Descriptive Finding Guide for Norman Howard Casson Personal Papers SDASM.SC.0032

Finding aid prepared by Stephania Villar
San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park
San Diego, CA, 92101
(619) 234-8291
July 24, 2013

Title: Norman Howard Casson Personal Papers
Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.0032
Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.53 Cubic feet
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1965-1969
Date (inclusive): 1965-2010
Abstract: Norman Howard Casson has spent his technical career of six decades in aerospace. This collection contains photographs and text materials related to Casson's work, with the bulk related to his work on NASA's manned luanr missions, "Project Apollo".
creator: Casson, Norman Howard

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use note

Some copyright may be reserved. Consult with the library director for more information.

Preferred Citation note

[Item], [Filing Unit], [Series Title], [Subgroups], [Record Group Title and Number], [Repository “San Diego Air & Space Museum Library & Archives”]

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The materials in this collection were donated to the San Diego Air & Space Museum in March 2010. The collection has been processed and is open for research with no restrictions.

Biographical/Historical note

Norm Casson worked on the Apollo Missions for NASA, beginning as an engineer and becoming the director in charge of checkout testing procedures.
Norman Howard Casson has spent his technical career of six decades in aerospace. Though Casson was employed as a launch test conductor for the Titan I Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, and later the Titan II – and received many honors for his work there – he is best known for his contributions to the United States lunar landing program, “The Apollo Project.”
NASA trusted Casson with the responsibility to thoroughly test and checkout every NASA manned spacecraft and take it through testing, and mission rehearsal with the actual astronaut crew members. After proving himself capable of managing Station C of the state-of-the-art Building 290 (constructed specifically for these operations), he was eventually given the responsibility of managing all Technicians, the Test Procedure Writing engineers, four control rooms, tank farm fluid and cas facilities, the systems engineers, the senior engineering test project managers, as well as all clerical and operations support personnel and the Apollo Post Recover operation and budget. This last was a team of engineers and technicians required to travel to the “splashdown” area of all Apollo Spacecraft returning from space, to save the systems and take steps to prevent hostile contamination from the surface of the moon.
Casson was immensely successful. He completely restructured the organization into what he believed was a “lean and agile” machine. He set up systems to assure the engineers working on the project were up-to-date with certification and qualifications as well.
Casson worked on the Apollo Missions for NASA as an engineer as well. He has a wealth of information on the American Space program. Casson lives in Arkansas and visits the Library & Archives when he is in the San Diego Area.

Scope and Contents note

One box, 12.25”x 5” x 15”, containing primarily photographs as well as instruction booklets and “Skywriter” articles from 1965-1969. Folders and their contents have been kept in their original order.

Related Archival Materials note

Digitized images from this collection are available at

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Aldrin, Buzz, 1930-
Apollo 10. (Spacecraft)
Apollo 11. (Spacecraft)
Apollo 12. (Spacecraft)
Apollo 15. (Spacecraft)
Apollo 5. (Spacecraft)
Apollo 8. (Spacecraft)
Apollo 9. (Spacecraft)
Armstrong, Neil, 1930-2012
Bean, Alan, 1932-
Cernan, Eugene, 1934-
Chaffee, Roger B., 1935-1967
Collins, Michael, 1930-
Grissom, Virgil I., 1926-1967
Irwin, James B., (James Benson), 1930-1991
Kerwin, Joe, 1932-
Scott, David Randolph, 1932-
Stafford, Thomas P., 1930-
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
White, Edward Higgins, 1930-1967
Worden, Al, 1932-
Young, John, (John Watts), 1930-
American space missions
Apollo 10 (Mission)
Apollo 11 (Mission)
Apollo 12 (Mission)
Apollo 15 (Mission)
Apollo 5 (Mission)
Apollo 8 (Mission)
Apollo 9 (Mission)
Cold War
Outer space--Exploration
Project Apollo
Space race


Box 01


Folder 01 - Photographs I


Folder 02 - Photographs II


Folder 03 - Photographs III


Folder 04 – NASA Recover Requirements Book


Folder 05 – Skywriter Articles


Folder 06 - Large Photographs


Folder 07 – Photocopies