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I just got some bad news. When I saw this story at NASA Watch, I recognized the name, but hoped that it wasn't the Darren Spurlock with whom I'd worked three years ago on the CE&R studies for NASA, back before Griffin came in and decided to implement his own ESAS architecture. That Darren was at least a decade younger than fifty, and he worked at Boeing. But it seemed unlikely to me that there would be two aerospace engineers in Huntsville with that name.

Sadly (though of course it would be tragedy regardless of which Darren Spurlock died) I just got off the phone with one of his Boeing former colleagues. The paper got the age wrong, and he had left Boeing to work for Marshall only three weeks ago. I never met his wife, but want to extend my condolences to her. I believe he left a young family. I'll be getting info about memorial services, and post them when I get them, for those interested in the Huntsville area.

I didn't know Darren that long--the CE&R study was my only work with him, but he was a good man, a good, smart hard-working engineer, and he worked very hard to come up with and document architectures that would be affordable and sustainable in getting us off the planet, in consonance with the president's Vision for Space Exploration. He was as frustrated as anyone when NASA basically ignored everything we'd done under Steidle to come up with the current...plan. But he moved on, obviously, and must have been looking forward to doing good things at the agency itself. Now, senselessly, a valuable career and valuable life have been cut short.

[Evening update]

This post now comes up numero uno in a search for "Darren Spurlock.

Who knoweth the ways of Google?



Dick Eagleson wrote:


Mr. Spurlock's mom is now the latest gold star mother in the War on Drugs.

With the thanks of a grateful nation.

Joan of the Woods wrote:

I understand that Darren was a great guy, but [inappropriate comment deleted by editor].

Please contribute to the educational fund for Darren's children - it's an investment in all our futures.

A great man's sister wrote:

To Joan of the Woods:
Throughout the last horrific week I have been amazed at the generosity and kindness of my fellow man. People from all across the country have done nothing but wrap their arms around me, my sister-in-law, my darling nephews, mine and Darren's parents and the entire family, until I read your note. I am stunned and shaking as I type.

A great man like Darren did not become who he was without the love, support and guidance of two wonderful parents. Both our mother and father are devastated by this tradgedy. Having to burry your child is a parents worst nightmare. I can only assume, Joan, that you are not a parent and cannot imagine having to suffer such a loss.

Our mother was Darren's emotional, spritual and political ally in any and all times of need he endured during his life. They spoke often of our faith, his relationships, their shared political views and life. She is not, nor ever was, full of hate or bigotry. She is a very spiritual women who will be further devastated by your comments as will his wife.

I am very thankful that Darren is with our Lord and no longer feels pain or sorrow. Peace and comfort be with all of us that are left behind.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on May 31, 2008 1:48 PM.

Externships was the previous entry in this blog.

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