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.
- Related Investigation Lewis & Clark's Cane Was this family heirloom a gift from the famous explorers Lewis and Clark?
- Related Investigation Creole Poems Does this manuscript contain words of love or illegal acts of rebellion?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Birth Control Box Could this unusual wooden box be an early contraceptive device?
- Also in Vietnam Era: 1960-1980 Woolworth Sign Were these signs part of the scene in an early victory for Civil Rights?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Seadrome Did floating airports dot the Atlantic before modern air travel?
- Also in this episode Space Boot What does this odd-looking boot have to do with America's first steps in space?
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