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Purdue University Astronauts collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 168
The Purdue University Astronauts collection (1965-2003; 0.9 cubic feet) consists of items relating to Purdue’s alumni astronauts that had been collected by various donors before the advent of the Barron Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archives. Included are newspaper clippings, Purdue University News Service press releases that had been written in regards to Neil A. Armstrong and Apollo 11, and various newspapers with Apollo 11 headlines and related clippings, Purdue University related publications featuring Purdue alumni astronaut stories; Purdue Alumnus, purdue Engineer and a program from the Purdue Engineering Astronaut Alumnus Award Convocation, held September 29, 1989. Also of note are Space Shuttle mission decals, patches and a Challenger commemorative coin. Among the artifacts is a replica of a mechanical toy, “Rat Stuff,” which was among the first 10 mechanical toys to be a part of a shuttle experiment on STS-54, which Purdue alums Gregory Harbaugh and John Casper were crew members, Types of materials include: artifacts, clippings, press releases, publications and a few miscellaneous items.


  • 1965-2003
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1969

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


0.90 Cubic Feet

2 mss boxes other_unmapped


This legacy collection features items related to Purdue University’s alumni astronauts. The various items were collected before the advent of the Barron Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archives. Included are clippings, Purdue University News Service press releases relating to Apollo 11 and Neil A. Armstrong and various Apollo 11 related newspapers and clippings. Also included are Purdue publications and shuttle mission decals, patches and a replica of a mechanical toy that was involved in a shuttle (STS-54) mission experiment.

Biographical or Historical Information

History of Purdue’s Alumni Astronauts

Purdue has been called the "cradle of astronauts" for good reason. Twenty-three Purdue graduates have been selected for space travel, including the first and last astronauts to walk on the moon, and two of the six American astronauts who have served on board Mir, the Russian space station. Purdue alumni have flown on about 37 percent of all human U.S. space flights. More than 40 space shuttle flights have had Purdue alumni on board. Many other Purdue graduates work for NASA and in the space industry. For more information on the Purdue astronauts, see:

Method of Acquisition

Legacy items; donors various and unknown, some clippings received from Purdue University Relations.

Related Materials

Purdue’s Place in Space: From the Midwest to the Moon:

Purdue in Space:
Related Publications NASA – Microgravity: International toys in space:

Processing Information

All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes.  All newsprint has been photocopied and in most cases original newspaper clippings have been discarded. Some clippings containing images of people or color graphics, or front pages of newspapers, have been preserved for display purposes, with photocopies made available for research.
Purdue University Astronauts collection
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States