Monday, January 5, 2009

A real rocket scientist

Last week I posted some pictures of Peter launching his rocket that he got for Christmas. I asked in the post if anyone had ever seen a real rocket launch, and we got this back from none other than Peter's Grandpa (on Bruce's side of the family).

"We noticed that Peter was able to launch some model rockets – that is very interesting and a lot of fun. Bruce with the boys launched a lot of them, even multiple stages. You asked if anyone ever saw a real rocket launch. You can tell Peter that his Grandpa has watched quite a few.

Grandma and I were able to watch a shuttle launch from the Cape in Florida. I saw a night launch of the Delta rocket – it was very spectacular. I also saw a Titan launch and was at the tracking station on two different occasions for a launch and saw all the data coming in and plotted temperatures compared to predictions. I was able to climb through the shuttle mockup that they have at Kennedy Space Center and see what the astronauts do and how they sit and also watch through a back window the cargo bay with satellites and such that they carry to space.

I guess I have had that privilege over the years because I worked in the business.

Anyway, tell Peter that yes his Grandpa has seen quite a few launches and that the model rockets accelerate much faster than the real ones because their power-to-weight ratio is so much higher.

Love, Grandpa and Grandma"

He doesn't say it here, but Grandpa is one of the premier thermodynamics engineers in the country, and is in fact a real rocket scientist! Here is an autographed photo of an Alpha-Centaur Launch that Grandpa was give by co-workers when he retired from Lockheed Martin.

I told Peter he could grow up and be a rocket scientist like Grandpa and he said, "I'll do it."

Here are some pictures from past years of Peter and his Grandpa.

These are all in 2002 at our home. The one below is in 2004 in Park City, Utah. (Can you see the pocket protector which all good engineers carry at all times? he he)
But being a rocket scientist is only one of the many great skills and qualities that Grandpa has, and really not the most important one to us. The most important ones are that he is a great father and grandfather, has a strong testimony of the gospel and is a wonderful example to his grandchildren of keeping commandments and serving. We surely do love Grandpa and are grateful for his warmth and love for each of us.


wenderful said...

What a neat story Lorena! I think it's so important for kids to have people in the family to look up to as an example of hard work, integrity, and goodness. It sounds like their grandpa is just another of those in your family. And humble to beat.

Bruce said...

Dad certainly is a smart egg and I could relate many stories he's shared with us - almost as many as Mom liked to share at the dinner table from here ER experience, but not quite as gruesome.
Martin-Lockheed recently asked him to come back after 10 years of retirement to help out. When he presented his first analysis they asked how many engineers helped him and were floored that he did it himself.
It's nice to have that level of depth around, but it was frustrating when he helped me with High School Calculus - I had to remind him to just dumb it down for me...