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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Terry Hammonds Percheron and Conestoga Collection

Identifier: 2012-06-26
The Terry Hammonds Percheron and Conestoga Collection relates to Space Services, Inc. (SSI) and the 1981-1984 Percheron and Conestoga rocket programs. The collection is comprised of primarily of audiovisual materials, including photographs, slides, negatives, and audiocassettes, as well as a small amount of textual materials collected by Hammonds during his time reporting on SSI.

Series I, Audiovisual materials, comprises the bulk of the collection and includes six (6) black-and-white 8x10 photographs, fifty-four (54) color slides, and seventy-five (75) negatives; all taken by Hammonds. The photographs, only two of which have captions providing contextual information, feature a snapshot of SSI founder, David Hannah and his wife, Catherine; the SSI Launch tower, two (2) images of the Miss Matagorda, a transport barge, and one of its Captain [no name given] and one (1) image of the Conestoga launch. The slides and negatives feature various Percheron and Conestoga scenes, such as the rockets being readied for launch, the launch tower, a bottle of champagne, close-ups of the logos on the rockets, and unidentified people. Duplication occurs.

There are also two (2) audiocassettes; one is labeled "Perch[eron] SSI Houston" and, according to donor paperwork, is an interview with David Hannah following the Percheron explosion. The other is labeled "Hannah, Slayton 84" and includes interviews, likely conducted by Hammonds, with David Hannah and Deke Slayton.

Series II, Textual materials, includes two (2) photocopies of magazine articles written by Hammonds; "Out of This World," Texas Business, December 1981, about Hannah and Space Services, Inc. and "Rocket Man,"Success: The Magazine for Achievers, July 1984, about Hannah’s mission to put private enterprise into space. Also included is a press kit folder and its materials; a color patch with "Conestoga" along the top and "Spaces Services Inc." along the bottom of a central image showing a partially obscured Earth and a conestoga wagon; an informational booklet on SSI, a Conestoga I Suborbital Test Launch booklet, and three (3) documents related to the countdown summary, recycle criteria, and flight sequence of the Conestoga.


  • 1981-1984


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF Archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 half-width letter size document box )


Terry Hammonds (born 1941) was a reporter who followed Space Services, Inc. (SSI) and wrote articles, as well as took photographs, about SSI's Percheron and Conestoga projects. The collection is comprised of audiovisual materials, including photographs, slides, negatives, and two (2) audiocassettes, as well as a small amount of textual materials relating to Space Services, Inc. and the 1981-1984 Percheron and Conestoga rocket programs.

Historical Note: Space Services, Inc. of America

Space Services, Inc. of America (SSI) was founded in 1980 by David Hannah, Jr. On September 9, 1982, SSI made history with the first successful privately funded space launch vehicle, Conestoga I. During a time when privately financed space exploration was non existent, SSI became a pioneer in developing commercial launch services. As an innovative force, SSI met many challenges, the most costly of which was the licensing and other legal issues which needed to be addressed. Juggling agreements and communications with 18 different federal agencies, SSI was finally able to obtain the appropriate permissions for the memorable Conestoga I launch. The president of SSI at this time was Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, Mercury 7 astronaut. SSI continued with the development of the Conestoga series of launch vehicles, and also developed the Starfire series of launch vehicles. In 2004, the former SSI joined with Celestis, Inc. to form Space Services, Incorporated, which is still in existence. Celestis, Inc. was founded by former SSI employees in 1994.


Historical note from online finding aid for Space Services Inc. of America (SSI) Records, 2006-0051, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Biographical Note: Terry Hammonds Terry Hammonds was born on April 19, 1941 in Charleston, West Virginia. Hammonds graduated with a degree in psychology and worked for a time as a social worker. He also worked as a reporter. During Hammonds' journalist career, he followed Space Services Inc. (SSI) taking photographs and writing articles about their projects.

As of 2012, Hammonds was residing in Florida. No further information is known.


Biography derived from donor information.


No further accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

The audiocassettes in this collection have been digitized and are available for researchers. Consult repository for more details.

Related Archival Materials at Other Institutions

Space Services, Inc. records, 1970s-1990s MS 584, Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas. This collection encompasses business records relating to Space Services’ administration and organization, the Conestoga 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.

Online finding aid at

Space Services Inc. of America (SSI) Records, 2006-0051, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. This collection consists of the business records of Space Services Inc. of America. Included here is information on joint ventures and agreements with other companies such as Space Data Corporation, Space America, and Space Vector Corporation, as well as information on the programs Conestoga and Starfire. Included also are SSI's dealings with various federal agencies, including FCC, FAA, Air Force, and Navy. The types of materials present here include correspondence, articles, press releases, presentations, reports, programs, agreements, and financial data.

Online finding aid at

Separated Materials

The following material has been separated from the archival component and are kept in Objects storage:

  • One (1) brown T-shirt printed with "I Survived the 1st Matagorda Space Shot, Sept. 1982"
Guide to the Terry Hammonds Percheron and Conestoga Collection
Completed - Level 3
J. Parent
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st Edition

Revision Statements

  • November 2018: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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