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Lengthy letter to a space memorabilia collector
Typed Letter signed: "Bruce A. Aikenhead O. C.", 3 pages, 8½x11. Salmon Arms, British Columbia, 2010 November 25. To Mr. Roger Nees, Bella Vista, Arkansas, in part: "... I congratulate you on having chosen 'Space Collectables' as a hobby, there is no limit to the directions to which it will take you! Although I was too busy to reply, I did think about 'how' I could reply and, accordingly, gathered a number of 'spares' from my own collection of souvenirs which you might find to be of interest. ... You won't be aware of it at first, but the collection of things date from only as far back as 1984 whereas, if you study my career summary for a moment, [This summary and the collectibles mentioned are not included.] you will see that my involvement in Space projects began in 1959 when NASA hired me. I was one of about 35 engineers NASA chose from several hundred who had become unemployed when the AVRO 'Arrow', was canceled by the Canadian government. It was a Mach 2 interceptor whose production costs were becoming excessive. NASA was a brand new organization which had been assigned a job which was considered by many as too difficult, and also likely to end tragically, that is, to put a pilot into a small canister on the nose of an Atlas rocket and then light the fuse! I thought it could be successful and NASA could see that I had some experience with flight simulators designed to train professional pilots. ... The remainder of my career, until my retirement in 1993, involved equipment, and people, flying in space. ..." [The rest of the letter, which can be read from the scan, details collectible items sent by Aikenhead but not included here.] A pioneer of the Canadian aerospace industry, Bruce Aikenhead began engineering flight simulators for aircrew training in 1955, beginning nearly 4 decades in aerospace work. NASA recruited him in 1959 to develop training aids for the astronauts of Project Mercury. Returning to Canada, he worked on satellite technology, and on the "Canadarm" space shuttle project. His last post before retirement was Director-General of the Canadian Astronaut Program (1990-1993). Slightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition.

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