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History Office Home Ames History Books For the Public For Historians
NASA Ames History Office NASA Ames History Office

The NASA Ames History Office explores ways to make the Center's past relevant to its future. Staffed by historians and archivists, the History Office supports research, writing and oral history projects, and preserves, describes, and provides access to records and artifacts related to the history of the Center.


Photograph of Jack Boyd and ARC center director Eugene Tu
Jack Boyd and ARC center director Eugene Tu
(Photo credit: Dominic Hart)

Ames celebrated its 78th Anniversary on December 20, 2017.


NACA 100th Anninversary Logo
On March 3, 2015, NASA celebrated 100 years since the founding of its predecessor -- the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or NACA.
+ NACA 100 Years history
+ NACA Inspection history


First Color Image from Viking Lander 1
July 20, 2016 marked the 40th anniversary of the Viking 1 Mars landing. The spacecraft provided the first images of the Martian surface.

Collection Feature
Ames Astrogram articles featuring the Viking missions.  


William J. Borucki Named Ames Fellow

Portrait of Bill Borucki
On February 24, 2015, Borucki became the twelfth Ames Fellow.

+ News Release

The 2012 Ames Fellows
Louis J. Allamandola, Baruch S. Blumberg, Wayne R. Johnson, and Hans Mark received the prestigious mantle of Ames Fellow.
They join the ranks of a select few: Harvard Lomax, Robert T. Jones, James Pollack, Charles Billings, Howard Goldstein, Heinz Erzberger, and Charles Bauschlicher.

+ News Release

+ Biographies

+ Allamandola
+ Blumberg
+ Johnson
+ Mark


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Search Ames-related finding aids on the Online Archive of California:

Search Ames History:


Rick Guidice's Painting of the Interior of a Bernal Sphere
Rick Guidice's Painting of the exterior of a Bernal Sphere
 Space Settlement Paintings
Paintings of space settlement designs from the 1970s by Bay Area artist and architext Rick Guidice are currently on exhibit at the Cité de l'architecture & du patrimoine in Paris. The exhibit, entitled Globes: Architecture and Science Map the World runs until March 26, 2018.
+ Exhibition information
+ NPR Science Friday article
+ Ames Astrogram article
+ CNN Style article featuring settlement paintings by Don Davis and Rick Guidice

Aerial view of Ames, 1938
 Aerial Photos of Ames
Ames Research Center, as seen from above, from 1938 to 1995. Compiled by Jack Boyd.
+ 43 aerial views of Ames

Image of KAO book covedr  Historical Monograph
+ NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory, 1971-1995: An Operations Retrospective with a View to SOFIA by Edwin F. Erickson and Allan W. Meyer (NASA SP-2013-216025).
(58.4 MB PDF file)

Image of the cover of an Astrogram issue

Image of VAX computers at Ames, 1980

Image of Rogallo's dog wearing Flexikite costume

Image of LCROSS

Image of PAET

Image of PAET

 Latest Collections and Guides
+ George B. McCullough Papers: Collection of this Ames NACA/NASA aeronautical engineer's investigations into airfoils, helicopter rotors, and launch vehicles. Processed by Danielle K. Lopez.
+ Ames Astrogram Collection Updated: This collection of the center's newsletter now spans from 1958-2015. An accrual of eight years of issues was processed by Danielle K. Lopez.
+ ADP Acquisition Planning Records: these planning records offer insight into three decades of computing capabilities at Ames.
Processed by April Gage.
+ Vernon L. Rogallo Papers: records, photographs, and artifacts related to Rogallo's career as an Ames engineer and promotion of "Flexikite" stunt kites based on his brother Frances's famous Rogallo wing design. Processed by Mikael Wester.
+ Roger Arno Papers: includes Arno's artwork, in the form of illustrations representing engineering concepts, as well as editorial cartoons about NASA people and projects. Processed by April Gage.
+ PAET Flight Project Binders: material related to the Planetary Atmosphere Experiments Test (PAET) Project. Processed by Jack Doran.
+ Artifacts Collection: a wide range of objects related to the history of Ames. Processed by Leilani Marshall, April Gage, Allison Tara Sundaram, and Danielle Lopez.

Image of an invention  NASA Ames Technology Transfer, 1976-2012
+ Historical Image Gallery Rretrospective of collaboration between Ames, industry, and other partners to proliferate useful inventions, such as memory foam.

