Biographical pictures of Winter’s career:

America's First Rocket Company: Reaction Motors, Inc.

Cover of the latest book (2017) by Frank H. Winter. For those who wish to learn more about and or order this work, see the following links: Amazon and

Pioneering American Rocketry: The Reaction Motors, Inc. (RMI) Story, 1941-1972

Cover of one of the latest (2015) books of Frank H. Winter. For those who wish to order this work, click here.

Superior - Land, Sea, Air and Space


History of Rocketry and Astronautics


Chuck Yeager and the Bell X-1: Breaking the Sound Barrier


100 Years of Flight: A Chronicle History of Aerospace History (1903-2003)


The First Golden Age of Rocketry


The Filipinos in America

The Filipinos in America (1988)


With the late Konrad Dannenberg, at left, in Feb. 2008, at Huntsville, Ala. Dannenberg was one of the original members of the rocket team, under Dr. Wernher von Braun, Technical Director, that developed the A-4 (V-2) rocket of World War II, the world’s first large-scale liquid-propellant rocket and the direct ancestor of modern liquid-fuel rockets.


At Johnson Space Flight Center, near Houston, Texas, during an inspection trip for the restoration of one of the NASM’s three Saturn V launch vehicles, March 2003. Winter was the curator of all three vehicles and headed the team that directed the first of the Saturn V restorations, at the Kennedy Space Center. The other Saturn V is situated at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center at Huntsville. All the Saturn Vs are on loan to NASA. (The U.S. Space and Rocket Center serves as a Visitor’s Center to the Marshall Space Flight Center.)


At 48th International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Congress, Turin, Italy, Oct. 1997. Left to right, with fellow astronautics and rocketry historians Philippe Jung, Frederick I. Ordway, III; Winter, Christophe Rothman, and John Becklake. Photo by Doug Millard.

Winter with the USS Enterprise, the model used in filming the TV show “Star Trek.” In addition to managing the rocket collection at the NASM, Winter also managed the Popular Culture collections in the Department of Astronautics (now currently called the Space History Division). This collection included the Enterprise and other Star Trek memorabilia. Winter subsequently added the 2,200 piece Michael O’Harro Collection to the NASM that features mainly “Buck Rogers” and “Flash Gordon” toys and other objects dating back to the late 1920s and 1930s.


By a large, 1:34 scale model of the Saturn V launch vehicle with LUT Tower, in June 1994, in the home of the constructor and later donor of the model, David Gianakos, of Littleton, Colorado. The model was subsequently accepted into the collections of the National Air and Space Museum and is on exhibit in the Apollo to the Moon Gallery. Subsequent additions to the collections by Winter have included the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), the Pegasus launch vehicle, an F-i engine, and many others. This work has included selecting almost all of the rockets and rocket engines for the NASM’s Udvar-Hazy Center (near Dulles International Airport) as well as documenting the restorations of these objects and writing the labels. The Udvar-Hazy Center opened in December 2003, the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the flight of the Wright brothers. Besides artifacts, Winter also acquired the Herb Desind Collection of more than 120,000 aerospace photos for the NASM Archives.


Winter (with glasses), fifth on right of speaker (standing at podium), at Conference of Space and Society, Contemporary History. Moscow, USSR, Dec. 1989.


With Hermann Oberth, at far right, considered one of the three founders of astronautics, on the occasion of Oberth’s visit to the NASM on 5 Nov. 1985, with his daughter, Erna Roth-Oberth, shown in middle. The other founders are Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Robert H. Goddard. Robert Esnault-Pelterie is sometimes also considered a founder.


Winter in his office as the Curator of Rocketry, National Air and Space Museum (NASM). Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (Following his discharge from the Air Force in 1968, he worked for the NASM as a temporary employee in the then, Department of Astronautics. He then became a permanent member of the staff in 1970, he became the Historian of the then, Space History and Exploration Department), while in 1984 he was named Curator of Rocketry. This department was eventually called the Division of Space History.


With, then, Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey, on 16 March 1966, in Washington, D.C., on the occasion of Ninth Annual Robert H. Goddard Dinner, sponsored by the National Space Club, during which Winter was presented with the Robert H. Goddard Historical Essay Award. He was subsequently the co-winner, with John Logsdon, in 1970.


Plaque of the 1970 Robert H. Goddard Essay Award.


Clipping from the Valley Bomber, the base newspaper of Castle Air Force Base, Calif., issue of 16 April 1965. During this period, Winter was assigned to the Base Library but when re-assigned overseas from 1966 to 1968, first to Moron Air Base and later Torrejon Air Force Base, Spain, he worked as an information specialist, or military journalist, and became the feature editor of the base newspaper at the latter station. Some of his stories appeared in the Stars and Stripes, the newspaper circulated throughout U.S. military bases in Europe.


Winter in the U.S. Air Force, outside the Base Library, Castle Air Force Base, Calif., ca. 1965.

Page Last Updated: 9 October, 2017