tv C-SPAN Cities Tour 2016 Part 2 CSPAN November 24, 2016 1:49pm-2:51pm EST
-- fourth folio, 1685, and even before you open the book, you know the book has a story to tell. stunning binding. but it is the complete works of shakespeare, 1685. i have it open to "romeo and juliet." i will continue to collect books for the rest of my life. i have had people ask me, "when are you going to retire? what are you going to do?" i'm already doing it. i can't think of anything i would rather do than travel around. people ask, do you read them? absolutely. they made anw if
inspection that could substantially increase the value -- inscription that could substantially increase the value of the book or at interest to the story. i never get tired of it. i love sharing stories with old and young. and i look forward to every day. bookshops have been closing in record numbers. national chains are closing down . 15 years ago, i knew owners of about 300 bookstores. 250 of those closed just in the past 15 years. it is important for these stores to continue, to survive. they add character to the local community. it is a meeting place for people, and he keeps history alive. by these bookshops continuing to be in existence. >> we continue with our american
history tv and book to be exclusive -- booktv exclusive with some of the places c-span's cities tour visited in 2016. a lot of people have this image of las vegas, that we always blow up buildings, and we have blown up a lot of hotel casinos on the strip and replace them with new ones. this building was just about vacant in the late 1990's and the federal government was ready to let it come down. the mayor at the time was oscar goodman, who had been an attorney who represented a lot of figures allegedly connected to the mob. he said, "this is the building effort practiced law, had my first case. it is an important building historically good let's save it."
it was the federal courthouse built in 1933. today it houses one of the leading museums, in our opinion, for organized crime and law enforcement. the role they played through united states history and especially in the 20th and 21st century and the development of las vegas, whether or not las vegans and the rest of the world likes it or not, the model played an important role in our development. where we are now is this in a piece of our new museum. this is the courtroom on the second floor of the building. and really, the historical motivation, if you will, for having us museum. estes kefauverr of tennessee and a 4 other senators conducted hearings on organized crime in america. the smallest city by far they came to was las vegas.
they spent an afternoon here. this room, in fact, they questioned the various local casino operators and executives. wilbur clark, the front man of the desert in, he testified. the owner of a couple of casinos who was on the nevada tax commission. efauver and his men were aghast at the notion that you could have illegal gambling, that people who might've had organized crime connections or involved in activity elsewhere could possibly be welcomed here as legitimate businessmen. when kefauver issued his report, he said as a case study in gambling, nevada speaks eloquently in the negative. the problem was in fact it was legal here, whereas in other cities you were shut down. the kefauver hearings were
important in american history. kefauver had been elected by tackling one of the most corrupt political machines in the country. he had great ambitions. he wanted to be vice president or president. going after organized crime meant going after a lot of democratic party operatives, because organized crime was big in the cities and so was the democratic party. using chicago as an example, the leyple who would form the da machine worked with these people, not necessarily with anything in mind other than getting ahead politically. kefauver wanted to do. he ends up being the democratic presidential nominee in 1956. for las vegas, people reacted to and said,er hearings my god, this is terrible, we got to get rid of illegal gambling. they are shutting down these places around the country.
they going to get -- where are they going to go to operate casinos legally? las vegas. las vegas and that being the beneficiary of the kefauver hearings because of the numbers of people who came here to work in or operate casinos. these hearings are incredibly popular because it is really the first big daytime tv show. in prime time at the time you have milton berle and jackie gleason starting out and various shows. daytime, not so much these hearings are being watched in cities around the country. not in las vegas, because las vegas doesn't get a tv station until 1953. seeing these people on tv, these mobsters, gangsters, accused killers, reduced a lot of the perception of them as robin hood's, people who rob on the rich and gave to the poor.