Image of Hans Mark  Planetary Entry Probes 1953-2036
Alvin Seiff Memorial Award recipient Jim Arnold's paper on the history of NASA's entry probe technology development for planetary exploration.
+ Paper presented at the Tenth International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW-10).

Image of Jack Boyd Image of Hans Mark  NASA APPEL Masters with Masters Conversation with Jack Boyd and Hans Mark
Boyd and Mark discuss lessons they've learned as leaders in aerospace over the decades.
+ Video (TRT 58:47)
+ ASK Magazine article (Fall 2012)

Image of George Cooper  France Awards Legion of Honor
to Former Ames Test Pilot
George Cooper

+ Biographical article with details about Cooper's receipt of this prestigious award on May 8, 2012.

Image of xxxxxxxx  Video Explaining Apollo Return Trajectory, Atmospheric Entry
+ Now on YouTube, this 1968 NASA educational film clearly illustrates the factors governing the Apollo capsule's successful return to Earth from the moon.

Image of Pioneer 10
Image of Pioneer 10/11 Mission Patch
Painting of Pioneer 10 by Rick Guidice
 The Extraordinary Pioneer 10 Spacecraft, Mankind's First Deep Space Probe
+ Pioneers of Sol: The Motes in Gods Eye - Astrobiology Magazine Article by Richard Corfield commemorating the 40th anniversary of Pioneer 10.
+ 40th Anniversary news release.
+ Jupiter Odyssey - NASA documentary movie about Pioneer 10, dated 1974 (Video, TRT 28:01).
+ Pioneer Odyssey - NASA Special Publication about Pioneers 10 and 11 by Richard O. Fimmel, William Swindell, and Eric Burgess, dated 1977.
+ Historical Records - Guides to Pioneer Project Records in the History Office archives.
+ Pioneer Anomaly - June 2012 study identifies heat as source of Pioneer Anomaly.

image of a wind tunnel test
image of the space shuttle in flight
image of an ion propulsion system
 Technology and Exploration before and after the Space Shuttle
John W. "Jack" Boyd, G. Scott Hubbard, and former astronaut Garrett E. Reisman discuss the history and future of space exploration on the eve of the final Space Shuttle mission, with host Michael Krasny on KQED's radio program Forum.
+ KQED radio program July 7, 2011
+ Other Forum radio programs with guests from NASA Ames

Image of the cover of the Mars in 3-D remasmtered Blu-ray  Collection Feature
+ 1979 Mars in 3-D Movie digitally remastered and available on Blu-ray. Original contributor Michael McNabb completed this massive project from archival film footage, sound reels, and related documentation loaned from the NASA Ames History Office.

Image of Jack Boyd  "The Freedom to Learn"
Jack Boyd reflects on a rich career at Ames and a advises how to strengthen future innovation by staying connected with the past in the fall 2010 issue of ASK Magazine.
+ View article online.
+ Download PDF of article.

Cover of Air&Space Magazine  + "How the Spaceship Got Its Shape." Article about Harvey Allen in the November 2009 issue of Air & Space Magazine.

Aerial view of NASA Ames Research Center  + NASA Ames Designated 2009 AIAA Historic Aerospace Site

Jack Boyd Talks at Google  + YouTube Video of Jack Boyd's History Presentation:
Jack Boyd tells Google staff about the history of NASA Ames.

Image of Jack Boyd  + Jack Boyd Earns NASA
History Award:

The NASA Ames senior advisor for history was commended for his "Energetic outreach and promotion of NASA history..."

image of Wright Flyer  + The NACA Reunion Memory Album has moved:
It's still on this site but can now be accessed through the site index.


Photograph of Layne Karafantis
Layne Karafantis
(Photo credit: Danielle K. Lopez)

Dr. Layne Karafantis recently joined the History Office as the new center historian. She comes to Ames after working at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, where she served as the curator of the post-1945 military aircraft collection. Layne received her PhD in the history of science and technology from The Johns Hopkins University. Her thesis and forthcoming book describe the architecture and historical significance of Cold War command and control rooms. She looks forward to promoting distinctive past and contemporary ARC accomplishments.

Layne works in the Ames History Office as a KBR Wyle contractor under the Fully Integrated Lifecycle Mission Support Services contract.

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NASA Ames Research Center
History Office, Mail Stop 207-1
Moffett Field, CA 94035-0001
Curator: NASA Ames History Office
NASA Official: John W. Boyd
Last Updated: June 2018