Dear NAR Members:
The National Association of Rocketry is kicking off another surge of fund-raising to support the curation and preservation of key collections of our history. We are teamed with the Museum of Flight where the G. Harry Stine Collection currently resides. The goal is to have two additional collections – those of Lee and Betty Piester and Vernon and Gleda Estes at the museum, curated and archived as well.
The curation of the Stine Collection is in full swing with museum professional archivist Charise Michelsen on what is being called “The Stine Project.” In case you missed it, Museum of Flight Director Amy Heidrick gave a stunning presentation at NARCON, which gives a tantalizing glimpse into some of the treasures in the Stine Collection (link here).
The NAR is receiving excellent return-on-investment from its $50,000 donation to the MOF effort. I was proud to present a NAR President’s Award to Dr. John Brantigan, who generously donated $25,000 in addition to your $50,000 donation to ensure that the job would get started on time.
Now is the time to step up again and help us continue with this herculean effort. The NAR and Museum of Flight would like to have a seamless transition from the Stine Collection onto the Piester and Estes Collections and retain the services of our now experienced “rocketry archivist.” You can be a member of the “Pay Forward Proud” as part of our next fund-raising effort by owning a beautiful Limited-Edition print, Saturn Rising created by acclaimed NASA artist Chris Calle. The artist, Chris Calle is the son of Paul Calle who sketched the Apollo 11 astronauts on launch morning. Paul also designed the First Man on the Moon stamp showing Neil Armstrong stepping onto the lunar surface. Paul and Chris teamed up to design the stamp for the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11. Following in his father’s footsteps, Chris has become a very well-known artist in his own right and has very generously donated his talents to support the Museum of Flight and the NAR.
This historic print will celebrate the Apollo 11 anniversary and is to be signed by model rocketry pioneers Vern Estes and Lee Piester. Saturn Rising is a Limited-Edition print; when they are gone, they are gone. A $250 donation to the NAR History Fund will allow NAR members and rocketry enthusiasts to support of Phase II of the “Pay Forward Proud” campaign. What better way to help remember Apollo 11 in this 50th anniversary year.
The plan is for the Piester Collection to be moved to the Museum of Flight in October. Many of you are familiar with Centuri and the story of Lee and Betty Piester. It’s is a rich and exciting tale which will be covered in this issue of Sport Rocketry and in issues to come throughout the year. To whet your appetite, Lee and Betty have uploaded a YouTube video showcasing some of the treasures in the Piester Collection: Centuri Rocket Collection 2017 by Lee & Betty Piester.
Our goal is to raise $25,000 by the end of 2019, which will allow work to continue, uninterrupted at the Museum of Flight. Please join me by donating what you can to support this important effort to preserve our history.
John N. Hochheimer
National Association of Rocketry