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Space Exploration - my passion

Robert Jones

November 29, 2012

The 1950 movie "Destination Moon" was probably the first motivator in my interest for space exploration at the age of 11. I was further motivated by the Russian Spudnik 1 in 1957. While working as a co-op student at White Sands Proving Ground, I was one of the first people who knew the U.S. had the capability in 1956 to orbit a softball sized satellite. While waiting for my government clearance to be processed, my supervisor discovered I knew how to type. I was given a hand written draft of a proposal to orbit a small satelite using an Army missle. I typed up a draft and handed it in to be proofed, expecting to follow-up with any corrections. When management read it they slapped a SECRET classification on it and I was told to forget what I had typed, and could no longer have anything to do with the proposal, since I was not cleared even for Confidential material! That incident boosted my interest in space exploration. I used to say I wanted to be the second person to land on the moon, since the first might not make it! My interest in space was fulfilled from 1966 to 1978 when I worked as a contractor at Johnson Space Center on the Gemini, Skylab, Apollo, Apollo-Soyus, and Space Shuttle programs. Carl Sagan's "Cosmos A personal Voyage" series stimulated my interest to become a charter member of the Planetary Society.

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