hollywood had created an image, if you will, of mobsters. maybe they weren't so bad, or some of them who were bad, at least they got put away and you did not deal with them. this changes perceptions of organized crime in america. it is a popular show, it is a riveting show, and it is also a transformative show. the hearings were a success and a failure. they are a failure in the sense that organized crime survives, and illegal activities go on in the cities and areas where they are being driven out. where it does serve the intended purpose, kefauver is a moral reformer. he wants change. and there is change that results, and you can trace the trajectory from kefauver into the 1960's with bobby kennedy going after organized crime as part of his brothers administration, and into the 1970's, the organized crime strikeforce, getting rid of the teamsters connections to
organize crime and that sort of thing. in that way it is a success. kefauver hoped the hearings would make him a major national figure, and they did. did they take him as far as he wanted to go? no. but they certainly made him more powerful. partly to his satisfaction among a lot of democratic politicians who were connected to these guys in one way or another, it also made kefauver more hated. the second floor talks about las vegas and the development of organized crime, locally and nationally and internationally in the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's. what makes las vegas attractive to the mob is that in 1931 the state of nevada legalized gambling and in the early 1940's legalized off-track betting. here are all the things that organized crime had been involved in around the country illegally. here they could run legal casinos. they don't have to pay off people to run them. at the same time, las vegas was a new enough community that the
auctions that led to the creation of the town of las vegas in 1905, there wasn't really an establishment here where they would have to break in. other cities like reno, being about 40 years older than las vegas, was a more established community. the land was cheap and plentiful. what was important, it was accessible to southern california, where not only did organized crime have some interests, but the l.a. area was always booming. there were always people who wanted to drive to las vegas, and here was all this money waiting for them to make it. when we talk about las vegas as wide open, it can mean a couple of things. it was wide open to the mob, to illegal gamblers, to come in here. that suggests that organized crime itself wasn't that organized. when in fact, yeah, there were
guys in overall charge who were helping to broker disputes, but if you went up and down the strip, you would find there were people coming here from new york, miami, houston, cleveland, cities throughout the united states. in that sense it was wide open for people to come in. the other thing is that because of the city they developed, because of the entertainment and gambling and image of las vegas, it struck a lot of people as this wide open, wild place. there was one writer, marc cooper, who said, you come to las vegas to be legally certified an adult. well, what are you doing to certify you are an adult? doing things that suggests that things are wide open. the case i'm in front of kind of takes you through the development of organized crime and gambling in las vegas from the 1940's into the 1970's. down below we have a briefcase that belonged to one of the people who testified before the kefauver committee when it came here. he had driven liquor trucks in
from ireland ski and bugsy lansky and bugsy siegel in the prohibition era and was involved in casinos out here. and then everything from one of the uniform jackets from the desert in, which organized crime interests from cleveland and then everything from one of the uniform jackets from the desert in, which organized crime interests from cleveland operated, to a placemat from the moulin rouge, which was really the first integrated hotel casino in las vegas. las vegas was a segregated community, and if you were african-american, you could not stay in or patronize a strip or downtown hotel casino. entertainers usually had to stay in west las vegas and the moulin rouge, which itself had mob connections, was an attempt in 1955 to integrate the industry and community. the casino closed but helped set some standards that
contributed to the civil rights movement that would lead to changes in las vegas and around the country. below that are photos in magazines featuring frank lefty rosenthal. if you see the movie "casino," robert de niro is playing a character supposedly based on him. he ran a couple of other casinos on the strip and could never get a gaming license because of his background. the corner here is mostly about the foley bergere, the production show at the tropicana hotel for nearly 1/2 century. this is one of the outfits that one of the showgirls would have worn. the headdresses can weigh up to 30 pounds. the guy pictured was the kansas city's mob guy. so, here in this case, a lot of our history is covered. what we have over here is an addition of the list of excluded persons, which became known as the black book.
