Upcoming event (Lunch & Learn at NASA/JSC):
Date: Friday, January 27, 2017
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Place: NASA/JSC Gilruth Center Lone Star Room
Subject: Reproducing an Apollo Applications Program Single-Launch Human Venus Flyby Trajectory
Speaker: Daniel R. Adamo, Astrodynamics Consultant
Here is a link to the publicity flyer (PDF). Here is a link to EventBrite web page.
[2016 10 04, October 4, 2016, Sputnik launch date anniversary] [Published here October 1, 2016] Lunch & Learn featuring invited guest speaker James Oberg, Soyuz TMA-19M Launch & Ascent Observations from ISS and Ground & Airborne Observers (Launch: December 15, 2015). Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 04 22, April 22, 2016] [Published here March 13, 2016, updated April 18, 2016 and April 24, 2016] Lunch & Learn Friday, April 22, 2016. Please see the image below (click to zoom). The EventBrite web page link for publicity was excellent as always. As of April 18, 2016, we have 21 attendees on our list, with 12 meals pre-ordered. The BBQ (barbecue) meal was excellent, as always, thanks to Red River BBQ and Red River Catering. I believe I forgot to order the iced tea, but we had no other troubles. Attendance was 24 (pre-event online registration, with 12 meals pre-ordered), including our invited speaker and our event host.
Presentation: Eugen Sänger, from the Silverbird to Interstellar Voyages.
News: (Charts, or slides, from presenters are sometimes included here.)
[2017 02 25] Published here February 25, 2017. Famous Figures: Carl Huss. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 02 22] Published here February 22, 2017. AIAA Houston Section Movie Event: Hidden Figures. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 02 04] Published here February 4, 2017. Congratulations to the New AIAA Region IV Associate Fellows Including Former AIAA Houston Section Chair Michael Oelke. Congratulations to new AIAA Fellow John Valasek of Texas A&M University. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 01 21] Published here January 21, 2017. Pi as a Continued Fraction thanks to Ramanujan? Here is the link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2017 01 02] Published here January 2, 2017. Affirmative Diversity: Goals & Timetables. First in a series by Douglas Yazell, former AIAA Houston Section Editor (2008, 2011-2014) on the subject of diversity, inspired by the AIAA Diversity Working Group. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 18] Published here December 18, 2016. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport, Monthly Wings & Wheels Events Continued for All of 2016, A 2009 AIAA Historic Aerospace Site. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 16] Published here December 16, 2016. Beyond Time: French Caver Michel Siffre and NASA: Born in 1939, Notable Cave Endurance Stays (Science Experiments): 1962, 1972 (in Texas), 2000. Here is a link for the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 12 12] Published here December 12, 2016. McLane Collections Accepted by NASA/JSC. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 11 27] Published here November 27, 2016. Selected 2009-2016 Aerospace Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here is a link to the PDF version of the JPEG image below.
[2016 10 29] Published here October 29, 2016. Gone But Not Forgotten. Robert Anderson “Bob” Hoover, Pilot, 1922 – 2016. AIAA Houston Section member Dr. Patrick Rodi told us about this great loss. Robert “Bob” Hoover, one of the greatest “stick-and-rudder” pilots of all time, has died at 94. See story at,
I was able to witness Bob’s routine in his Shrike Commander on a number of occasions. His mastery of energy management was amazing to watch. The integral of all the world’s piloting skill dropped a few percentage points with his passing. See,
Here is a link to the PDF version of the image below.
[2016 07 04] Published here July 4, 2016. Horizons newsletter archive adds years 1977 – 2004. This AIAA Houston Section Horizons newsletter archive web page is www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter.
[2016 06 27] Published here June 27, 2016. Suddenly Tomorrow Came, the Audiobook. A Ted Kenny project for AIAA Houston Section. From the 1993 book by Henry C. Dethloff, Suddenly Tomorrow Came, a History of the Johnson Space Center. The entire book and one page per chapter of artwork is already published by NASA. How can we add tables, figures, photographs, and captions?
[2016 06 27] Published here June 27, 2016. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum. An AIAA Historic Aerospace Site. The monthly Wings & Wheels event. Here is the link for the website of the museum.
[2016 06 10] Published here June 10, 2016. Joseph Guy Thibodaux, Jr. (November 27, 1921 – April 26, 2016). An AIAA Fellow. AIAA Houston Section Chair 1969 – 1970. A NASA Watch article brought this sad news to us and provided two links, one link for an obituary and one link for an oral history and a biography.
