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 in Season 8 Lauste Film Clip How is this odd strip of film connected to the invention of talking movies?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Nesbit Portrait Is this portrait a lost masterpiece by one of America's greatest artists?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Florida Map How did this faded map help unlock the riches of the New World?
- Also in Season 8 Spybook What does this little black book reveal about spying on the home front during World War I?
- Related Investigation Cromwell Dixon Plane Fragment What could this faded scrap of fabric tell us about the first pilot to conquer the Continental Divide?
- Related Investigation Lincoln Forgery Could this piece of sheet music have come from Abraham Lincoln's private collection?
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