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Roy D. Bridges, Jr., papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

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Roy D. Bridges, Jr., papers, 1985-1987 | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

By Elizabeth Wilkinson

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Collection Overview

Title: Roy D. Bridges, Jr., papers, 1985-1987Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1985

Primary Creator: Bridges, Roy D. (1943-)

Extent: 0.4 Cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The materials are organized by type: papers, images, then audio-visual material.

Date Acquired: 04/09/2009

Subjects: Astronauts, Challenger (Spacecraft), Flight Archives at Purdue University, Space flights, Space shuttles--United States

Forms of Material: Audiovisual materials, Logs (records)

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Roy D. Bridges, Jr. papers (1985-1987; 0.4 cubic feet) document the life and career of astronaut Roy Bridges, Jr. and primarily include materials related to the space shuttle mission STS-51F.  Included are Bridges' log book recounting his time on the space shuttle, schematics, and other notes, as well as flight notes on “knee pad cards.”The audio visual material covers the launch of the space shuttle Challenger and an interview of Bridges for the PBS Frontline television program.  Also included are photographs of Bridges and the entire crew of the shuttle.

Biographical Note

Roy Dunbard Bridges, Jr., was born on July 19, 1943 in Atlanta Georgia. The family later moved to Gainesville, Georgia where Bridges grew up. Bridges graduated with a Bachelor's degree in engineering science from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1965. He then earned a Master of Science degree in astronautics from Purdue University in 1966.

Bridges is a retired U.S. Air Force Major General who held many key space-related roles. Prior to his last USAF assignment at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, he was the Commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California. He also was the Commander, Eastern Space and Missile Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, and Commander, 412th Test Wing, Edwards Air Force Base, California. As a NASA Astronaut, he piloted the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51F in July 1985.

Bridges served as Director of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center from 1996 to 2002. He was responsible for managing facilities and activities related to the processing and launch of the Space Shuttle, processing and integration of Shuttle payloads and those aboard Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELVs), as well as final tests and preparation of elements delivered to the International Space Station via Shuttle. He was also responsible for managing the acquisition and launch of all NASA ELV missions.

Bridges was Director of NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, from August 10, 2003 until October 3, 2005. He was responsible for the Center’s aeronautical and space research programs, as well as facilities, personnel, and administration. He was also an advisor to the NASA Administrator on Agency programs. He retired from NASA at the end of 2005 to pursue other interests.

Throughout his career, Bridges received numerous awards and honors. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster; Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster; Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 oak leaf clusters; Meritorious Service Medal; Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal; NASA Space Flight Medal; NASA Certificate of Commendation; and the Dr. Kurt H. Debus Award.

Information on the STS-51F Mission:

The space shuttle Challenger was launched on July 29, 1985 at 5:00 PM. The major objective of the mission was to verify the performance of the Spacelab systems with the orbiter and to measure the environment created by the vehicle in space. They were also tasked with completing experiments in life sciences, plasma, physics, astronomy, high-energy astrophysics, solar physics, atmospheric physics, and technology research.

The mission lasted seven days, twenty-two hours, and forty-five minutes. The shuttle landed at Edwards Air Force base on August 6, 1985 at 12:45 PM. The shuttle was returned to the Kennedy Space Center on August 11, 1985.

Subject/Index Terms

Challenger (Spacecraft)
Flight Archives at Purdue University
Space flights
Space shuttles--United States

Administrative Information

Repository: Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 mss. box

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Frontline episode copyright held by PBS.

Acquisition Source: Roy. D. Bridges, Jr.

Acquisition Method: Donation

Related Materials:

Neil Armstrong papers

Janice Voss papers

For further information on these and other collections please search our database http://www4.lib.purdue.edu/archon.

Preferred Citation: MSA 6, Roy D. Bridges, Jr. papers, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries

Box and Folder Listing

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[Box 1: 1985-1987],