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One Speck In Space July 22, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Humor.

EarthHow do you find a single speck in space when it is racing around the Earth at 16,000 miles per hour?

Answer:  The same way you’d track a golf ball . . . from 200 miles away.

In 1962, our family spent the summer in a small cabin on a lake in Andover Maine, coincident  with the launch of Telstar.

In this video from the Bell Telephone Laboratory Archives, dad responds to an inquiry to Satellite Acquisition:

“Roger.  We will initiate test series on fifth pass.” [counter 19:32]

A few minutes later, the announcer proclaims:  Bullseye!  Dead on Target.

Months and years of precision planning for the Telstar payload paid off!

On July 10th, we celebrated Telstar’s 50th Anniversary . . . coincident with our preparations for dad’s Memorial Service.

A single speck in space improved and facilitated communication systems around the globe.

Maybe we should strive to do the same?

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. granny1947 - July 22, 2012

Nobody is a speck as long as they live in our memories.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Just so. But all of us are such an infintessimal part of the “big picture.”

2. cuhome - July 22, 2012

What a great anniversary to coincide with your father’s memorial! Wow! Thanks for posting this, Nancy… I enjoyed it!

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

That’s exactly what I thought . . . I didn’t know it was the 50th Anniversary of Telstar until after I had already written dad’s obituary mentioning it. Very cool bit of synchronicity.

3. ryoko861 - July 22, 2012

How appropo! The timing was excellent!

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

It really was. Thanks, ryoko.

4. viviankirkfield - July 22, 2012

Thank you, Nancy! We need to be reminded that, like the pencil, we always leave a mark on everything (or everyone) we touch…your dad obviously left many positive ones. 🙂

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

He did, indeed. Thanks, Vivian.

5. sufilight - July 22, 2012

Beautiful, Nancy. May we all leave many specks of love in our world.

nrhatch - July 23, 2012

Yes . . . little drops of gladness.

6. CMSmith - July 24, 2012

What a cool memory to have. Take care of yourself, Nancy. You’ve been through so much in such a short period of time. Do what you need to to find time to recharge your batteries.

nrhatch - July 25, 2012

When I heard that Telstar’s 50th Anniversary was on the horizon, it felt like a huge *wink* from the Universe.

Mom moves slowly through her day . . . giving me the time I need to recharge my batteries ~ as I’m waiting for her, I step into the present moment and allow myself to “just be.” Aah . . . that’s better.

7. kateshrewsday - July 24, 2012

To me, this is the most beautiful and subtle of tributes to your father. A man whose quick engineer’s brain was part of this wave of technological revolution: what a marker in time. And a tiny mechanism changed everything forever. Definitely, it is something to aspire to, Nancy. All our love.

nrhatch - July 25, 2012

Thanks, Kate. I wanted to expand its orbit, just a bit, but could not carve out the necessary time to do so. So I left it in skeletal format. It’s all in the timing, eh?

kateshrewsday - July 25, 2012

It is. Sometimes skeletal is what our writing is meant to be. Take care x Thinking of you all.

nrhatch - July 26, 2012

Everytime I think I’m “catching up” and will soon have a bit more “free time” . . . another pile of paperwork appears on the horizon. Still, it’s better than working in the salt mines.

I’ll be thinking of you on Saturday as you tour “Downton Abbey” . . . BFF and I are in the midst of Season 2 and loving every minute of it.

kateshrewsday - July 26, 2012

Looking forward to our visit, though I managed to double book it with going to see the olympics so we had to rebook for 7 August…just a little longer….it is evading us like a slippery eel!!

8. Jas - July 25, 2012

Lovely Tribute Nancy. I agree with Kate.

nrhatch - July 25, 2012

Thanks, Jas.

9. SidevieW - July 26, 2012

Welcome back. Sad though it is.

Your dad was one of the cogs that made so much progress possible.

But then you were also one of his projects, and you are still here, powerful and caring.

nrhatch - July 26, 2012

Thanks, Sidey. I have my moments . . . 😉

SidevieW - July 26, 2012

so who is perfect?

10. bluebee - February 16, 2014

Wow – that’s one amazing piece of history your Dad was a part of, Nancy.

nrhatch - February 16, 2014

It really changed the way we communicate . . . bringing the world closer than ever before. Dad had lots of career highlights (all in the field of communication) but Telstar was a star!

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