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NASA MSFC's Lunar e-Library Puts Space History to Work

Status Report From: Marshall Star (NASA MSFC)
Posted: Wednesday, August 2, 2006

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By Tracy McMahan

The Lunar e-Library - a searchable DVD collection of electronic documents and other resources - is now available to help managers, engineers and scientists put space history to work as they implement the Vision for Space Exploration.

"Our goal was to identify key lessons learned from Apollo and other lunar missions and shorten research time by putting information at users' fingertips," said Miria Finckenor, a materials engineer with the Environmental Effects Branch in Marshall Center's Materials and Processes Laboratory. "We now have a treasure trove of information for designers and engineers working on lunar exploration."

The Lunar e-Library focuses on Apollo/Saturn era documents and includes 870 complete electronic documents and 230 abstracts with source information for copyrighted and limited distribution material. The DVD library features an easy-to-use Acrobat-based search engine that uses key words to search the entire 1,100 documents and abstracts at once. It then lists the documents by relevance and takes the user directly to the key words in the various documents. An index is included, and the user can conduct advanced searches by title, author and other information criteria.

The Lunar e-Library was developed by NASA's Space Environments and Effects Program, based at the Marshall Center, and Marshall's Engineering Directorate's Materials and Processes Laboratory.

"We shaped the Lunar e-Library to focus on several topics of interest to the space environments community," said Dr. Dale Ferguson, Space Environments and Effects Program technical advisor and scientist in Marshall's Environmental Effects Branch. "This DVD will benefit NASA employees and contractors who are studying lunar dust, potential lunar landing sites, radiation and many other aspects of living and working on the moon."

The Lunar e-Library literature collection includes a complete set of the Apollo mission and science reports; the Apollo Experience Reports; the Saturn V Flight Evaluation Reports; Lunar Roving Vehicle documents; documents on lunar soil and lunar surface studies; historical documents with an emphasis on Apollo and lunar studies; lunar data and experiment documents from the Surveyor, Apollo, Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions; studies and lunar reference mission documents, including Space Exploration Initiative and the First Lunar Outpost documents. The DVD collection provides links to and descriptions of Web sites that include document sources, databases, images and video and oral history interviews.

The Lunar e-Library includes information on 16 focused interviews conducted for the project. Interview topics address Saturn rocket design; the history of engine design from the early missiles to the space shuttle main engines; the Lunar Roving Vehicle design, dust problems, thermal control, lunar surface studies and project management; materials selection and materials processes such as welding; materials requirements and testing for metals and non-metals; and many aspects of the space environment with particular emphasis on materials durability and dust.

In addition to technical experts, the Space Environments and Effects Program consulted history experts including the Saturn V and Lunar Roving Vehicle archivist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, experts at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and Marshall Center historian Mike Wright.

The writer, a Qualis Corporation employee, supports the Engineering Directorate's Materials & Processes Laboratory as a technology historian.

Obtaining the Lunar e-Library

The free DVD document collection is available to NASA and aerospace professionals and can be obtained by filling out two forms, located at http://see.msfc.nasa.gov/ModelDB/ModelDB.htm .

1. Click on SEE Product Access Form to fill out the first form and submit it online.

2. Under General on the Web site, click on Lunar

E-Library knowledgebase and print the SEE Product Access and Software Release Agreement Form. Fax it to Sopo Yung at 256-544-8480.

More details and computer system requirements are posted at see.msfc.nasa.gov/dmia/LunarELibrary.htm .

The document collection also has been added to a Space Environments and Effects wing of the Marshall Center Launch and Space Systems e-Library, which provides online access to historical propulsion documents for approved NASA employees and associated contractors and organizations on-site at Marshall. To find out more about LaSSe, go to lasse.nasa.gov/ .

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