it always has been in a black book. originally it was a three ring binder. in 1960, the state gaming control board created it because they wanted to get a list of people they saw as just too bad to be in casinos. the original list was 12, all italian mobsters, which led the charges with some justification that there might have been a little bit of discrimination here. one of the 12 was still alive as of 2015. the guy in the mugshots next to the book was anthony, who came from chicago, was accused of murders, and he was the mob's enforcer on the streets of las vegas in the 1970's and 1980's. in the movie joe pesci plays a character based on him. if you seen the movie, he meets a violent and. that is how anthony died. he also had a burglary ring out on the streets that became known
as the hole in the wall gang because they literally blew a hole in the wall of a building they were breaking into. and right above it, an example of the kinds of donations we get at the museum, an fbi agent named mark casper arrested him in 1983 in las vegas. these are the handcuffs. in case anybody got a little too interested, the key is there too just in case. this isn't the greatest exhibit in the museum, but it's part of thing but kind of talks about what a museum does today. there's a photo of the senate minority leader when he was chairman of the nevada gaming commission. we have on our website and
interview where he talked about his days with the gaming commission. it was quite a period for him, he had been through a couple of electoral defeats. what he didn't expect was that this was when the fbi was really going after organized crime families in the midwest and the teamsters union. it is when state officials are cracking down, so he ends up ordering the closure of some casinos, having to deal with a lot of public controversy, including the guy pictured right above him. they had this confrontation over rosenthal's license that is depicted in the movie "casino." because of how they set up the whole thing.
read ended up one day having to call the police because something was attached to his car that turned out to be something that would blow up the car. he has dealt with a few things in his past that might be a bit rougher than moving on the senate floor. once we get through the second floor of the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, what went on in las vegas, we come to how the mob is brought down in what long essman is doing and ways in which organized crime spreads beyond where we think it might be. thanks to the federal government and ellen knowlton, the fbi agent in charge here, we were able to get access to wiretaps. what makes these wiretaps possible, what changed was in 1970, congress passed the rapid influenced and corrupt organizations act. it enables them to go after the mob and less traditional ways. if you think of al capone, the guy who got al capone was not jay. edgar hoover.
over here is a conversation between alan dorfman and joe lombardo. joe lombardo was connected to the teamsters. so was dorfman. dorfman was in charge of the teamsters union central states pension fund. he had mob connections through his family, which had been close to al capone. here they are talking about loans the teamsters made great where the teamsters were important was with very few exceptions, banks would not lend money to casino operators. the theory, they are being gangsters. are they going to pay it back? should a bank investment they casino? there were bankers in las vegas who realized the benefit to the community and to the bank of lending money. but the teamsters did this and in turn were able to get skimming operations going.
it was dorfman who called the operators of the circus circus to help out a friend of his, who ends up coming to las vegas to oversee the skim. the teamsters lend the money to alan glick, who becomes the front man running the couple of other hotel casinos in las vegas. where this is also important, the teamsters and the midwestern families had pretty well replaced new york and miami operators who were tied to meyer lansky. when the federal government through the rico act, when state officials bring down organized crime, it's really these people who they get. the organized crime passed force, there was a strike force in the justice department, they end up prosecuting the midwestern crime family leaders and dorfman. dorfman is eventually gunned down because there's a fear he might testify and he knew too much. alan dorfman was literally the men who knew too much. in this set of wiretaps, there is a threat to an attorney for various teamsters leaders. beheading on it, how he could live to his next -- the heading on it, how he could live to his next birthday.
he had a loan to operate the dunes. representatives of the teamsters were reminding him, he needed to pay. we all think of organized crime as violence, and we should. a lot of the people depicted in this museum who were in las vegas were in the business end. they are skimming money or just operating casinos where the profits go to some organized crime people, some who are not connected, and the casinos here are going to fund all kinds of things going on nationally and internationally from the drug trade to various violent crimes or burglary rings. when somebody leaves this museum, i hope they realize that history itself can be fascinating. not everybody thinks that, unfortunately. and at the history of organized crime and law enforcement, it's intertwined, there are bad guys on both sides. the good guys are on the law
enforcement side. organized crime provided a lot of economic and if it to places like las vegas, but people who come here thinking this is a tribute to the mob are going to have their perceptions changed. that's what i hope they leave with. >> the mission was peace through deterrence. our job was to project a credible threat, to be here that day demonstrating
even if they lost a's -- launched a surprise first strike against us, we would be able to ride that out and retaliate force thath enough soviet union,tate even if they launched their missiles first. him that is -- that is the nerve center. of the eye view condition of the missile site. it is from here, the crew would launch the missile in order to do so. launch the missile,
the crew needs a number of things. they have to receive an order theytells them what time need to do that. they will need two keys. one launch key for the commander and one for the deputy crew commander. launch teams are accrued in the emergency war order. the safe is secured by two padlocks. these are combination padlocks. along stew a specific officer on the crew. is the deputy crew commander's lock. the officer who owns the lock knows the combination to the lock. those, we sete
the combination and that combination is classified top secret because it is guarding top-secret equipment. and information. the two officers, after they received the launch order, they remove their locks, retrieve the launch keys, and the crew commanders launch key is then inserted here in the crew commander's console. the deputy crew commanders launch key is inserted here. the placement of these keys is intentional and serves an important purpose. it guarantees both officers have to act together in order to launch the missile. in order to launch the missile, and keys have to be turned
held in the on position for five seconds. they have to be turned at the exact same moment in time. switches are spring-loaded so if you let go of the key switch, it automatically falls back to the off position. they are also too far apart for able to turn be both keys. this means both officers have to agree that they will launch their missile and then they have to cooperate to do that. it will launch from its underground launch duct. it will then take about 30 minutes to reach the target. when it reaches its target, the target will cease to exist.
