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November 26, 2003
NASA - Dryden Flight Research Center - News Room: News Releases: NASA DRYDEN HISTORIAN RECEIVES AIAA LITERATURE AWARD


November 26, 2003

Release: 03-59

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photo of Michael Gorn
Dr. Michael H. Gorn, chief historian at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., has been selected by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) for its 2004 Gardner-Lasser Aerospace History Literature Award for his work, Expanding the Envelope: Flight Research at NACA and NASA.
The Gardner-Lasser award is presented annually by the AIAA for the best original contribution to the field of aeronautical or astronautical non-fiction historical literature published in the last five years that deals with the science, technology or impact of aeronautics and astronautics on society.

Gorn's work, published in 2001 by the University Press of Kentucky, is the first major book to explore the full panorama of flight research history. It covers Sir George Cayley's experiments with kites and gliders in nineteenth-century England, the Wright brothers' achievements in controlled, powered flight, the creation of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and its pivotal discoveries in areas of pressure distribution, flying qualities and transonic research. It also details the cutting-edge aeronautical research conducted by NASA's research centers today.

"I decided to write a history of flight research when I realized that none had ever been written," Gorn related. "Very few books cover both the history of NASA and its predecessor institution, the NACA. I thought this project represented a golden opportunity to tell the full story of one of the most neglected, yet one of the most important, aspects of aeronautical history."

Gorn has worked in the NASA history program since 1997 and became chief historian of the Dryden Flight Research Center in 2001. He is a former Air Force deputy historian and was the first historian of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has written many books on aerospace history, most recently, in collaboration with Richard P. Hallion, an update of Hallion's work, On the Frontier: Experimental Flight at NASA Dryden (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2003). A native Californian, Gorn received his doctorate in history from the University of Southern California.


Note to Editors: A photo of Dr. Gorn is available on the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center web site photo gallery at: /centers/dfrc/gallery/photo/People/HTML/EC01-0280-1.html

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