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William Snoddy Slide Collection

Identifier: MC-36
Glass photograph slides.


  • 2007-10-10


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research in the Archives & Special Collections reading room. Handling guidelines and use restrictions will be communicated and enforced by archives staff members.

Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized material for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives and Special Collections has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.


1 Linear Feet (1 box.)

Biographical / Historical

William "Bill" Snoddy was born in Russellville, Alabama. Snoddy was a senior in physics at the University of Alabama when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik—the world's first artificial satellite—in October 1957; as a physics student, Snoddy understood the incredible magnitude of the launch. After graduating a few months later, Snoddy joined the von Braun team in Huntsville and remained a member until his retirement 37 years later.

Early in his professional career, Snoddy worked on the thermal design of the early satellites. At Gerhard Heller’s prompting, Snoddy performed calculations to determine why Explorer I was 30 degrees cooler than it should have been. Snoddy determined that Explorer I was cooler because it rotated in a different way than expected, causing energy to be dissipated.

Later on, Snoddy worked on various thermal-related issues for Apollo; he served as Chief of the Astronomy and Solid State Physics Division and Chief of the Solar-Terrestrial Physics Division; he helped study Comet Kohoutek and worked with solar physicists to develop monographs on the Sun with the Skylab Program, serving as Manager of the Skylab/ATM Data Analysis Program.

Snoddy had a one-year assignment to NASA Headquarters in Washington as Planner for Solar Terrestrial Physics and Manager of the Science and Applications Space Platform study activity (this concept lost out to the current International Space Station in orbit), a job he continued upon his return to Huntsville. After that, he served as Deputy Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Space Science Laboratory, Deputy Director of the Program Development Directorate (future projects office), and the MSFC lead in Space Commercialization.

Snoddy retired in 1994. Snoddy was part of a small group who went to Russia to observe its formerly-secret biosphere.

The above is adapted from a biography on Snoddy found here.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William Snoddy, 2007.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.



Megan Sullivan
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives & Special Collections Repository

M. Louis Salmon Library
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899 Alabama 35899 United States of America