Mariner Mars '69 (a & b)
James A. Shand
November 28, 2013
I was fortunate to be an engineering tech working at the University of California Space Sciences Laboratory. Our group, led by Prof. Kenneth Herr, was tasked to build the infrared spectrometers for the mission. My modest contribution was to build the electronic circuit boards that ran the unit. I was trained at JPL in the processes for cable harnessing, soldering and encapsulation of the connectors.
The resulting photos sent back from Mariner were, for me, very personal and profound. I have followed with great interest in our space programs since I was about nine years-old and I have been inspired by all of the variety of missions that have been launched. I think the Hubble images are my favorite.
It is my hope that the youth of today learn science and continue to explore our solar neighborhood. The acquisition knowledge is, in my view, mankind's greatest goal. Knowledge can lead us to the discovery of secrets of the universe as yet unknown.
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.