Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Friday March 21 2014, @12:29AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Papas Fritas writes:

"In 1973, when a solar panel and shield were torn from the Skylab Space Station, leaving the orbiting Skylab exposed to a dangerous level of solar heat, Jack A. Kinzler, chief of the all-purpose machine and tool shop at NASA's Johnson Space Center, turned to one of mankind's oldest sun shields: the parasol and fashioned a heat-resistant 24-by-28-foot makeshift sun umbrella for Skylab using telescoping fiberglass fishing rods to build his prototype.

In 1971, when astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. wanted to test his golf swing on the surface of the moon, Kinzler helped design a 6-iron golf club head then had it attached to a lunar-sampling scoop. Emerging from his spacecraft, astronaut Shepard hit two golf balls with it. Sports trivia buffs remember that he shanked the first ball but connected solidly with the second. Shepard claimed the two golf balls traveled "miles and miles."

Kinzler and his team also figured out a way to display the U.S. flag on the moon devising collapsible staffs that made the flags appear to be flapping in the moon's airless environment. Kinzler told the Houston Chronicle that he was distressed by conspiracy theorists who pointed to the rippling in the moon-planted flags as proof that the lunar landing by Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin in 1969 was a hoax. The moon, after all, has no air as we know it. 'The reason for that ripple is so simple you wouldn't believe,' said Kinzler. 'I put an aluminum telescoping tube in the top, just like you have on some curtain rods. There's a latch on it, with a hinge that allows it to be pulled out, and as they extended the tube, the flag rippled. That's all.'"

His feet may have never left the ground - but he played an important part in space exploration. RIP.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mechanicjay on Friday March 21 2014, @04:23AM

    by mechanicjay (7) <mechanicjayNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday March 21 2014, @04:23AM (#19158) Homepage Journal
    There is a shortage of people in this world who can do stuff. Even more, those who can do stuff in a clever and elegant way. Let's all raise a glass to Mr. Kinzler.
    --
    My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by isostatic on Friday March 21 2014, @09:27AM

      by isostatic (365) on Friday March 21 2014, @09:27AM (#19209) Journal

      There's a shortage of people who are allows to do stuff without middle management pen pushers getting in the way. Did they calculate the ROI of the golf club? Did they sun shield get past some business analysts and product managers? Or was this a time when people JFDI

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mechanicjay on Friday March 21 2014, @11:46AM

        by mechanicjay (7) <mechanicjayNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday March 21 2014, @11:46AM (#19241) Homepage Journal
        Sadly, I think there a lot of truth in what you say. I honestly think our country's obsession with ROI and the bottom line above all else is ruining us. We don't seem to do cool stuff anymore unless there's profit in it. In 200 years, I'd rather us be more like the United Federation of Planets and less like the Ferengi Alliance -- sadly, I think we're moving quickly in the wrong direction on that one.
        --
        My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
    • (Score: 1) by morgauxo on Friday March 21 2014, @01:42PM

      by morgauxo (2082) on Friday March 21 2014, @01:42PM (#19285)

      "There is a shortage of people in this world who will do stuff. Even more, those who will excercise their ability to do stuff in a clever and elegant way."

      TFTFY

      I think people choose to ignore their own potential. It's not that they don't have it.

  • (Score: 3) by Blackmoore on Friday March 21 2014, @12:07PM

    by Blackmoore (57) on Friday March 21 2014, @12:07PM (#19249) Journal

    If only we had celebrated you in your life, and not just people "who look good" or talk a good talk.

    • (Score: 2) by aiwarrior on Friday March 21 2014, @12:52PM

      by aiwarrior (1812) on Friday March 21 2014, @12:52PM (#19265) Journal

      Maybe what we need is to get people like these to talk better then. Never blame the audience, or client for that matter.

      • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Saturday March 22 2014, @04:52AM

        by Blackmoore (57) on Saturday March 22 2014, @04:52AM (#19616) Journal

        Look, I "get" the whole communication thing. A lot of engineers DONT have it when it comes to people - and frankly they shouldnt have to.
        that's what marketing is for.

        I know you can't put varnish on a socially awkward, but awesome engineer; and expect a celebrity. We dont WANT the engineer to become someone else - just market the abilities, and the awesomeness.

        Mythbusters and Tested do a decent job showing the world engineers and makers who ARE both Socially adept, and damn fine makers too. and thats ALSO a good thing. it's just not enough.

        • (Score: 1) by aiwarrior on Wednesday April 02 2014, @04:18PM

          by aiwarrior (1812) on Wednesday April 02 2014, @04:18PM (#24959) Journal

          I agree that the engineer is what it is, but engineers and their projects are not for the void, they will be used or useful to people(assuming professional work).

          If you decouple the engineering side completely out of the social aspect and delegate it completely to marketing, the engineers will never be recognized or taken as an example by other \b people \b. People is the key word here. By delegating, at most they will be taken as mere tools to an end.

          Being an example and getting people to believe the sciences and engineering is honorable and important. Who better to show that?

          I am sorry but I really don't buy into the socially awkward engineer. On the contrary. As a person of knowledge he/she should have an easier time adapting to different social scenarios.

          Perhaps I come from another background.

          • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Wednesday April 02 2014, @06:44PM

            by Blackmoore (57) on Wednesday April 02 2014, @06:44PM (#25079) Journal

            Yeah; you might not have a large enough sample size.

            I know plenty from both sides of the social prowress scale. A handful who have very outgoing personalities and others who're really better off not interacting with the public.

            on the introverted side - you'll find them occasionally at universities. laser focus on their work, and dont do well with groups, or students, or even other staff.. but the work they do is the focus - and the rest of the tenured professors benefit. and frankly they should be celebrated too; just shine the spotlight on the work please. They honestly do NOT get people. The work is what is important to them and that's it - and that ought to be ok.

            it's easy to celebrate someone who is outgoing. they want to be right there in the spotlight; or at least savvy enough to look happy about it. Introverts dont like being in the spotlight - and they should not have to be in it to be celebrated.