Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics student records
Scope and Contents
- 1920 - 2009
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Intellectual Property Rights
In 1920 administrative control of aeronautical engineering was transferred to the Department of Physics, and in 1926 Course XVI, Aeronautical Engineering, was created, offering undergraduate courses for the first time. In 1928 the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory and the Aeronautical Library opened and classes in meteorology began as part of the course.
In 1933 Hunsaker became head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and administrative control of Course XVI was transferred to Mechanical Engineering from the Department of Physics. Two years later, in 1935, Charles Stark Draper established a small instruments laboratory to provide graduate students with experience in guidance and control systems.
A separate Department of Aeronautical Engineering was established in 1939, with Hunsaker as the first head of the department. In the same year the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel began operation. The department rapidly expanded to meet wartime needs. Three laboratories opened during World War II: Flutter Research, Vibrations Measurements, and Structures. In 1942 Draper’s laboratory, renamed the Confidential Instrument Development Laboratory, began research and development work on military guidance and control systems.
After the war almost all of the major research activities in the department were performed for the United States military. The beginning of space exploration brought further changes to the department, and in 1959 the name was changed to the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The Center for Space Research opened in 1963 and was joined the following year by the Experimental Astronomy Laboratory (later the Measurements Systems Laboratory) and the Space Propulsion and Man-Vehicle Laboratories.
MIT History, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2020.
93.3 Cubic Feet (92 record cartons, 4 manuscript boxes)
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- Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- History Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
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- Preliminary Inventory to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics Student Records
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- 2021: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements and to remove personally identifying information from the description.
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