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NASA pioneer's gift to be celebrated Thursday

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor
217-333-2177; andreal@illinois.edu

10/3/2003

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The University Library is celebrating the gift of the collection of pioneering NASA scientist John C. Houbolt with a dedication ceremony and panel discussion Thursday (Oct. 9) at the Grainger Engineering Library, 1301 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana.

U. of I. faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the free event, which begins at 1 p.m. in the Grainger Library Commons, located on the second floor.

Houbolt (pronounced HUB-olt), who is best known for developing and promoting the lunar-orbit rendezvous concept that allowed the U.S. space program to go to the moon on Apollo 11, will attend the dedication program. An Illinois graduate, Houbolt was chief aeronautical scientist at NASA.

Joe Tanner, a NASA astronaut and Illinois graduate, will moderate the panel discussion that is to follow the dedication. The panel will explore the ways in which Houbolt’s genius and contributions benefited the U.S. and international space programs.

Houbolt’s collection, which will be managed by the University Archives, includes papers, manuscripts, models, designs and books. The books in the collection will be held in the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center.

A grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Langley Research Center will enable the University Library to process, index and preserve the collection, and to develop an electronic finding aid for the materials and online access to the documents.