Friday, August 3, 2012

A Piece of Space Program History

Technological innovation and exploration are in this family’s genes
by Jon W.

A piece of space history, circa 1962.  These are the signatures in the order signed: 
Gus Grissom, Deke (Dix) Slayton, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter,
B. G. MacNabb (my grandfather’s boss) and Alan Shepard.
Convair, an American aircraft, rocket and spacecraft company founded in 1943, designed, deployed and manufactured high-technology aerospace products. Two its most famous products include the B-36 Bomber (used by the United States Air Force between 1949 and 1959) and the Atlas missile. The Atlas missile was the foundation for space launch vehicles and is used in part today to launch satellites and other equipment into space.

In 1953, Convair was purchased by General Dynamics. The Space Systems division of Convair was then sold to Martin Marietta in 1994. A year later, Martin Marietta merged with Lockheed Corporation to form Lockheed Martin. Given where we are concerning space exploration, I decided to scan a piece of history from its beginnings.

This is my grandfather’s ticket (front and back) to a party to celebrate the seven astronauts of Project Mercury. These men shaped the future of the space program and become a significant part of human history. They knew my grandfather Bob Goldinger personally, as he was one of the lead engineers for Project Mercury. Five of these seven astronauts attended the1962 dinner dance. Each signed his ticket. The sixth signature on the ticket is my grandfather’s boss.