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Monday, October 15, 2007

Doc Bussard


I know a Rocket Scientist. Really, I do. He has been a long time customer of Seattle Mystery, an omnivorous reader of mysteries. Robert. huh. We knew him as Doc. We cut our internet eye-teeth on emailing with Doc and Dolly, didn't ever tumble to the fact that he was a Rocket Scientist. A guy who could talk about Inertial Electrostatic Confinement.

He and his lovely wife Dolly have been long-time friends and political mentors. When they would come to town, it was like your favorite Aunt and Uncle visiting. The ones you liked. You wanted to stand up taller, say something intelligent. Long after finding out his tastes in fiction, we discovered he was a big deal in the Science Universe. He's such a big brain, Poul Anderson used his science in his books. His discovery and theory was so right on, Star Trek used it for their main transport system to travel Where No Man Has Gone Before... They aren't called Bussard Ramjet Thrusters for nothing people!

Coupla years back he raced in the Americas Cup and we followed his journey with glee. Wouldn't you just know his boat was named Uproarious?

You can see the timeline of how his theory has been dismissed by the ruling governments. His company went from being one of the brightest possibilities to losing their NASA, and other, grants. From that, he rose like a phoenix with private funding, Because, Ultimately he is right. And I do believe that truth will out. Power and Control covers his career nicely.

Doc died last week. I'm grieving.

6 comments:

Mingus said...

Larry Niven also made frequent use of the Bussard ramjet.

Dave von Ebers said...

Sorry for your loss, Tammy.

But a real live rocket scientist? That's waaaaay coool!

SeattleTammy said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

But, Dave, it is our country's and the planet's loss. Doc's work will continue.

I'm sending my best thoughts to Dolly. They had kids and I trust their love is sustaining her.

Anonymous said...

I can think of no greater gift life can offer than to send someone like this along to intersect our lives.

Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Oops, left off David.

SeattleTammy said...

Yes, anonymous dave, I was blessed he intersected my life and I'm glad to share that with you. I'm going to go watch that 3 hour Google speech this weekend. I'm so glad we have this record.