Following a best-value competitive procurement, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) this month awarded a two-year contract to two prominent historians and authors, Dr. Kenneth Lipartito and Dr. Orville Butler, to write the history of Kennedy Space Center. The new text will be the first major work to document the Center’s history since 1976, when Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations was published. Moonport covered the period from KSC’s inception through the Apollo program.

Lipartito is chair of the Department of History at Florida International University. A renowned historian, he has authored three books and numerous publications related to organizations and technology. Butler, an independent scholar from Auburn, Wash., co-authored Manufacturing the Future: A History of Western Electric, a critically acclaimed and widely read book that serves as a benchmark for works on the history of telecommunications manufacturing.

The authors will look at KSC’s history from three distinct perspectives. The first will be a local perspective, focusing on the ways KSC has created a favorable culture for its resident workforce and impacted the local economy and community relations. The second will be an organizational perspective, recognizing KSC’s unique role in the larger NASA structure, its specific contributions to the U.S. space efforts, and how the Center has evolved as an organizational culture. Third, an institutional perspective will explore KSC’s contractor relations and the partnerships with technological and scientific communities that have resulted in scientific and technological advancements around the world.

“We are very impressed by this unique approach to the Center’s history,” said JoAnn Morgan, director of External Relations and Business Development at KSC. “Their work will document and recognize our special heritage and KSC’s role in the nation’s space program over the past 25 years. In addition, it will depict the achievements of a generation of extraordinary space pioneers.”

Lipartito and Butler will gather information from a variety of sources, including the KSC archives, other NASA Centers, the National Archives, event and site visits, and individual and group interviews and collections.