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Acknowledgements

This history was a complex project that evolved over a long period and involved diverse sources and multiple perspectives. In the course of the research and writing, we made many new friends and became indebted to many people. With their help, our understanding became more sophisticated and extensive. Without the advice and advocacy of some of these people, the project never would have reached completion.

This book is based upon work supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under Contract NAS8–36955. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA. Several people at the Marshall Space Flight Center contributed to the project’s success; they include J. R. Thompson, Thomas J. Lee, Wayne Littles, Susan Smith, JD Horne, Bill Ornburn, Bob Phillips, and Bob Sheppard. We owe special thanks to Mike Wright and Annette Tingle for their work in assembling sources, overseeing the review process, and managing our contract from beginning to end. Tom Gates, Sarah McKinley, Jessie Whalen, Alan Grady, Laura Ballentine, and Angela Fanning also helped with sources, interviews, and chronologies. Pamela Vaughn copy edited the manuscript, Halley Little prepared the layout, and Robert Jaques assisted in assembly of the photographs.

In addition, our book would not have been possible without the help of several people from the NASA History Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC; they include Sylvia Fries Kraemer, Lee Saegasser, and J. D. Hunley. Roger Launius, the chief NASA historian throughout most of the project, provided an invaluable intellectual perspective and shepherded the project through many obstacles. Marshall assembled a review panel whose members offered comments on our draft manuscript. The historians on the panel, James Hansen and Roger Bilstein, helped us see the relationships between Marshall’s history and NASA as a whole. The technical reviewers, mainly Marshall veterans and employees, were a rich source of suggestions, corrections, and insights; particularly helpful were James
Kingsbury, George McDonough, and Charles R. Chappell.

We wish to express gratitude to Ernst Stuhlinger for his lengthy comments and detailed suggestions. In addition to the technical reviewers, we benefited from numerous oral history interviews with Marshall and NASA retirees and employees; William Lucas, James Kingsbury, Thomas J. Lee, and Charles R. Chappell, and Ernst Stuhlinger granted us more than one interview that revealed the richness of the Center’s past. We benefited from conversations and comments from several scholars at the National Air and Space Museum; we appreciate the help of Martin Collins, David Devorkin, Robert Smith, and especially Michael Neufeld. Pamela Mack at Clemson University gave us useful comments on preliminary versions of our work. Our research at the Johnson Space Center would not have been successful without the assistance of Janet Kovacevich and Joey Pellarin. In Huntsville, Nick Shields offered us insider insights and plenty of cold drinks. Cathie Dunar gave support and encouragement throughout.

Throughout our project, we received tremendous support from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Among the administrators and staff members who helped at points in the project were John White, Robert Rieder, Michael Spearing, Dan Rochowiak, Glenna Colclough, Jerry Mebane, Sue Kirkpatrick, and Roy Meek. Offering important behind-the-scenes support were Sue Weir, Jack Ellis, and Frank Franz. Throughout the project and often at critical junctures, Ken Harwell and Charles Lundquist gave us sound advice and crucial backing. Several graduate research assistants collected and filed materials; they included Tony Helton, Dan Gleason, Sarah Walker, and especially Jo Gartrell. Beverley Robinson provided assistance whenever we wished, and our colleagues in the History Department at UAH gave us backing and sympathy. During the five years that she worked with us, Sarah Kidd began as a graduate assistant, became our staff assistant, and brought industry, dedication, and levity. Ann Lee began as our staff assistant, abandoned us midstream, but came to our rescue at the end. Finally, and most importantly, we wish to thank our colleague and friend Johanna Shields; at the beginning of the project, she served as principal investigator and even after leaving this position, she continued to offer us wise counsel and encouragement. We are pleased to dedicate the book to her.

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