An exchange between two HAM radio operators began our search for the story behind a shiny piece of material.
A HAM radio operator who now lives in Beverly Hills, Florida made contact with another radio hobbyist in Baltimore, Maryland. The second man said he was a NASA engineer and pioneered some early space projects. Before signing off, he promised to send a memento of their conversation.
Some time later our Florida contributor received a three inch-square of metallic fabric, one half covered in a mysterious pink powder, along with a hand-drawn diagram. Piecing together information from the radio exchange and notes on the diagram, our contributor believes this could be a piece of an early space satellite.
History Detectives host Tukufu Zuberi consults with experts at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, and visits the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society in New Jersey to see whether this swatch of reflective material ever orbited the earth.
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Our Colored Heroes Is this a WWI recruitment poster... or something else?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Anti-Slavery Flag Did this old sheet found in a family trunk contribute to the end of slavery in America?
- Related Investigation Mankato Spoon What does this delicate silver spoon have to do with the largest mass execution in American history?
- Related Investigation Jefferson Pledge Did the transformation of the nation's public education system begin with this $200 pledge?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Kahlil Gibran Painting Is this painting an unknown work by an immigrant poet whose words inspired an American generation?
- Also in Season 8 Korean War Letter What does this letter reveal about a forgotten act of heroism during the final days of the Korean War?
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