Glenn Jenkinson was Vice Chair Technical when Dr. Garland Bauch was our Section Chair for 2000 – 2001. Glenn supervised starting up a Propulsion technical committee for our Section led by Guy. Our newsletter Horizons will shows Guy in that role on the organization chart, for about two years starting about July 1, 2002. I (Douglas Yazell) attended the initial meeting (in a NASA/JSC building near the back gate) thanks to an invitation from Glenn. Norman Chaffee attended. Quite a few of Guy’s retired engineers attended, including Hubert (Hugh) Brasseaux, my great tennis friend from the Bay Area Racquet Club. Glenn arrived late with cookies he ordered from a grocery store. The cooks were late with that task. Astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz attended, too. For the 2003 – 2004 AIAA year, I was our Section’s Vice Chair Technical, and Guy resigned from that role as Chair of that technical committee. His many members were more interested in hunting and other hobbies once they retired.
I was Vice Chair Technical for 2003-2004, so one of my jobs was being the General Chair of our Section’s Annual Technical Symposium (ATS). We held the event on Friday, April 16, 2004, at NASA/JSC. I called our first in-person planning meeting for Halloween day 2003, October 31, 2003. All of our meetings took place at Mediterraneo Cafe on Upper Bay Road. We met every two weeks for a while, then every week. Ellen Gillespie, Tsutsumi Sophia Bright, Murugan Subramaniam, and more. Others joined our planning group, but a big boost for me was having Norman Chaffee and Guy Thibodaux join our planning meetings. I was a clumsy leader, but I learned some things. That was my introduction to Guy. Chester Vaughan later joined our planning meetings, too. We aimed to find 54 presentations (54 presenters for our 3 concurrent sessions). Only a few weeks before the event, we needed 18 more. Ellen Gillespie at United Space Alliance found Bob Smith (?), a manager who liked AIAA. He ordered all of his team to make presentations, so we found our last 18 presentations. That was ATS 2004. Looking back, we had no ATS the 3 years before ATS 2004, and if I counted correctly (www.aiaahouston.org/history_technical_committee), ATS 2004 was the 25th occurrence of ATS, an anniversary we did not know about at the time. The archive.org website saved related information from our former website, www.aiaa-houston.org. For example, even some presentations (PowerPoint or PDF) can still be found using this link.
ATS 2 took place in 1976. We have no record for now of ATS 1. Our Section started in 1962. Horizons (our Section’s newsletter) probably started in late 1971 or early 1972, and our first archived issue is now a 1977 issue. The name Horizons was not used initially. The only other year to omit ATS was 1997, the year before Dr. George Nield was our Section Chair for a second time; only he has been Section Chair twice.
Two issues of Horizons featuring Guy Thibodaux are mentioned below, so here are those two links. The first link is for the April / May 2013 issue. Here is the link for the high-resolution version of that issue. In fact, that issue refers to the mention of Guy in the July 2010 issue, too, so that link is here. That link fails to use our Horizons directory, so I should update it, but I will probably postpone that. The second link is for the May / June 2014 issue.
Guy Thibodaux will be missed and never forgotten. As I told him once, probably at a 2011 NAL-JSC-hosted climate change meeting at NASA/JSC Gilruth Center, I glanced at his NASA biography and noted that he NASA Exceptional Service Medal (TWICE in 1969!). I told him that was insanely great, or something like that. He modestly replied that NASA handed out a lot of those at the time. I replied that I was so impressed that he won that medal TWICE in the year that people first walked on the Moon! Guy will be missed and and never forgotten.
[NASA Alumni League – Johnson Space Center Chapter (NAL-JSC) organized two climate change meetings; September 2011 and October 2011. See the NAL-JSC website for their link to those charts and a description of the meetings. By 2012, I learned that human-induced climate change requires urgent action, as IPCC’s first Chair Bert Bolin wrote in the conclusion of his 2007 book (A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change: The Role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and as the AGU stated in their updated position statement title in August of 2013.]
[2016 04 18] Published here April 18, 2016. Philippe Mairet and I (Douglas Yazell) just now discovered this NASA history website for the Mercury program. The link leads to a gallery of photographs and much more.
[2016 01 06] AIAA Houston Section dinner meeting of December 3, 2015.
Ethiopian Delegation Visits AIAA Houston Section
[2016 01 02] January 2016. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport, Houston Texas USA. An AIAA Historic Aerospace Site. This web page’s monthly news article about this museum.