this small elevator is what the crews and the maintenance teams would use to access the other missiles. we will head another 100 feet underground and we will end up where we cann, walk into the launch duct and stand directly underneath the missile. we will be entering the launch seven. little -- level we need to watch our head as we go in. we will be standing directly underneath the missile. when the missile was operational , a stage one mission would have been mounted here. the thrust chambers, it had 2, would have been extending below the cutouts. if you look to the left spot, you will see a large water spray nozzle. there is a ring of them that
encircles the launch dock. when the launch sequence is initiated we start pumping 160 gallons, roughly, a second of water into the concrete at the bottom of the launch dock so that when the heat interacts wi th the water it will create steam. the steam works together with the sound continuation panels on this mesh that lines the walls. they worked together to dampen and absorb enough of the noise and vibration created by the engine when it fires so the missile will be able to watch from here -- to launch from
here. if we didn't do that the stage one engines, which generate 400 31 pounds of thrust, like having 2 747s in the launch zone, if we do not do anything to absorb the noise and vibration, it will vibrate the missile to pieces. it will explode and never launch. that was one of the huge challenges that the engineers overcame that enabled the titan ii to launch from within the launch site. so, this is level 2 of the lauch dock, where we are 35-feed underground. there is another 125 feet of lau nch dock beneath us. we are looking at the upper section of the stage 2 of the titan ii intercontinental ballistic missile. the brown nose cone at the top is the reentry vehicle. the reentry vehicle is what carried the warhead on the titan ii. it is the only part of the missile that is actually going to reach its target. the yield of the titan ii was 9 megatons. that is the explosive equivalent of 9 million tons of tnt. that is enough destructive capability to decimate an area of 900 square miles. if you were to drop the equivalent of a titan ii on the city of tucson, the city of tucson would cease to exist. there were 54 titan ii missiles altogether. 18 of them were around tucson, arizona.
another 18 were based around wichita, kansas. the final set of 18 were around little rock, arkansas. the part of the nuclear triad that the united states was using during the cold war. there are also another 1000 minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles on alert at the same time as the titan ii. -- the same time the titan ii was operational. when the air force opened the titan ii career field to women, it had previously been close to women because it is a combat position, and when the air force transitioned to the all volunteer force, they realized they were not going to be able to man all of the titan ii sites. they weren't going to have enough people. the decision was made to open the career field to women. i was in college at the university of virginia at the time in reserve officer training, rotc. i was recruited for this in the very early days of the career field being open to women. i was a crew commander. i commanded a 4 person titan ii missile combat crew at the site when it was operational.
i was stationed here from 1980-1984. when i came back after they opened it up as a museum, it was 1998. the museum had been opened for 12 years. the site had been off alert since 1982. i happened to come back to tucson to live after i got out of the air force. an uncle visited me and really wanted to come here. i remember when we came through
the access portal into the entrapment area with the tour group the smell of the missile site was the same. it hit me with an impact i had not expected. there is something to be said for the fact that your sense of smell can trigger intense memories. i think that was true. looking back now, with the benefit of hindsight, i think i probably started my adult career , the very first job i ever had as adult, the most important job i will ever have in my career.
