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Fun visit
05-01-2015, 05:55 AM (This post was last modified: 05-05-2015 10:50 PM by Jonathan Cameron.)
Post: #1
Fun visit
I enjoyed hosting Bennoit Maag for a visit today at JPL, where I work. I met Bennoit at the HHC 2014 conference in Reno. We did the usual touristy things here including the JPL store, the Spacecraft Assembly Facility, and the Flight Control Center.

He brought along a few calculators just for fun: HP 71B, 32sii, 27, DMC-15, and the new HP-25c emulator calculator. All very cool. For a variety of reasons, I missed several generations of these calculators--in fact I missed everything between the 67 and the 28s, and everything after the 28s and before the Prime. I've since bought a 41, 42s, and 50g to fill in some of the gaps, but it was fun to actually put my hands on some of these calculators (and pocket computer) that I never touched before.

While Bennoit was visiting, we just happened to visit the flight control center exactly when the Messenger spacecraft impacted Mercury (well when we lost the signal from it because it had impacted Mercury earlier). Although it was a significant event, it was pretty quiet: the incoming signal went to "None" as we were watching and that was that. Too bad there won't be pictures of the impact itself.

Here is a picture of us in the Von Karmen museum on lab with the Cassini mockup:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1921]


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05-01-2015, 02:27 PM
Post: #2
RE: Fun visit
Thanks for posting, Jonathon. I just read in the paper this morning about the end of the Messenger spacecraft on Mercury. Boy, what a mission. Some of those NASA spacecraft last longer than HP calculators which, I think, is a tribute to NASA and the other contractors who built them. I worked for a few years at GE Space Systems Division, who built the Landsat satellites. I have great memories of those days.
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