›Explorer 29 - Start of a 50 Year Career in Space
Speaker: Pat Norris FBIS FRIN
Explorer 29 was NASA’s first space probe designed to improve our understanding of Earth’s gravity field and of the other phenomena that influence our ability to measure a satellite’s trajectory. Launched in November 1965 it’s more popular name was the Geodetic Earth Orbiting Satellite (GEOS). A few months later our speaker migrated from the UK to provide contractor support to NASA’s GEOS Principal Investigator at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. The insights of GEOS were strengthened by the fact that it involved close collaboration with the US Navy, Air Force and Army. In 1968 our speaker moved to Houston to provide NASA contractor support to the navigation elements of the Apollo Moon landings where the experience gained on GEOS enabled him to solve a problem that knocked out a third of NASA’s tracking stations for Apollo 8 (the first Apollo cis-lunar mission). This will be a first-hand account of the early days of the U.S. space programme by a space engineer and author who later went on to work on the development of the Hubble Space Telescope and many other missions.
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