This Glennan figure is quite interesting and I had to look him up.
Employment biography of T. Keith Glennan
1935-1939 Operations Manager, Paramount Pictures, Inc.
1939-1941 Studio Manager, Paramount Pictures, Inc.
1941 Executive, Vega Airplane Corporation
1941-1942 Studio Manager, Samuel Goldwyn Studios
1942 Administrator, U. S. Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory
1942-1945 Director, U. S. Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory
1945-1947 Production Manager, Ansco Division, General Aniline and Film http://www.case.edu/its/archives/presidents/glesummary.htm
The first administrator for the newly formed NASA worked in the Hollywood movie industry as a studio manager for nearly ten years and, after the war, for photographic film manufacturing company Ansco/GAF.
Ansco/GAF, in which Mr Glennan worked from 1945 to 1947, would in the 1970s provide the official photographic film material for Disneyland. GAF is also the producer of the popular View-Master toy line.
During his Hollywood years Mr Glennan was an executive both at Paramount and Goldwyn studios. The same Metro-Goldwyn studios later went on to produce the classic 1968 science fiction film 2001 A Space Odyssey.
As studio manager at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, Mr Glennan was responsible for "budgeting productions, lighting, sound, set construction, wardrobe, art, and film processing. Mr Glennan provided the logistics necessary to allow the studio's creative teams to stage their productions."
"Keith Glennan is credited with important innovations in the film industry during his time at Paramount, including the creation of the first full-fledged engineering department in movie production.
Since I couldn't find any information online in regard to Mr Glennan’s duties, responsibilities, or associated film productions as movie studio manager in Hollywood, I sent several emails to Paramount requesting information, but received no reply.
The following excerpts are quoted from the first chapter of the book Spaceflight revolution : NASA Langley Research Center from Sputnik to Apollo
by James R. Hansen and is part of the “NASA History Series.” The volume is available at :http://archive.org/stream/spaceflightrevol00hansrich/spaceflightrevol00hansrich_djvu.txt
When Eisenhower announced Glennan as his choice for the NASA administrator on 9 August 1958, people at Langley and at other NACA centers asked, who was Glennan? They learned that he was the president of Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland. Then he must be a member of the NACA Main Committee? No, he was a former Hollywood movie mogul and a minor one at that, not in the class of a Samuel Goldwyn or Louis B. Mayer.
In 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded. NASA was largely established on the assets and personnel of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The NACA was a US federal agency founded in 1915 and responsible for advancing aeronautical research. It comprised over 7,500 employees and $300 millions worth of facilities, including the Ames Research Center, the Lewis Research Center, and Langley Aeronautical Laboratory. These, along with some elements of the US Army and US Navy, became NASA. With the creation of (the) NASA, the NACA was dissolved. (Wikipedia)
These answers, which circulated via the NACA grapevine late in the summer of 1958, appalled some NACA employees, did not make much sense to most, and made none of them very happy.
In the morning of 1 October 1958, not a single member of the Langley senior staff was likely to have remembered ever meeting Glennan. The new NASA administrator had not yet visited Langley or any other NACA facility, at least not as the NASA administrator. However, the former Hollywood executive had appeared at Langley via motion picture. On 22 September, the NACA public affairs officer in Washington, Walter Bonney, sent copies of a short 10-minute film, "Glennan Message to NACA Employees," for immediate showing at all NACA centers.
At Langley, employees gathered in the East Area a few days later to watch the film in the air force base's air-conditioned theater. [...] From its beginning, something about the film made many people in the audience uneasy. Perhaps they were disturbed by the Orwellian undertone of the presentation, a confident and soothing "Big Brother" message coming to the people electronically from the center of government.
The establishment of (the) NASA, the agency tasked with achieving the technological endeavor of humanity’s spaceflight dream, was primarily understood by the NACA personnel, the nation’s most advanced flight researchers and engineers, as a political operation.
Most NACA employees filing out of the base theater felt positive and excited about what they had heard, but a few cynics might have wondered out loud about that last reference to Columbus: "Wasn't he headed for China? And didn't he believe to his dying day that he had landed in Asia?" Hopefully, NASA had a better idea of its destination and would know where it was when it got there.
NACA personnel continued to question the motives behind the establishment of the NASA. All those “crazy conspiracy theorists” who today question the nature of the space industry are not alone: so did most of the initial 1958 NASA staff !
According to one member of the Langley senior staff, Glennan "had so little knowledge of the organization" at the outset that he did not think its staff "had any competence." Upon seeing the huge vacuum spheres belonging to the Gas Dynamics Laboratory at Langley, Glennan allegedly remarked, "NASA doesn't have any capability to handle that kind of high pressure stuff. You're going to have to get some help from outside to do that, you know."