i started my career at the apex. everything that came after that is at least one level below. i will never have as much responsibility in my lifetime again as i had when i was a crew commander here. we had a twofold mission. the first mission is to preserve and interpret the national historical landmark site and provide stewardship for the historic site. the second part of the mission is to provide a framework for the public. the discussion that the public is having about the future of nuclear weapons in the world. the generation coming up now, the young people in their 20's and 30's, they are the people that will have to confront what the future of nuclear weapons is going to be around the world. and, you can't do that just by reading about it. people really have no concept about nuclear weapons and how they work, how expensive they are to maintain, the destructive capabilities they have.
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> those who know the history even slightly will remember peoria. prior to prohibition, most people know this is the capital the world. they know that whiskey was king in the early 1900's.
the heyday was 18821920, a 40 year time. they lined the illinois river to the post office all the way down the southern cyber. 24 different breweries, not all the same time, but a total of that many. we are currently in the museum located downtown. the particular portion we are in is called the street, which represents the history from its founding back in 1890 one they first came to this city. importantly, becoming the whiskey capital in the 1800's. in 1837.d with brewing
it was primarily because of the quality of the water. here,the illinois river water is filtered through limestone. for instillingt it. it became a good place to have worries. transportation was critical. was cryings river transportation mode. whiskey tocarry the and fro as it was produced. and a transportation, workforce. the irish came here and were good workers. combination made this a good place for brew making. it is important to remember is not about alcoholism.
economy, they the are about jobs, people working to support families. many had cooper's next-door. there were ironworkers, ice makers, a lot of people who generated income because of the wealth. you talk economy and you are talking distilling and brewing. success of the breweries attracted immigrants. the irish were good and strong workers. those created a growing city. the growth of the city was one
way to measure that. architecture. house or -- all of that was made possible because of with you money. there was an interesting mix of people at that time. opposed to liquor, she was very .rominent this was still the whiskey capital of america. it was difficult for a woman to fight against the money made. the liquor license alone in one year generated $65,000. of those opposed
to alcohol, but the most famous of all came from the woman with the hatchet. speech, she went to a pete.ned by painting.n and saw a basementrently in the bar of all places called richards in downtown. she threatened with her hatchet to tear that painting apart. we are talking a large painting. i will give you $50 if you leave the painting alone. there were various organizations that tried to push prohibition. it was not until the anti-saloon league got behind the effort that there was a serious thought given to prohibition. the man behind the anti-saloon league was out of ohio. he had a religious background.
he was fervent about his thought that whiskey and beer was not good for america. the way he went about killing the industry, and i use that term intentionally, he said i will not stop the brewers and the distillers, but i can get people elected to office who will be opposed to it. he would run campaigns for congressman and legislators to those that are opposed to the industry will get elected. because liquor generated so much income, they had to find another source of funding. the personal income tax when into effect in 1913. you cannot use foodstuff to brew or distilled liquor. and then came the 18th amendment. to enforce the amendment, because it said you cannot transport or sell alcoholic averages, to enforce it, you needed another act. the combination of four things that enable the government to say, no more liquor.
most people refer to the probation as the enactment of the 18th amendment. for many, the 18th amendment was not a law. it was merely a suggestion. they really did not think you could stop the flow of liquor. and that was true. there were soda parlors and they were selling more than just soda. many of them included gambling. the city lost a lot of money in terms of fees that liquor establishments were selling -- paying to the city. edward nelson woodruff said, i will bring jobs to peoria and he did -- with gambling. people would come from outside the area to take advantage of the chip boards and things of that nature. they would gamble on sporting events, boxing matches, things of that nature. and there was the moonshine. it was a wild time. woodruff did bring jobs so people kind of looked the other way.
