Mission & Spacecraft Library


The Mission and Spacecraft Library (MSL) was born in the mind of JPL's Mike Evans, who had a vision of building a database that would be publicly accessible via Internet's World Wide Web. There are a plenty of examples (Yahoo! is a good one) of Web resources that started as small personal projects and grew into widely respected sites as more and more people found, used, and added to them. So Mike took the plunge and built a database of historical spacecraft launches and a core group of about a hundred "QuickLook" pages in HTML. He also built query forms and customized scripts for searching these resources and put everything onto a web server.

Steve Johnson took responsibility for the maintenance of the existing MSL data and the creation of new data after Mike's departure. He completed the launch facts master database (which includes over 5000 orbital launches), proofed the existing QuickLook pages, and improved the database search tools. Most of the navigation instructions and MSL overview documents are also Steve's work. Steve's real job is charting the future of America's space program as a member of JPL's Spacecraft Systems Engineering Section. He is currently completing his Masters degree at Stanford.

Joshua Cohen found MSL to be a great resource in need of a little facelift. He designed the front end graphics and navigational features that make MSL a bit easier for users to fathom, plus a back-end database and custom scripts to automatically create HTML pages from the FileMaker Pro records. He also created the forms for feedback and content submission, and hosts a mirror copy of MSL as part of the Launchspace Network. Josh helps out with some of the research and writing, too. Normally though, he keeps busy as a Web architect - designing and building web sites for various space industry companies.

David Lackner is now a full time JPLer who helped Steve create new QuickLooks while he was a student at UCLA.

Joel Rademacher is a JPLer who has taken over responsibility for MSL while Steve Johnson is getting his Masters degree at Stanford. Joel is a systems engineer dedicated to microspacecraft and secondary payload launch opportunities. He is also a part-time student at USC where he is striving to obtain a PhD in Aerospace Engineering several years from now. Joel was responsible for folding all the QuickLook information into a FileMaker Pro database (it previously existed only in static HTML pages). He is also responsible for the JPL mirror of MSL, and a good portion of the research and writing that goes into new pages.


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Information in the Mission and Spacecraft library is provided without warranty or guarantee. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.