Newsletter of the Mercurians, in the Society for the History of Technology
Volume 10 No. 2, May 1998
Andrew Butrica Wins Prestigious Prize
The Organization of American Historians (OAH) awarded Andrew Butrica its 1998 Richard W. Leopold Prize for his book, To See the Unseen: A History of Planetary Radar Astronomy (Washington, D. C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1996). This award was presented at the 1998 meeting of the OAH in Indianapolis on April 10.
The book is part of the NASA History Series produced by the NASA Headquarters History Office under the direction of Chief Historian, Roger Launius. In To See the Unseen, Butrica has provided a comprehensive history of planetary radar astronomy, a little-known but important field of space science, which has significantly expanded scientific knowledge of the solar system through the use of radar over the past fifty years. The technology involves aiming a carefully controlled radar signal at a planet (or some other target-such as a satellite, an asteroid, or a ring system), detecting its echo, and analyzing the information the echo carries.
The OAH awards the Leopold Prize every two years for the best book written by an historian connected with federal, state, or municipal government in the areas of foreign policy, military affairs, the historical activities of the federal government, or biography in one of these areas.
In addition to his activities as co-editor of Antenna, Butrica is a long-time member of the Society for the History of Technology and other professional organizations. He has published widely, in French as well as in English.