Hi, I am Robert Francis Spurling and I have been fascinated by space ever since I was a little boy. I emersed myself in as much sci-fi stuff as I could. Spent hours watching STAR TREK and other cool sci-fi/fantasy Shows like Battle Star Galactica and Babylon 5. Wanted to learn to fly so I joined the United States, Air Force, where for the first time, went up in a Cessna Air Craft and almost lost my cookies. So much for Space Flight.
Three… Two… One… Liftoff! We have liftoff! We cheered. It was the summer of 2018 and I was at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville Alabama for a week of Space Camp. We had spent all morning in a flight simulation and, after a hearty lunch, had traipsed down to the “Launchpad” where we were to launch the model rockets we had constructed. The object was to launch and return the rocket while the egg placed in the nosecone, conveniently standing in for an astronaut, had to remain intact.
The rockets soared through the air the parachutes opening like ... more »
My career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory began in 1976, and I enjoyed forty years there as my work evolved from technology development to proposing and then planning new missions at JPL. Once a mission plan was approved, my job was completed and I could move on to another proposal or to another mission. It always thrills me to hear about an accomplishment of some project that I helped to start.
When I looked in libraries for good books that describe JPL, I found that there were just a few offerings in the communities near JPL, and often there was nothing ... more »