Eccles Visiting Scholar Roger Launius, NASA Historian

Roger Launius

March 28, 2023
The Great Hall

Roger D. Launius is Principal of Launius Historical Services, Auburn, Alabama. Between 1990 and 2002 he served as chief historian of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. From there he moved to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., where he served most recently as Associate Director for Collections and Curatorial Affairs until retirement in 2017. He is the author, most recently, of The Smithsonian History of Space Exploration: From the Ancient World to the Extraterrestrial Future (Smithsonian Books, 2018); Apollo's Legacy: The Space Race in Perspective (Smithsonian Books, 2019); Reaching for the Moon: A Short History of Space Race (Yale University Press, 2019); The NASA Archives: From Project Mercury to the Mars Rovers, 60 Years in Space (Taschen, 2019); An Unofficial History of NASA Mission Patches (Thunder Bay Press, 2020); and NASA Space Shuttle: 40th Anniversary (Motorbooks, an Imprint of The Quarto Group, 2021). He was a consultant to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board in 2003 and served on several review boards of the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the Exceptional Achievement Medal. He has been a guest commentator on space history for all the major television and news radio networks.