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Space Services, Inc. records

Identifier: MS 0584
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of business records relating to Space Services’ administration and programs from 1980 to 1990 divided into 17 series. Administrative records encompass business plans, strategies, contracts, financial documents, employment records, investments, and marketing, insurance, and legal documents. Related series include records on investors, customers, research on potential services, meetings, and correspondence. Records on Space Services’ Conestoga and Starfire programs concern the design, development, and testing of various rockets. The collection also includes records on the company’s selection of a launch site, extensive files on NASA, numerous presentations and papers, and materials relating to various seminars and conferences.

Along with a significant number of photographs, there is an important audiovisual component in this collection, with reel to reel and beta film of the 1982 Conestoga launch, recordings of various TV and radio appearances of Space Services representatives, including founder David Hannah, and numerous VHS tapes of documentation and media appearances.


  • Creation: ca. 1970s-1990s


Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Space Services, Inc. records must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Historical Note

Space Services Incorporated of America (SSIA) was founded by David Hannah in 1980. A pioneer in private space exploration, SSIA overcame myriad licensing and legal obstacles to advance their program, eventually obtaining agreements with 18 separate federal agencies. SSIA’s first project, the Percheron rocket, was tested in 1981 but failed to launch. SSIA then hired former NASA Astronaut Donald K. “Deke” Slayton as its new president, and in 1982 successfully launched the first privately funded rocket, the Conestoga I, into space in 1982. SSIA continued to develop its Conestoga program, as well as the Starfire series of launch vehicles. In 2004, SSIA joined with Celestis, Inc., a company founded by former SSIA employees, and formed Space Services Incorporated. The company no longer maintains its own rocket program, and instead purchases cargo space on third party launches.


28 Linear Feet ( (29 boxes) )

Language of Materials



This collection encompasses business records relating to Space Services’ administration and organization, the Contestoga and Starfire programs, launch sites, investors, customers, markets, relations with NASA, presentations and other materials from meetings, conferences, and seminars, and various assorted business files and records. It primarily consists of paper records, but also includes photographs, audio cassettes, VHS, Beta, and newspaper clippings.

Guide to the Space Services, Inc. records, 1970s-1990s
Jeff Warner / Lee Pecht
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA