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Mark N. Brown papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 302
The Mark N. Brown papers (1963-1991; 8.30 cubic feet) include papers and memorabilia of retired astronaut and Purdue Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering alumnus, Mark N. Brown. Included are Brown's textbooks from his studies at Purdue, AFROTC certificate, Apollo program photographs that were pinned to Brown's Purdue dorm room wall while he was a student in the early 1970s, a Purdue paper airplane contest trophy, along with other Purdue memorabilia.  The collection also includes NASA memorabilia such as Brown's personal NASA flight suit, a flown mission shirt with certificate of authenticity, STS-28 and STS-48 mission patches, space food, G-suit, a shuttle tile with documentation, photographs including one of Brown in space holding a "Purdue Engineers - Out of this World" sign, slides, DVDs, a presentation on the history of manned flight, along with other papers and memorabilia. Types of materials include artifacts, certificates, clothing, DVDs, an aircraft manual, memorabilia, papers, patches, photographs, a plaque, a Purdue senior project, slides and Purdue textbooks. The papers are organized into 2 series and 8 subseries and are arranged chronologically within each. Please see the full finding aid below:

Dates

  • 1963-1991
  • Other: Date acquired: 12/04/2014

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Purdue University per deed of gift and NASA.

Extent

8.30 Cubic Feet

4 cubic feet boxes, 3 mss boxes, 1 small flat box, 3 medium flat boxes and 1 large flat box other_unmapped

Abstract

This collection includes papers and memorabilia of retired astronaut and Purdue Aeronautical and Astronautics Engineering alumnus, Mark N. Brown. Included are Purdue student memorabilia and textbooks, NASA memorabilia such as Brown's personal NASA flight suit, a flown mission shirt with certificate of authenticity, mission patches, space food, G-suit, a shuttle tile with documentation, photographs, slides, DVDs, a presentation on the history of manned flight, along with other papers and memorabilia.

Biographical / Historical

Mark N. Brown was born November 18, 1951 to Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Brown in Valparaiso, Indiana. He graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1969 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University in 1973.

Brown received his pilot wings at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, in 1974. He was then assigned to the 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan, where he flew both T-33 and F-106 aircraft. In 1979 Brown was transferred to the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and received his Master of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering in 1980.

In 1980 Brown was employed at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center as an engineer in the Flight Activities Section, he participated in the development of contingency procedures for use aboard the Space Shuttle and served as an attitude and pointing officer. Brown supported STS flights 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 41-C in the Flight Activity Officer/Staff Support Room of the Mission Control Center.

Selected by NASA in May 1984, Brown became an astronaut in June 1985, and qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. In December 1985, he was assigned to the crew of a Department of Defense mission which was subsequently canceled due to the Challenger accident. During 1986 and 1987, he served as an astronaut member of the solid rocket booster redesign team.

In February 1988 Brown was assigned to a new flight crew, and on August 8-13, 1989 he flew on STS-28, following which he served as astronaut member on the Space Station Freedom Program. He next flew on STS-48, September 12-18, 1991. With the completion of his second mission, Brown logged over 249 hours in space. Brown left NASA in July 1993 and retired from the United States Air Force to head up the Space Division office of General Research Corporation in Dayton, Ohio. Duties included support to NASA through NASW-4470 to NASA HQ, Code M. This contract provided technical support to the NASA Space Station Program, NASA Hubble Space Telescope Mission, the NASA Space Shuttle Program, the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications, and NASA HQ.

In 1995 Brown became Director of Aerospace Programs, Decision Technologies Division, GRC International, Inc. Brown’s assignment to the Aerospace Programs group expanded his management responsibilities to include support to Air Force air and space projects in addition to NASA.

In 1996 Brown was promoted to Acting Director of East Coast Operations, Decision Technologies Division, GRC International, Inc. He assumed responsibility for this $6.5M business involving NASA, the Air Force, commercial, and other government activities. Duties included full budget accounting and management of computer programmers, engineers, technicians, scientists, and administrative personnel located in three different states.

From 1998 to 2000, Brown served as Director of Air Force and NASA Business Development, Corporate Marketing and Business Development, GRC International, Inc. He actively participated in the development of new business opportunities for GRC International. His wide experience base with government and commercial business proved invaluable to GRCI in identifying new areas for technology growth and in developing solutions to customer problems.

In 2002 Brown became the Director, Wire Integrity Programs, GRC International, Inc. an AT

Arrangement Note

The papers are organized into 2 series and 8 subseries and are arranged chronologically within each:

Series 1. Purdue University, 1963-1984 (2.8 cubic feet). The Purdue University series contains 25 textbooks used by Brown while he was a student at Purdue University from 1963-1967. Some of the textbooks contain his highlights, notations, a few assignment sheets and notes.

Also found in the series is Brown’s senior group project for Aeronautics, Astronautics, and Engineering Sciences, (A&ES) 451, Apollo 11 photographs that Brown had on his dorm room wall while at Purdue, and a trophy from a paper airplane contest.

While at Purdue, Brown was a member of the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps, and he graduated with distinction. His framed certificate is a part of this series, along with a plaque for being the “AFROTC Hand Ball Champ” in 1971. A few other Purdue memorabilia items reside in this series.

Series 2. NASA, 1987-1991 (5.50 cubic feet). The NASA series in comprised of 6 subseries: The first series contains miscellaneous items and the title reflects this - Aircraft Manual, Mission Chart, “History of U.S. Manned Spaceflight,” compiled by Brown, and an Apollo book; Photographs; Audio Visual; Certificates/Awards; Textiles; and Artifacts.

Some of the highlights of this series are Shuttle mission STS-28 and STS-48 related photographs, including signed crew photos and photos of Brown in space with Purdue memorabilia, and “STS-28 and STS-48 on Orbit” DVDs. Also included are Certificates/Awards presented to Brown by fellow Hoosiers; a “Hoosier Pride Award,” “Hoosier Heroes,” and a proclamation by the city of Valparaiso, IN designating October 18, 1989 as Mark N. Brown Day.

Textiles found in the series include Brown’s NASA STS-28 flight suit bearing both mission patch and Mark Brown’s name, a G-force suit, and a STS-48 polo shirt that flew on Discovery, along with its certificate of authenticity signed by Brown. Some of the unique artifacts include space food, mission patches and pins, a piece of shuttle tile, along with the paperwork for it, and a plaque consisting of 2 halves of hold-down stud frangible nut from STS-28R, presented to Mark N. Brown, “From your friends at the Kennedy Space Center,” 1989

Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mark N. Brown, April 12, 2014

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

Mark Brown United States Space Shuttle Patches collection:

http://archives.lib.purdue.edu/repositories/2/resources/1323

Processing Information

All items have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes. The oversized plaque has been boxed separately for preservation purposes. The material appears in chronological order within each subseries.
Title
Mark N. Brown papers
Status
in_progress
Author
Mary A. Sego, 2015
Date
02/12/2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
504 W. State Street
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