Shattered Dreams: The Lost and Canceled Space Missions by Burgess Colin

Shattered Dreams: The Lost and Canceled Space Missions by Burgess Colin

Author:Burgess, Colin
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2019-09-29T18:06:13+00:00

can engage pca by using fuel transfer to offset the center of gravity toward 26

the operating engine. John Bull and his colleagues at nasa Ames have 27

fashioned a brilliant sim demonstration: the Boeing 747 has its hydraulics 28

fail at 35,000 feet, rolls until it is upside- down, and then the pca mode is 29

engaged. The airplane rights itself, levels its wings, and comes in for a safe 30

landing nearly identical to a normal auto landing.”


Bull often commented to his colleagues that this was probably one of the 32

most rewarding projects in which he had been involved. As retired nasa 33

Dryden program manager Frank W. Burcham remarked, “Our work with 34

John Bull found him to be a unique asset to the science of aerospace: bril-35

liant, practical, thorough, and always cooperative. No one will replace him.”


Today, John T. Kaneshige is a research engineer at nasa Ames, and he

test pilot and ex-astronaut | 135

added that Bull had a large impact on his life. “John Bull’s experience as a 1

pilot, astronaut, and researcher made him a truly unique individual. How-2

ever, it was his kindness and unassuming nature that made him such an 3

exceptional mentor to young engineers such as myself.”


Similarly, Joseph J. Totah, the current associate chief of the Intelligent 5

Systems Division at nasa Ames, offered his personal reflections.



It was truly a privilege working with John Bul . His technical expertise 8

and wealth of experience were remarkable, and we all learned so much 9

from him. John was eager to share the many successes he achieved in his 10

research— he taught us how to analyze complex problems with simple 11

yet elegant solution techniques.


He led by example and was a source of knowledge, insight, and inspi-13

ration that provided the foundation for our successes in both aeronautics 14

and space technology projects and studies.


Prior to his final retirement in 1997, Bull’s contributions extended to a 16

number of other projects and studies. Among these were advanced flight 17

control for lunar landing and autonomous docking applications, as well 18

as conducting research and development in high- visibility nasa systems 19

directed toward space missions and science operations, including the Access 20

to Space initiative, the International Space Station, the space shuttle pro-21

gram, Mars Pathfinder, and Deep Space 1.


Apol o 15 cmp Al Worden had been selected in the same group 5 astro-23

naut cadre as John Bull. Following his journey to the moon, he would also 24

take on a position at the Ames Research Center. Worden told the author, 25


He was a great guy. John was very much like another wel - liked astro-27

naut named C. C. Wil iams— quiet and modest, a very competent guy 28

who came out of the navy. But when he had his health problem, which 29

is why he left the program, there was no place for him back in the navy.


So he went out as a researcher to Ames.


I also went to work at Ames fol owing my Apollo 15 flight, and he 32

was in their Aircraft Systems Branch. There was kind of a sense of “Hey, 33

here we both are.


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