Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 260
Creators:
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Project Celescope
Dates:
1958-1968
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
10 cu. ft. (20 document boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This record unit documents the operation of Project Celescope from its inception in 1958 until shortly before the launch of the experiment in December 1968. Records include correspondence; memoranda; TWX messages; contracts, invitations, bids and proposals; reports; and related materials concerning the technical development of Celescope; involvement of NASA in the project; SAO administration of the project; and the selection and work of contractors producing instruments for the project.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Conceived in 1958, Project Celescope was an experiment undertaken by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) to study the atmospheres of the hotter stars by means of photometric measurements in those regions of the ultraviolet that are accessible only from above the earth's atmosphere. Measurements were achieved by mounting telescopes, in an orbiting satellite, that would focus starlight on ultraviolet-sensitive television cameras. Project Celescope was funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of its Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO) program. The project reached a climax on December 7, 1968, when NASA launched the second OAO satellite containing the Celescope experiment. More than 8,500 photographs of more than 2,800 areas of the sky were made during the experiment's lifetime.
From 1958 to 1965, Project Celescope existed as a separate division of SAO. In 1965 the project was placed under administrative control of the newly created Department of Flight Operations. The project's primary staff included Fred Lawrence Whipple, project director; Robert J. Davis, project scientist; and Francis R. Nitchie, Jr., engineering administrator, 1958-1962. In 1962, the title of the latter position was changed to project manager. Project managers included G. K. Megerian, 1962; Charles A. Lundquist, acting project manager, 1963; and John J. Burke, 1964-1968.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 260, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Project Celescope, Records

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Whipple, Fred L. (Fred Lawrence), 1906-2004 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Davis, Robert T. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nitchie, Francis R., Jr. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Megerian, G. K. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lundquist, Charles A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Burke, John J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Electro-Mechanical Research, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Orbiting Astronomical Observatory Program Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Department of Flight Operations Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Astrophysical observatories Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Research Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at osiaref@si.edu