Re: Mission of Gravity, China Lake style (was Re: A case for the

Spike Jones (
Sat, 11 Dec 1999 21:52:12 -0800

Michael M. Butler wrote:

> <Hey-what-happens-to-this-grasshopper-if-I-put-it-in-my-Estes-payloader...

Not much. Tried that one too. Frogs and Grasshoppers make willing astronauts. Never had one object too much, and they seemed none the worse for their flight into the stratosphere. {8^D

> >I just KNEW this was the kind of thing my tax dollars were paying for in
> >those super-secret high-tech installations in the desert!

This one was not so super secret. The one we spent a few bucks on was the vacuum chamber. We had one about the size of a single car garage. Some guys and I were arguing about the effect of the ambient air on moment of inertia measurements. I set up the torsional pendulum in the vac chamber, pumped the air out, found out even I had underestimated the effect, and I was the high guesser. Wrote up a technical paper on the experiment, received the nickname "spike", won best presentation at the conference, got a job offer at Lockheed, took it, and here I am today. {8^D spike