[2016 01 02] Published January 2, 2016.
March and June 2015: The 50-Year Anniversary of the First Spacewalks
[2015 12 16] December 16, 2015. Upcoming monthly event (Saturday, December 19, 2015) at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport, an AIAA Historic Aerospace Site.
[2015 12 12] December 12, 2015. News about the causes of the 2011 Texas drought:
[2015 12 02] December 2, 2015 A NASA Alumni League JSC Chapter event: Gemini 7/6 Remembered; A 50th Anniversary Celebration of Gemini 7/6
Gulfgate and the start of NASA in Houston Texas USA
[2015 11 23] November 23, 2015: The 1962 start of the NASA Manned Spaceflight Center (MSC) in Houston, now the Johnson Space Center. It is easy to forget that this is where NASA in Houston started. It was not in the Houston Clear Lake area. Gulfgate. Here is an exact address from a Texas state government document:
Farnsworth & Chambers Building, 2999 S. Wayside, Houston, Harris County, Texas 77023
Below are a few images:
The bottom left image above is the Hal Beck group. See the back cover of the May 2011 issue of Horizons, newsletter of AIAA Houston Section. One of two archives can be found here using this link for www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter. That issue is sometimes called our March / April 2011 issue. The image was published in the NASA JSC Roundup newsletter, but our AIAA caption might have a more complete list of the names of those people.
The upper right image is from a Texas state government FTP website, so to speak. A link is provided here. That is Robert Rowe Gilruth with 6 of the 7 Mercury astronauts.
Michael Oelke provided the other photo this week. A friend of his visited this place recently. The statue on the right is a statue of Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space. A tribute to John Glenn appears in the left side of that photo.
[2015 11 21] November 21, 2015. Mark Boslough, PhD, in the recent issue of The Flight Plan, the newsletter of AIAA Albuquerque Section. See the November 2012 climate change TEDxABQ talk (Mankind can Bet on Global Warming, and Win) by Dr. Mark Boslough using this link.
[2015 11 03] Tuesday, November 3, 2015 dinner meeting presentations (3):
Dr. Bruce A. McCarl of Texas A&M University, a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize laureate (charts, 46 slides, 3 MB, converted by us to PDF from PowerPoint)
Ian Mills, NASA/JSC International Space Station (ISS) Robotics Operations Group. He is a team leader for the group which installed climate science instruments RapidScat and CATS (Cloud Aerosol Transport System) on ISS, moving them from the SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule. His PowerPoint charts, his charts converted by us to PDF format, and his movie file are below:
- PowerPoint charts, 9 MB, 23 charts
- PowerPoint charts converted by us to PDF format, 3 MB, 23 charts (slides)
- Movie file, .mov format, 12 seconds, 2 MB
Douglas Yazell, event organizer, Councilor 2015-2017, AIAA Houston Section. Introductory charts (14 slides, 2.3 MB, PDF).
Dinner meeting title used in our publicity; “Climate Change Engineering, Science, & Public Policy.”
Experiment: With a standard YouTube license, we try the embed code here:
Flooding Houston,Texas flood video 26.05.2015, and we can search for the URL using that title. Slides above from Douglas Yazell show scenes like this (Texas flooding of May 27, 2015). See charts from Dr. McCarl (above) to know if he made a connection between the climate crisis and those slides from Douglas Yazell. We sent those charts to Dr. McCarl before our dinner meeting of November 3, 2015.
Newsletter article in work December 27, 2015
Draft newsletter article (incomplete, revision 4) about this dinner meeting event of November 3, 2015: Climate Change Engineering, Science & Public Policy. (PDF, 3 MB).
AIAA Houston Section used to place such charts on our opening web page in a section called Kickin’ Up Some Dust, as I recall. We could use a page on our current website to place such charts now. For our Section’s Annual Technical Symposium, we already have pages on this website. For dinner meetings, Lunch & Learns, etc., what better place than our Section’s history technical committee’s web page? So I put them here for now. [Douglas Yazell, November 5, 2015]
[2015 11 06] Friday, November 6, 2015: A NASA/JPL Cal Tech press release:
Just in time to publish with the dinner meeting presentation above from Mr. Ian Mills, today we find a NASA/JPL California Institute of Technology press release, NASA’s RapidScat Celebrates One-Year Anniversary.
