NPR's 2014 news article and audio podcast: Space Thief Or Hero? One Man's Quest To Reawaken An Old Friend says of Robert Farquhar (NASA, Wikipedia):

Farquhar is now 81 years old. He's been called the master of getting to places. His genius is inventing esoteric flight plans that take advantage of gravitational boosts from the moon and close flybys of Earth to send space probes zipping around the solar system in surprising ways.

He's so adept at calculating these exotic trajectories that often, just for fun, he's made sure that key mission events fall on birthdays or anniversaries.

Is it possible to mention one or two of these "key mission events (which fell) on birthdays or anniversaries", or to track down an existing compilation?

  • $\begingroup$ companion question: Why was ISEE-3 "the most cost-effective spacecraft we ever had" in 2014? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 26 '20 at 1:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I was in the audience at JPL when Bob Farquhar, an APL employee, gave a talk about his trajectory designs. It was full of references to such things as, "...because that's my wife's birthday," and ".. which is my wedding anniversary." When it came to the audience questions period, the first question was, "Does APL employ a Lab Numerologist?" $\endgroup$ Apr 27 '20 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ @TomSpilker I would have so loved to have been there for the whole talk :-) I have a hunch now that we're not going to be able to construct much of an answer without consulting a biographer and a genealogist; so this may be question that requires a soft, perspective-based answer. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 27 '20 at 21:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.