woodruff was elected several different times. not consecutively. the longest-serving mayor in on consecutive terms in our history. historians will look back and say, yes, he created jobs by bringing gambling. it also brought a nefarious type of person into the city and many regret that reputation that pure you had -- peoria had. prohibition ended in 1933 and there was an attempt to bring alcohol production back. hiram walker, most famously. walker built on the same site and it became the largest distillery in the world. some of the other distilleries
and breweries that existed prior to 1920 try to reopen but the only successful one long-term was the hiram walker distillery. post prohibition, nothing compared to pre-prohibition. >> peoria is a good bellwether for the country. it has fluctuated back and forth between republicans and democrats. it is a good cross-section of the country. we have big manufacturing and we have small manufacturing and we have good common sense midwestern people. people who have good judgment. people work hard, play by the rules, strong faith in god. not always real happy with government but those attributes reflect pure you, illinois. -- peoria, illinois. the district i represent -- has a rich history.
provide some of the systems but we are not the actual overall mission providers. >> we are at nasa's john glenn research center. we broke ground in january. it will under 18 years. -- we broke ground on january 1941. naca, which extends for the national advisory committee for aeronautics, was founded in 1915. the infancy of aviation in this country to study this new technology and figure out how we can harness it for economic, military use. but prior to this center they had really only focused on general error not ask. they had not really done anything with aircraft engines.
they had been seeing what they were doing in europe and found that they were way ahead of us when it came to aircraft engine research, especially the germans. in the late 1930's, that made them a little nervous. congress approved the establishment of a third laboratory that would focus on aircraft engines. you could do all the research you want, but you will never make a plane fight -- fly higher or faster if you don't have good engines.
75 years later we're still working on aircraft engine research and improving that technology. we've had five names over the course of our history. we started off as the aircraft engine research lab, later renamed the lewis flight propulsion lab after george lewis, who is the first rector of air nautical research for the national advisory committee on aaron not ask, and he was instrumental in promoting this idea of an airflight engine lab. we started with this core idea, we are going to do aircraft engine research, and all of the related disciplines of aircraft engines, they grew and shoot off. everything we do today is connected to this idea of engine research. if you looked over 75 years -- he would not look like a timeline, it would look like a family tree.
every discipline is built off of the other one. we've had an incredible amount of new technologies and programs we have managed, but want to touch on our engine research, our centaur program and communications. we started with aircraft engines that supported the war, and we got this new technology that the germans were doing, and jet engines was the next big thing. jet engines allowed us to fly much faster, much higher. this was what led the way for supersonic flight, and eventually that technology is what starts to get incorporated into rocket technology. when we started doing jet engines, we were studying a lot of different types of fuel. an engine needs fuel to work. they were doing a lot of investigations on different types of fuel, what once get the bestburn -- burn, what increases engine performance. they started experimenting with different fuel. one of those was liquid
hydrogen, and this is where the rockets start to come in. in the early 1950's we had the first successful demonstration of liquid hydrogen as a rocket fuel. under the naca, they wanted to be strictly aviation. they felt that anything, like roberts equals missiles which equals defense. they thought, that should be left to the military. they didn't want us doing this type of work with rockets. our leadership was like, keep doing it. they recognize that was going to be something useful for the future. with the launch of sputnik, base is something we really need to do and eventually the naca becomes the foundation for nasa. we already have those space related skills to start applying to this new space program. nasa was officially created october. naca ceased to exist and this facility was known as nasa lewis
research center. essentially all aeronautics work stopped. we had a role in the mercury program, the first manned spaceflight program. almost like a testbed missions where we were going to prove particular space capabilities. can we bring him back, can we launch someone and have an orbit and come back, can we do a spacewalk. these are the first steps we have to take before we go on to the apollo program, which will take us to our ultimate goal, to go to the moon. the mercury program was first. their test was called the mastiff. we just called it "rig, essentially a giant gyroscope cage thing that they would sit in and send them all around on all three axes and they had to use thrusters to bring the
capsule back under control. this is to simulate if there capsule was tumbling out of control, they needed to adjust everything so the heat shield was oriented correctly so it did not burn up in space. john glenn came here on another visit when he was a senator and asked about this test. very happy to hear that this had been scrapped. it had a kill switch. they all used it. all of the preparation for the apollo mercury were happening concurrently. we were working also than on the center program.
