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Quest for Space

Ronnie Lajoie

November 30, 2013

Quest for Space

A house. A room. A brown wooden box with a curved glass front. Color moving pictures. Sound. A station: a black "eye" with three letters in the pupil. Outer space. Stars. Spaceships.

How I watched it, absorbed it. There on that 21-inch television screen just for me. Outer space. Stars. Spaceships.

The television program's name: Lost in Space; my favorite character: the "Jupiter II." How a simple wire-suspended plastic model, resembling two cupped soup bowls, could have effected me so much remains a mystery to me to this day. Its graceful flight, its spinning engine beacon, its whoooing sound, seized my mind with the immediacy and fury no teacher, no parent, no clergyman, could ever match. There on that 21-inch television screen was my future, my destiny. That program had begun my quest for space.

40+ years later, I am now a senior space systems engineer helping to develop next generation space launch vehicles. I am also a long time member of The Planetary Society and the AIAA, a life member of The Mars Society, and a long time space activist and volunteer with the National Space Society.


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