Author: Dan Fuhr
Years spent as a shuttle engineer and now I’m facing the unemployment line for another week. Of course, after this week, someone will be calling me up.
A bachelors and masters in Electrical Engineering, MBA, Professional Engineering license, the whole nine yards in education, and I can’t even get a callback from a company. Of course, I’ll get a callback next week from someone, maybe the European Space Agency.
All the parts used I bought off the shelf from hardware stores in America. Then I drove them in a trailer to Mexico, where my family owns vacation property in a secluded area with plenty of land. A few weeks down there “on vacation” and I was ready to go. Sure, the natives called me “científico loco”, the mad scientist, and the officials came knocking a few times, but a few greased palms and dinner parties put me in the clear. Overall, it was cheaper than I paid for my last car than it was to build the rocket, bribe officials and launch it. American ingenuity produces amazing work, or is that a will and a way? Either way I’ll impress the Russian Federal Space Agency.
Every night I checked, the rocket was on course. I’m an engineer, I don’t care about landing in the history books; I just want a job that uses my abilities. When I first started the project, I thought about landing on the moon, but really, whom would that impress? Everyone can see the moon and point to it. Hitting that would be like hitting the broad side of a barn. Therefore, I chose a smaller target.
2010 TK7, the first Earth Trojan asteroid to be discovered, 300m in dimension, hard to see, hard to find, easy to miss. And I landed an old Dell on the thing. The clock is ticking; soon it’s going to start sending a simple radio transmission, a short form of my resume.
I picked up my last unemployment check and started talking with the nice lady who handed it over. She was very giddy.
“Have you heard the big news? Some unemployed NASA engineer just landed a living dog on the moon, AND he’s bringing him back alive!”
I smiled as I resigned to seeing her again next week.
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