[2015 11 06] Friday, November 6, 2015: Photographs from the AIAA Houston Section delegation’s visit to China in 1992 (Shanghai, Beijing, etc.):
Delegation member Tuyen Hua rescanned 376 of his photographs from this 1992 visit to China. He then Photoshopped the images to sharper and larger resolutions. Here is the link to his Flickr album which he made available for anyone to enjoy, view, download, etc.
[2015 11 08] November 8, 2015: A project for our technical committee: polish that plaque?
Photos of three Rocket Park plaques are available in the list below. These are iPhone 5 snapshots by Douglas Yazell (November 2015):
- Plaque: AIAA Historic Aerospace Site Johnson Space Center 2005, outdoors in Rocket Park. That is from November 2015. Here is a link to an image showing that plaque when it was new!
- Plaque: Little Joe rocket, outdoors in Rocket Park
- Plaque: ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) indoors in Rocket Park (under the Saturn V crew vehicle, or capsule).
[2015 12 03] Tuesday, December 3, 2015: Dinner meeting:
See www.aiaahouston.org for details about this upcoming meeting, featuring the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS).
Members of our AIAA Houston Section History technical committee:
- Chair 2015-2016: Douglas Yazell, Honeywell 1981-2011 (in the NASA/JSC community since 1992), Horizons newsletter editor April 2011- June 2014
- Ted Kenny, NASA/JSC (Chair 2013-2014)
- Chester A. Vaughan, retired from Boeing and NASA/JSC. (Chair a years ago.)
We are always looking for new professional members. See the organization chart for contact information. Additional contact information is douglas [dot] yazell [at] me [dot] com.
The Audiobook for the 1993 NASA-Commissioned book, Suddenly Tomorrow Came… A History of the Johnson Space Center, by Henry C. Dethloff
- Ted Kenny initiated this audiobook project. Good progress has been made as of August 7, 2013, but an entire single chapter has not yet been recorded. Among other examples of progress, he set up a sound recording studio and two people worked on sample readings with help from documented instructions and advice.
- A few readers are lined up already: the author Henry C. Dethloff, Ted Kenny, Norman Chaffee (NASA, retired), Ellen Gillespie (formerly with United Space Alliance), Dr. Steven E. Everett (The Boeing Company), and Douglas Yazell.
- We are rounding up readers and proofers as of August 2013, and we restarted the audiobook project as of August 2015.
- Henry C. Dethloff is the author of quite a few excellent books. His vita is presented here.
- A PDF version of the book is available here from a NASA website: Suddenly Tomorrow Came… A History of the Johnson Space Center.
Norman Chaffee of the NASA Alumni League (NAL) JSC Chapter (NAL JSC) asked Ted Kenny for help with the NAL JSC oral history project, since Ted Kenny had an audio recording studio set up in his office area at NASA/JSC. Ted Kenny said yes.
Douglas Yazell suggested an oral history for Dr. Albert Allen Jackson IV, also. Al Jackson has been the AIAA Houston Section astrodynamics technical committee Chair since 2007 or even long before 2007. Douglas Yazell will just use his smartphone to record the conversations about Al Jackson’s career, then transcribe those recordings. Only Word and PDF documents will be kept. They can be stored on this web page.
A few notes about Al Jackson’s career are noted here. He was a NASA/JSC civil servant for almost five years, including Apollo 11-13. He led the team working on the backup lunar module simulator. He left NASA to earn his PhD in physics at the University of Texas in Austin. He dabbled in academia (University of Saint Thomas in Houston), then returned to the NASA/JSC community to work for Lockheed (later called Lockheed Martin), including work on orbital debris. He later worked for Jacobs in the JSC community. He is retired as of September 2014. He continues to publish conference papers about subjects such as detecting starships.
Al Jackson wrote in Horizons (the AIAA Houston Section newsletter, starting with a first article in the April 2002 issue) about the importance of the Collier’s space series in his youth. Wernher von Braun led a team of editors, writers and artists (Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman, and Rolf Klep) for that 1952-1954 series of articles in the weekly magazine Collier’s. That series appeared in 8 issues of Collier’s. Al Jackson wrote about that in Horizons for the 50th anniversary of the Collier’s series. Around the time of the 60th anniversary, Al Jackson was part of our Horizons Collier’s team, and Horizons became the first to reprint the Collier’s series page by page in high resolution. We used 8 issues of Horizons. That started in the July / August 2012 issue of Horizons.
