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David Starr Notebook
David W. Starr had a long military career, serving as a bombardier in the 11th Air Force during World War II. After the war he worked in research and development of aircraft engines and guided missles. As program manager for the NIKE-ZEUS anit-missle, missle for Army Ordnance, he was selected to assist Dr. James Van Allen in the design of the ROCK-OON program -- that is, rocket instrumentation packages launched from balloons -- and in this capacity was present at meetings of the International Geophysical Year Working Committee chaired by Van Allen, the group that supervised 1957 rocket firings at Fort Churchill on St. Nicholas Island, Canada.
These firings immediately preceded the 1958 launch of Explorer I, the first American satellite placed in orbit and which returned the data on which Van Allen based his discovery of the radiation belts that surround the earth.
David Starr recently presented the Libraries with the notebook he maintained during the IGY Committee meetings. It is a very use complement to the large collection of personal and research papers documenting his long career that Dr. Van Allen has deposited in the Libraries.