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Reminiscences of Charles Stark Draper : oral history, 1983.

Creator: Draper, C. S.
Project: Individual interviews oral history collection.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcript 146 leaves. Tape 5 cassettes.
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
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Biographical Note

Aeronautical engineer.

Scope and Contents

Childhood and early education, Missouri; early interest in machinery; admission, age fourteen, University of Missouri: B.A., arts and sciences, 1917; M.A. psychology, Stanford University, 1920; B.A. electrical chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT], 1926; failed pilot trainee, Army Air Corps; doctoral studies, aeronautics, MIT, beginning 1928; instructor of Aircraft Instruments course; redirection towards studies in physics: PH.D., 1938; failure of MIT Physics and Aeronautics departments to cooperate; origination of material for Aircraft Instruments; success of F 14 gun sight invention, World War II; early development of SPIRE and FEBE systems; inadequacy of radio guidance; evolution of Aircraft Instruments into Control, Instrumentation, and Guidance courses; negative outcome of Air Force Advisory Committee meeting on transition from planes to missiles due to pressure from aircraft companies; subsequent obsolescence of B 36 and other aircraft; lack of cooperation among branches of military; Wilson memorandum on Missions and Roles; development of Polaris, THOR, and TITAN systems; necessity and development of inertial guidance systems for submerged and long range missiles; Apollo manned moon rocket development; MIT's disassociation from laboratory after anti-military protest of 1960's and 70s; exclusivity, originality of laboratory's work; difficulty of owning patents, funding problems, not-for-profit vs. for profit institutions; recollections of Apollo.


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