Off The Air

I flew into Detroit Friday evening, then drove up to Grayling in northern MI, stopping in Mount Pleasant to visit a niece who attends Central Michigan University. I got into my motel about 11 AM.

Then, yesterday morning, I make a one-hour drive to Traverse City, where I attended a Michigan Space Symposium. The founder of U.S. Robotics, who is from there, has been incubating space companies and encouraging them to set up shop there, in the hopes of making the state more prominent in the space industry. He has a 27,000 square-foot mansion on the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay, at which he hosted attendees Wednesday night, so I unfortunately was unable to attend. The hope is that they may even have a spaceport in the state.

It was an interesting line up, including retired General David Buck, formerly of Patrick AFB and the Cape, and retired General Wayne Monteith , the new head of the Office of Commercial Space Transportation. It was my first opportunity to meet him. The theme of the day was the need for both innovation, and acceptance of failure. I gave both a copy of the book.

There were also several people I knew there (some of them also from Michigan), including Chuck Lauer of Rocketplane, and Jim Ransom, with whom I had worked at Aerospace almost forty years ago, who is a Traverse City native, and has recently retired there.

I drove back down to the Flint area after the event, and today I’m attending a nephew’s high-school graduation in Linden, a small town south of there. Then off to DC tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “Off The Air”

  1. As someone born and raised in the U.P., I’m always amused by references to any part of the Lower Peninsula as being “northern.”

    Didn’t know you had ever worked at Aerospace Corp. I met Jim Ransom myself a few times in the early 80’s when he would show up at the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society clubhouse with Jerry Pournelle. Impressive guy. Also invariably impeccably groomed and turned out in suit and tie – not exactly the uniform of the day at the LASFS. I always figured his picture should be in the dictionary under the entry for “Junior Executive.”

      1. That would be it. Michigan got the U.P. in exchange for letting Ohio have Toledo and environs. I’ve been to Toledo. I think Michigan got the better of that deal. We still hew to our original Wisconsin roots in some ways, though. Lots and lots of Packer fans in the U.P., for example. Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who rooted for the Lions.

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