Voices from
New Mexico's
Space History

Different quotations from New Mexico space pioneers appear on this page monthly. This is the August 2017 installment.
For more information about New Mexico's contributions to space exploration, visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History.
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This exerpt from NASA's History of Research in Space Biology and Biodynamics, Part I, which discusses the beginnings of research in space biology at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico, from 1946 to 1952. Some of that research involved joint operations with White Sands Missile Range, also in southern New Mexico. The Aero Medical Field Laboratory at Holloman was under the direction of the Aeromedical Laboratory at Wright Field, Ohio.

The objective of the Aero Medical Laboratory's animal experiements at White Sands was clearly stated by ... David G. Simons, then a captain at the Wright Field establishment, who was the project engineer until after the second V-2 lauanching of the series:

"Today there is no place on the earth's surface more than 40 hours travel from any other place so the question of the feasibility of travel beyond the reaches of the atmosphere inevitably arises. But what are the problems of space flight in a rocket? By theorizing, the various possible dangers and limiting factors can be appraised and the appropriate means of protection against each surmised. However, only by performing the experiment can one prove or disprove the validity of the hypothesis, learn better ways of protecting against known hazards and realize for the first time, the existence of unsuspected dangers. Only the recovery of a live animal showing no demonstrable ill effects will permit the claim that no major difficulty has been overlooked."

Captain Simons, who had been a spaceflight enthusiast since childhood, implicitly revealed in this statement his ambition to rocket through space some day himself.

[Simons came very close to spaceflight when he piloted the Manhigh II balloon flight in 1957.]

See previously featured quotes on the following pages:
        Voices Archives for the current year
        2016 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2016
        2015 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2015
        2014 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2014
        2013 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2013
        2012 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2012
        2011 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2011

Photo Credits
Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.

WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.

Unless otherwise credited, all material on this site is © Loretta Hall 2010-2017.