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NASA Career, 1948 - 2009

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 5, Series 1

Scope and Contents

Housed in this series are the documents and other materials generated during Neil Armstrong's NASA career, from his days as an experimental test pilot through his assignment as the Deputy Administrator of Aeronautics. Early materials of note are documents related to the X-15 program and Armstrong’s engineering work as part of the Dyna-Soar team before his transfer into the astronaut program. A central piece of this series is the inclusion of Armstrong's application to the NASA astronaut program, as well as his letter of acceptance from Robert Gilruth. Although he was not assigned to any crew during the Mercury program, Armstrong nevertheless acquired key Mercury program materials from his astronaut training and preserved them as part of his personal collection.

The Gemini program is much more fully represented, Gemini 8 in particular, for which Armstrong served as command pilot. In addition to an array of technical documents detailing all Gemini spacecraft, including the Agena docking vehicle with which Armstrong completed the first docking of two vehicles in space, the Gemini sub-series contains items flown during that historic mission.

The largest sub-series presented here contains the materials from the Apollo program. Comprising over 50 manuscript boxes, these materials cover every part of the Apollo program manned missions, from technical documents for each spacecraft, to training materials, to the details of mission planning, through the public relations campaign associated with the world’s first manned lunar landing. Several items in the Apollo sub-series are of historic significance; see the sub-series description for more detail. Armstrong continued his NASA career after Apollo as the Deputy Administrator of Aeronautics. The materials from this part of Armstrong’s career offer unique insight into NASA’s vision of the future in the early 1970s, as well as the difficulties it faced moving space exploration forward after the success of the lunar landing.

After leaving NASA to teach at the University of Cincinnati, Armstrong kept in touch with many of his NASA colleagues, continued to research the developing technologies of space flight and exploration, and participated in several programs associated with NASA. These documents, although extraneous to Armstrong's official NASA career, are preserved here as a reminder of Armstrong’s lifelong commitment to the organization’s goals in the exploration of space, as well as his irreplaceable status among NASA astronauts as the commander of Apollo 11. The series concludes with Armstrong'’s collection of documents published by NASA during the manned space program of the 1960s, including the published findings of those missions.


  • 1948 - 2009

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Collection material is primarily in English. Russian is also present.

Access Information

Collection is open for scholarly research. A 48 hours notice and consultation with the Flight Archivist is required to access the collection.  Portions of the collection are restricted per donor restrictions and third party privacy.


41.46 Cubic Feet (83 letter-size full-width manuscript boxes, 10 letter-size half-width manuscript boxes, three flat boxes, three legal-size full-width boxes, two legal-size half-width boxes, and two flat files)


Series one is arranged into eight sub-series.
  1. NASA Career
  2. Astronaut Application and Preflight Assignments
  3. Mercury Program
  4. Gemini Program Files
  5. Apollo Program
  6. Deputy Administrator of Aeronautics
  7. Continuing NASA Involvement
  8. NASA Publications


Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States