NACA explorers, unlike Columbus, had a good idea of where they were going. They were going into the air faster, farther, higher, and more efficiently in a modern engineering marvel that their systematic research into aeronautics over the last 43 years had helped to make possible. Aeronautics and the NACA had grown up together; the business of the NACA for its entire existence had been to see that American aeronautics continued to progress.
For NACA veterans who took Glennan's advice and read the Space Act of 1958, the time when the airways had been ruled by frail wooden biplanes covered with fabric, braced by wires, powered by heavy water-cooled engines, and driven by hand-carved wooden propellers did not seem so long ago. When 20 year-old Floyd Thompson served as a mechanic in Pensacola with the U.S. Navy's first torpedo squadron in 1918, the navy's fastest aircraft, an R6L biplane amphibian, had a top speed of 110 knots and a fuel system with a windmill on the outside to pump fuel up to an overhead gravity tank. When flight research operations began at NACA Langley a year later, NACA researchers hardly knew the principles of aeronautical engineering. Airplane design was still a largely intuitive and empirical practice, thus requiring bold speculation and risk taking.
As the federal agency responsible for the progress of the nation's aviation technology, the NACA had enough to do without getting involved in what the public considered "Buck Rogers stuff."
Note: Buck Rogers was a science-fantasy comic strip created by Dick Calkins around 1930; the comic strip remained popular until it was terminated in the 1960s. In the 1950s, it also became a popular television "space opera." As such, "Buck Rogers" significantly influenced American popular culture's attitudes about rocketry and space travel. In the late 1970s, another TV show, "Buck Rogers in the 21st Century," went on the air; however, the updated character did not bring on a similar craze.
Born in 1898, Anthony (Buck) Rogers is a veteran of World War I and by 1927 is working for the American Radioactive Gas Corporation investigating reports of unusual phenomena reported in abandoned coal mines in Pennsylvania. On December 15, there is a cave-in while he is in one of the lower levels of a mine. Exposed to radioactive gas, Rogers falls into "a state of suspended animation, free from the ravages of catabolic processes, and without any apparent effect on physical or mental faculties.” After remaining in suspended animation for 492 years, Rogers awakens in 2419. (Wikipedia)
Today we are accustomed to living in a world in which Man has reached and gone beyond the limits of outer space. But how was this belief perceived before the advent of the Space age ?
During the first four decades of NACA research station Langley's operation, the idea of working to promote the immediate achievement of spaceflight had been too ridiculous for consideration. Into the 1940s, NACA researchers were not certain that rockets and missiles were a part of aeronautics.
Langley veteran Christopher C. Kraft remembers that before the late 1950s, "space" was a dirty word: " It wasn't even allowed in the NACA library.
The prevailing NACA attitude was that space and airplanes had nothing to do with each other.
Langley veteran Ira Abbott recalled that the NACA stood "as much chance of injecting itself into space activities [...] as an icicle had in a rocket combustion chamber."
In the early 1950s, Abbott had mentioned the possibility of manned spaceflight to a House subcommittee, and one of the congressmen scornfully accused him of talking "science fiction."
There did exist a vibrant “rocket debate” in the 1940s on the feasibility of Earth orbiting satellites and their required launchers.
In 1949 a Gallup poll found less than 15% of the American public believed Man could achieve spaceflight within their lifetime (Space and the American Imagination, 2011, p 29). To the American public, "space travel was intriguing but unfeasible.”
The US Army and Navy commissioned reports on the feasibility of rockets in space and orbiting satellites.
However the feasibility of functioning rockets capable of such feats was questioned at high levels of the government, including by Vannevar Bush (unrelated to the presidential family), renowned scientist, director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) and head of the NACA in the 1930s who was a vocal opponent of rockets in the armed forces.
The “debates on the prospects of long-range ballistic rockets flared up in 1945, were bitter, and lasted for several years."http://books.google.com/books?id=2XY9KXxF8OEC&pg=PA187&lpg=PA187&dq=feasibility+of+space+rocketry+CEFSR&source=bl&ots=gGDevi83ob&sig=hfpHE2OR_JN3-9TWXoM3nchGj7w&hl=en&sa=X&ei=TT13VPHFLMSmgwTy4IDwCw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=feasibility%20of%20space%20rocketry%20CEFSR&f=false
Bush was dismissive of the possibility of rockets achieving Earth orbit:
We even have the exposition of missiles fired so fast that they leave the Earth and proceed about it indefinitely as satellites, like the Moon, for some vaguely specified military purposes…