aircraft Company (MX-775B Snark).

The first evaluation, Bell Aircraft Company, began in June 1948. Robert Parks was one of the engineers who traveled to the contractor sites to consult with engineers on the various projects. In December 1948 he traveled to Seattle to visit Boeing. In April 1949 he traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to evaluate the University of Michigan. Immediately after this he went to Baltimore to the Glenn L. Martin Company.

The majority of the series is comprised of handwritten notes. Also included in the series are memoranda, correspondence and travel forms. A majority of the memoranda in the series were originally marked as "Secret," but have all been declassified.

Also prominent in the series are three documents that are key in the formation of the Deep Space Network. The "Radio Astronomy Handbook," dated February 1958 and written by William D. Merrick, is a working handbook in the development of the Deep Space Network. Included in the handbook is a complete list of all existing observatories and their locations, along with short profiles of companies that could be contracted in assisting JPL personnel to construct radio astronomy antennas.

"A Study of On-Site Computing and Data Processing for a World Tracking Network," JPL Publication 155, was dated February 9, 1959 and written by Clarence R. Gates and Marshall S. Johnson. It is a study formulating the requirements for operations to be performed on tracking or antenna-acquisition data at the individual sites of what was then called a World Tracking Network.

The "South African Trip Report" is a travel report by Jack N. James and Phil A. Tardini on their trip to the Union of South Africa as a potential site for a NASA Deep Space Station. James, Tardini, and two other NASA personnel were in South Africa from September 26 to October 5, 1959. The group met with officials from the National Institute for Telecommunications Research (NITR), a unit of the South African government's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The objectives were to narrow potential sites based on geographical, topological and logistical considerations; a discussion of a possible agreement with South African officials; and to gather general information on South Africa. Each of the three objectives is given adequate discussion in the report. Also in the report are summaries of briefings and topographical maps of possible site locations.

DSS 51, a 26-meter L and S-band antenna, located at Hartbeesthoek, outside of Johannesburg, became operational in June 1961. The station ceased operations for the DSN in June 1974, due officially to changing requirements for planetary flight programs. The antenna was transferred to NITR, which configured it for radio astronomy research that continues to the present day.

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Linked Data


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