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NASA Glenn Newsletter Endures Test of Time

In April 1999, NASA’s Glenn Research Center employees, looking in their mailboxes for the center’s monthly newsletter, found instead a glossy publication called Aerospace Frontiers. That first issue, with its new name, contemporary design, and expanded focus, signaled a new era for the storied publication that has carried on for more than 20 years.

Front page of 1947 NACA newsletter.
The Glenn newsletter started as Wing Tips during World War II. This issue is from September 1947.

The publication started as Wing Tips, an internal biweekly that highlighted the professional and personal activities of the employees. With the NACA’s transition to NASA in October 1958, the newsletter was redesigned and renamed Orbit to reflect the new focus on space.  Publication was paused in 1961 as the center focused its resources on the early space program.

The center has published a newsletter continually (with a brief pause in the early 1960s) since it first began operating in 1942. The name, layout, and content have evolved over the decades as the center’s mission has changed.

The newsletter reappeared in 1964 as Lewis News—a reference to the center name (Lewis Research Center) that was purposely not tied to any specific field of research.  Lewis News included regular features on the activities of the various branches and sections. 

In conjunction with the Apollo 11 landing in 1969, Lewis News was enlarged to a newspaper format to increase both its content and versatility. The newspaper format continued until 1995, when Lewis News switched to a monthly schedule with expanded, but physically smaller, issues as part of as overall effort to reduce federal expenditures.  This facilitated the incorporation of new design elements, such as the two-page photographic spreads in the coming years.

Woman standing in office holding newsletters.
Doreen Zudell joined the Lewis News team in 1990. After the transition to Aerospace Frontiers, she became the editor and has been a driving force behind the publication for nearly 30 years.

On March 1, 1999, the center was renamed NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center. The Public Affairs Office surveyed both center management and employees for a new name for the now obsolete Lewis News. The group selected Aerospace Frontiers—a name that wasn’t tied to future changes in research activities or center names.

In addition to the new name, there was a distinct modernization of the newsletter’s appearance and expansion of the subject matter. Aerospace Frontiers was a now a monthly news magazine that employed a variety of graphics and photographs. The content evolved, as well, as the editors sought to convey stories of center accomplishments with audiences beyond the center.

A new Aerospace Frontiers design, which further emphasized a magazine-type format to tell the Glenn story in a more visually pleasing manner, was introduced in 2017. Adjustments were made in the distribution policy, and publication stands containing issues were strategically placed throughout the center.

Cover of the August 2017 issue of AeroSpace Frontiers featuring the updated design.
Aerospace Frontiers was redesigned in 2017, creating a more modern layout that allowed for large graphic images.

NASA Glenn Research Center’s official newsletter has truly endured the test of time while striving to share the stories of the center’s technology and its people.

About the Author

Robert S. Arrighi

Robert S. Arrighi



Last Updated
Mar 14, 2024
Robert S. Arrighi
Glenn Research Center