Established by NASA in 1996, the Johnson Space Center Oral History Project has collected oral histories with over two hundred persons who were pioneers in the nation’s space program, including not only astronauts, but also managers, engineers, technicians, doctors, and other employees of NASA and aerospace contractors who worked on the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle programs. The facilitator of the oral history work throughout the project has been SIGNAL Corporation of Hous-ton, a TOHA member since 1998.
In 2001, program manager Rebecca Wright and others shared their oral history experiences with TOHA at our annual meeting. Space exploration began with technological innovations, and the oral history project at the space center is likewise state-of-the-art. Interviews are recorded in digital audio/and or video tape and transcribed to an electronic file. After the interviewee has reviewed the transcript, it is transferred to compact disc (CD) and archived. The University of Houston-Clear Lake is the repository for the project, and former TOHA Board Member Shelly Kelly administers those archives. Kelly told TOHA, “I can attest that the oral histories are well researched, enthusiastically given, and available and used by the public.”
In addition to recording new oral histories, the JSC OHP included the transfer of previous recordings of interviews, press conferences, and related materials from out-of-date, often aged media onto CD. Approximately five hundred interview recordings have been recovered and copies placed in the UHCL archives. Over seventy oral history interviews were collected on the Shuttle-Mir Program. Learn more. Also available is a CD-ROM for educators and interested persons.
The JSC OHP has collected a remarkable amount of significant historical information in a remarkably brief time with remarkable quality. TOHA is please to commend the work of SIGNAL Corporation and its oral history project on the Johnson Space Center