NASA Interview

Benjamin Guterman's picture

Our interview with Robert S. Arrighi, archivist/historian, at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio (in The Federalist, Summer 2013).

Robert Arrighi has worked on numerous textual and audiovisual collections, many of which have been central for his histories of several historic test facilities at the Center. He is the coauthor of NASA’s Nuclear Frontier (2004) and author of Revolutionary Atmosphere: History of the Altitude Wind Tunnel and Space Chambers (2010), Pursuit of Power: NASA Glenn’s Propulsion Systems Laboratory No. 1 and 2 (2012), and other works. He has also curated complementary websites and interactives. His Altitude Wind Tunnel Interactive CD-ROM won SHFG’s Powell Award in 2009.


What prompted the Glenn Research Center to undertake documentation of its historic test facilities?

For nearly a decade, NASA has attempted to reduce its physical footprint. There has been an effort at all of the centers to remove unused buildings and structures. As such, Glenn has demolished several of its underutilized test facilities in recent years. Since many of these are historically significant, the Center has worked with the State Historic Preservation Office to develop plans to mitigate these losses by properly documenting the facilities as they are removed. Glenn’s Facilities Division has partnered with the History Office to perform this documentation for several of these facilities. Despite the fact that these sites are no longer here, these mitigation projects provide a greater understanding and appreciation of the contributions made by the facilities.

See the full interview at

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