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Saunders B. Kramer Collection

Identifier: MC-23
The collection (118 linear ft.) includes a total of 790 books and boxes. The Saunders B. Kramer Collection includes subjects on the overall history of the space program as well as in-depth historical data related to individual space craft launches worldwide.

Each book in the series contains a master index to aid the researcher in finding the exact launch program or platform of interest. Every launch that took place by any country was assigned an International Launch Designator code (ILD) that points to the numerical order of the launch and the relative number of space craft modules included in the launch vehicle. The ILD code is reset every January of the new year.

A practical example of how IDL codes work is as follows: if the ILD code reads 1970 3A, this refers to the third launch that took place in the year 1970 of Intelsat III F-6, with A indicating one spacecraft module launched. The Saunders B. Kramer data base is organized to allow the researcher to search the records by ILD code to find the book or box that may contain historical information on this launch.


  • 2019-03-01


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.


126 Linear Feet (About 600 binders and 52 boxes.)

Biographical / Historical

Saunders B. Kramer, a scientist and engineer, was born on October 30, 1920, and died on May 30, 2005. Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., he graduated from Brooklyn’s Polytechnic University with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1951, and a master’s degree in applied mathematics in 1952.

Kramer served in the Army during World War II and worked at Sperry Gyroscope Co, a New York defense contractor, before joining the Lockheed Corporation. Kramer worked on aerospace projects and on improving the efficiency of automobile engines and was an authority on the Soviet space program. From 1955 to 1971, he worked for Lockheed Corporation in Sunnyvale, California, on a variety of early aerospace projects. He was director of the first detailed study of a manned space station and an early space shuttle. In 1960, Kramer received one of the first patents for a design of a space station.

At Lockheed, Kramer was involved in several NASA studies on the submarine-launched Polaris missile. For many years, he collected and analyzed data on satellite and spacecraft launchings, developing considerable expertise in the Soviet space program. Kramer, who was known as “Sandy,” came to Washington in 1975 as a scientist with the Department of Energy, conducting research into designing automobile engines to reduce pollution and improve mechanical efficiency. He served as a consultant to the U.S military and other federal agencies.

Kramer wrote dozens of technical papers on space exploration, delivered hundreds of lectures, and published the book “The Hundred Billion New-Ruble Trip: A Russian Landing on Mars” in 2003. Additionally, he co-authored a children’s book on the Discoverer satellite. Kramer was contributing editor to Air & Space Magazine; he frequently had his letters published in Aviation and Aeronautics publications, and he was often quoted in newspaper and magazine stories about space travel and exploration.

Saunders B. Kramer was a founding member of the American Astronautical Society, a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, and a member of the Planetary Society and National Space Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Saunders B. Kramer, 2006.

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.



Anne Coleman, David Hanning
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