Al Jackson was our presenter in 2007 for a lunch-and-learn, Wernher von Braun’s Long Road to Mars. We used the conference room in the NASA/JSC Mission Control Center’s building, and attendance was about 130 people. Most of his charts from that presentation are available on our Section’s web page for his technical committee: http://www.aiaahouston.org/astrodynamics_technical_committee/
Al Jackson is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, an AIAA Associate Fellow, and a Visiting Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Al Jackson recently nominated the late Frederick Ira Ordway to be an AIAA Fellow, and (before Ordway died) the nomination succeeded. Mr. Ordway was the science and technical adviser for the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- AIAA Houston Section newsletters (now called Horizons) archived on a national AIAA SharePoint website with no membership required
- The primary web site for the AIAA Houston Section Horizons newsletter as of July 1, 2012, is http://www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter/. We aim to keep ten years of an archive here. Since the newsletter started (called “Newsletter” before it was called “Horizons”) in 1971, we are building a full archive on the national AIAA Sharepoint website as we find the old issues and convert them to PDF files.
- Document the history of AIAA Houston Section, which started in 1962 as the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences (IAS) Houston Section. AIAA did not exist until 1963, but claims 1931 as its initial year, since AIAA was formed by joining IAS (created in 1932) with The American Rocket Society (ARS), which started in 1930 as The American Interplanetary Society (AIS). AIAA splits the difference between 1930 and 1932 to celebrate 1931 as its starting year.
- Scan historic section documents and make them available on this web page.
- Invite speakers with expertise in our profession for occasional lunch-and-learns and dinner meetings.
- Support our section’s Annual Technical Symposium in May of each year.
- Celebrate the history of our profession: aeronautics and astronautics.
- Conduct one to four lunch-and-learns per year.
- Meet in person three to four times per year.
- Keep in touch with and support the national AIAA History technical committee.
- Contribute to historical documentation of the history of NASA/JSC.
- Contribute articles to Horizons, newsletter of AIAA Houston Section.
The 1940 Air Terminal Building at Hobby Airport was selected as a national AIAA Historic Aerospace Site in Janaury 2008, thanks to work by the museum volunteers and members of AIAA Houston Section. Drew Coats at the museum suggested this status to Douglas Yazell, and Douglas Yazell wrote the nominating report with help from Chester Vaughan and the excellent museum web site. Emily Springer traveled to Houston for a ceremony at the museum to award a large, bronze plaque. A similar AIAA Historic Aerospace Site plaque is on display honoring NASA Johnson Space Center (2005) in the same way. That plaque is on a granite base donated by NASA. It stands outdoors between the Saturn V building and the main gate.
Documents and Previous Events
- AIAA Houston Section officers since our first year (1962-1963). Updated 2016 06 08: Excel, PDF.
- Documents from our section’s 25th anniversary in 1987, celebrating its history from 1962-1987 (from the annual report by the 1987 AIAA Houston Section Chair Karen Godek):
- Section Chairs 1962-1987 (See a few lines above for the same list from 1962 too the present day.)
- Certificate for 1987 AIAA Houston Section Members
- Booklet celebrating 25 years of section history
- Honors & Awards dinner program from June of 1987
- Horizons Newsleter from February of 1987
- Organization Chart for 2015 – 2016
- Organization Chart for 2014 – 2015 (See www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter for archived organization charts near the end of each issue.)
- On June 8, 2016, I (Douglas Yazell) noticed that www.jsc.nasa.gov/aiaa is archived at archive.org. I found Horizons issues (www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter) from 1998, 1999, and 2000. Some of those were not yet archived at www.aiaahouston.org/newsletter. I am starting that process now, and I will do that for the SharePoint archive web page (AIAA), too. Some of those issues at archive.org are HTML only, and others are both HTML and PDF. New issues for our AIAA Houston Section archive are 1999 01 (HTML), 1999 06 (HTML), 1999 09 (HTML and PDF), 1999 10 (HTML and PDF), 2000 01 (HTML), 2000 03 (HTML and PDF), and 2000 05 and 06 (HTML and PDF). When we have both HTML and PDF, we prefer the PDF, but both have advantages. Note that 1999 06 contains a report of the International Space Station Service Vehicles Conference, a successful event created by our Section. It also contains a nice news story from the Los Angeles Times about Apollo 8. Frank Borman told President Nixon’s office that they had better prepare a speech in case the two Apollo 11 astronauts died on the Moon. William Safire prepared the never-used speech, and the entire text of that speech is published here.