Friday, March 29, 2013

Winning the Technology Race

Little did we know that our engineering would make history
by Charles S.

I was a structures engineer in the 540 Engineering Department. In 1957, I was assigned to the Vanguard program. As a rather small sized program, the engineering staff was located in the "C" Building manufacturing area on a balcony above the shop blueprint files.
It was a typical hot, muggy summer on the balcony. Of course, at the time the building was not air conditioned. One of our innovative people suggested the management should help the situation by cooling off the roof directly above our “engineering” area.
Someone called the plant fire department. Before we knew, it the hoses were spraying the roof. It was a great idea, but the roof leaked like crazy. It was cooler, then a bit warmer as we scurried to protect the drawings that were on the boards!
I have wonderful memories of the Vanguard program. I contributed to the design of the Vanguard launch pad. I did the complex (mundane) tasks, including the telemeter mast, which we borrowed from the Matador program, and the canvass umbilical arresting pad on the side of the mast.
None of us realized that we racing against Sputnik. It was fabulous to have been a part of the many history-making programs Lockheed Martin has provided. Best to all!
We answered the call during the Cold War !