There’s this guy, known as “RocketSciRick”, who is really a half-breed between aerospace technologist and computer scientist.  In talking with other technical people outside of aerospace, he seems to understand aerospace really well.  When talking with people in aerospace disciplines, he is sometimes among peers, but more often a learner.

So much for speaking of myself in the third person.  Am I really a rocket scientist?  Depends how you define it.  I am not a chemist nor designer/builder of engines; that is, I am not specifically involved in creating rocket engines.  I do study flight systems and trajectories, compute the impact that a rocket engine has on a vehicle, and often end up explaining a lot of this phenomena to other technical folks.

What about being a computer scientist?  I got into computing because I wanted model the performance of rockets and aircraft.  But in case this means anything to you, I am a UNIX/Linux developer.  Although I started on IBM mainframes (and punched my own cards), I quickly moved to UNIX time-sharing systems, then later Sun workstations, and later web servers, and now mobile devices.

I worked on the calibration of analog channels feeding the engineering computer of the Venus Radar Mapper, ultimately known as Magellan.  The calibration program ran on a Sun-2 workstation, which had a Multibus chassis, which connected to another chassis, which connected to some very large boards that generated analog signals to feed the analog channels of the computer.

These days, I develop software for mobile devices by day, and am involved in other predominantly space-related efforts at other times.  Finally, to my satisfaction, there is a lot of overlap in what those two endeavors require.

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