A Conversation for The Creation of the Space Shuttle
Steve K. Started conversation Mar 27, 2003
Maybe 25 years ago, my wife & I raced small sailboats in Clear Lake, near Houston, TX. The lake (really a brackish estuary of Galveston Bay) is directly across the street from NASA's Johnson Space Center - as in, "Houston, we have a problem".
One of the other racers was Max Faget, who " ... played a major role in designing virtually every U.S. crewed spacecraft ... including the Space Shuttle", according to an MIT website. I had heard this about Max at the time and asked him about the shuttle once over an after race beer. He said it was a pretty challenging design problem, involving a WIDE range of flight regimes. As a chemical engineer who suffered through courses on "Transport Phenomena", "Boundary Layers", etc., I had a vague idea of what he meant. He went on to say he built styrofoam models in his garage to test some ideas ... "the cheapest research program NASA ever had" he said, laughing. He was quite a guy, and an intense racing sailor who organized the official weighing of the sailboats in the same garage.
Steve K. Posted Mar 28, 2003
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