Saturday, February 16, 2013

From Rural North Carolina to Space

We ushered in satellite-based technologies
by Crawford M.

My first job with Lockheed began in February 1960. It was at the Vandenberg Tracking Station (VTS), whose primary mission was to track the Discovery launches out of Vandenberg Air Force Base and then track the resulting polar orbits that were within range of the station. After working at VTS for eight years, I was fortunate to be selected to work in Germany on a classified DoD program, and did so for four years. What an opportunity! After returning from Germany, I worked in Sunnyvale for another 26 years, completing a career that lasted nearly 39 years.
In February 1995, President Clinton declassified the Corona program, revealing that most of the Discovery launches I had worked on in the 1960s had been from the Corona program, the first-ever, satellite-based surveillance program. It was a very successful.
In August 1998, I retired. Even today, I look back on my Lockheed Martin career with great pride and many fond memories. For me, having been raised on a small farm in rural North Carolina, what a trip it was, from farm boy to division manager in the free-world’s number one aerospace company. What a trip!  Thanks Lockheed Martin for a wonderful career!

What a trip it's been!