it is the rocket that will take this survey are probed to the moon so we can check it out. this is a stage that use a liquid -- uses liquid should -- liquid hydrogen. they were having a lot of trouble with the engineering, getting things to work. the first tests they had done exploded. fund brown said, we should never have gone with liquid hydrogen. von braun said, we should never have gone with liquid hydrogen. an engineer at our lab who had
been headquartered -- designing the structure of nasa, he named the mercury and apollo programs and he said no, this will work. i know my guys at lewis. they perfected this technology with liquid hydrogen and i know they can make it work. we spent most of the early 1960's perfecting the centaur technology with the ultimate goal of launching the surveyor probe to the moon, which is what we needed to kind of scout out a landing spot for our manned missions. centaur, lead centaur were surveyors. the centaur technology is absolutely mission-critical. centaur, called america's workforce in space, when we manage the program for over 35 years, we had well over 100 launches. it is still used today by our commercial partners who manage our launch operations. our center today has six core competencies that we align our work with and one of those is space communications, and this is well back into the 1960's. our first major communications project was the communications technology satellite. this allowed us to do direct broadcasting, it allowed for receiving equipment to be much smaller and we could access more remote parts of the world. kind of the first him and stray should of this direct broadcast, and in the follow on the next generation of communications
satellite was the advanced communication technology satellite. and this was digital. this was a similar testbed in which communication satellites are fully digital. the new one we have is the signals are sent through software, so they can adjust everything in real-time through that technology. >> we work for the space communications and navigation program. the idea behind the navigations program is to provide the communications infrastructure for the satellites and for the space vehicles.
we are in the laboratory here for the cognitive communications testbed. we use this as a ground communications facility for our on orbit iss platform, which has next-generation communications research. the radios you currently use, like your cell phone, there a very advanced in terms of the communications capability. we are trying to put that same communications capability in our next generation radios that we use in space. the idea is to be able to get more data from the scientific halos created on space craft such as the space station and get them down to earth so the investigator can figure out how well their payloads are working
in space. this is our scan testbed, i ground immigration unit which is a mockup of what we have on the space station. if we're going to reprogram the radios in space, a big part of it is we do testing in oer to make sure we can reprogram to do all sorts of new features they were originally not intended to do. before we put them on the space station, we will test them out on our ground unit and make sure they work properly, and then send that software up to the flight unit and retested. this is our system we built before we built the system that helps fund the space station.
and when it -- at any time we have between 25 and 30 projects in the communication area that we are working on. let's go to another lab and we will show you what's next. let me get you in here to our -- this is our radio and optical communications lab. the effort for this is to design a system that can be used that will not only do advanced radiofrequency communications like you use with your wireless, but also incorporates optical communications into the same system. we are looking for this for some of our deep space applications, where this allows us to get even more data than we currently get from our stagecraft, for example, that are on mars, getting that back to earth. the idea behind this is, if you had the rovers that are on mars for example, by having a
next-generation relay satellite that's going around mars, getting that data back to earth, how do you do that in an efficient way? one of the best ways to do that is to do it with our signals in the same system and then have a dual system to get the signals back. it's the next generation of systems. our work here is primarily focusing on individual technologies associated with it right a little less about the system and more about making those technologies, advancing those technologies so for the next-generation spacecraft, they have the ability to provide those systems. this is an example of some of the next-generation technology we are using. some of the laser systems out there now are mechanically seared. we have worked with the small
business here to have an electrically seared system, and it's all done by electronics in order to do the saering. sending the laser beam, if you see here if i interrupt the signal, now what i get is it will block it off and go again. what we can do is simulate what it's like on a spacecraft with the system so we know it will work on intended operation for a spacecraft. anne: what makes the center unique, literally and obviously is we are the only center located in the midwest. we really embody the midwestern culture where the agency can call on us to do anything and we are going to do it well and we are going to do our best job. we are really diverse in our ability to do anything from aeronautics to exploration and do it very well. we are an incubator of all kinds of technologies, not only things that are for my going space
exploration kinds of things, but things that are directly applicable to every day life. >> for five years, we have traveled to cities across the u.s. and explored their literary and historic sites. from .16 these visits to introduce you to c-span's cities tour. c-span.orgch more at . reflectst, elena kagan on her career and education were important parts of her family life growing up. -- justice kagan served since 2010.