Bruce – A ‘Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead’ kind of Leader
August 30, 2013Our progress and accomplishments in the first generation of space exploration is owed to people like Dr. Murray. He was truly a great American pioneer for space exploration, a science achiever and a fantastic leader and person. One instance of how he operated that I recall is at an all day meeting he sponsored at JPL in 1979 to consider future space missions. There were about 25 people in the room and he opened up the all day meeting by stating that ‘today, we are going to have fun, and plan space missions without any thought or consideration for NASA’s bureaucracy or Washington, DC’. I raised my eyebrows – there were 2 people from NASA Headquarters sitting in this meeting.
LightSail-1 will attempt to demonstrate controlled solar sailing—flight by light—for CubeSats (tiny, low-cost satellites).
In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.