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Jack A. Kinzler, Savior of the Skylab Mission, Dies At 94 34

Posted by samzenpus
from the rest-in-peace dept.
puddingebola writes "From his New York Times Obituary, 'Had Jack A. Kinzler not built model planes as a boy, had he not visited the post office as a youth and had he not, as a grown man, purchased four fishing rods at $12.95 apiece, Skylab — the United States' $2.5 billion space station — would very likely have been forfeit.' An excellent obit from the NYT, recounting the story of how Kinzler saved the Skylab mission with a telescoping parasol to patch a damaged heat shield. An inventive thinker and tinkerer, Mr. Kinzler was also responsible for the flags and plaques placed during the Apollo mission."
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Jack A. Kinzler, Savior of the Skylab Mission, Dies At 94

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  • Jack was a top rate Kinzler. He will be sorely missed.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Jack A. Kinzler, Savior of the Skylab Mission, Dies At 94

  • Jack A. Kinzler, Savior of the Skylab Mission, Dies At 94

    This reminds me of the old grammar exercise "Woman without her man is lost," the meaning of which changes dramatically based on punctuation. E.g., "Woman! Without her, man is lost." or "Woman, without her man, is lost."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16, 2014 @03:00PM (#46500317)

    "NASA's resident Mr. Fix-It, building the impeccable full-scale models of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft used in a welter of preflight tests, and solving a spate of other mechanical problems over the years â" all without the benefit of a college degree."

    A natural obsession with learning or problem solving can't be taught.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    He also oversaw the design and manufacture of the commemorative plaques attached to all six lunar landing vehicles...

    Seven lunar landing vehicles! Or do we have reason to believe there wasn't a plaque on the Apollo 13 lander?

  • Is Slashdot hiring copy editors?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "all without the benefit of a college degree"

    For this article to be followed by one supporting a college education.

  • without him their prophecies wouldn't be fulfilled.
  • ... and balls. Guys like him reached for a slide rule, locked themselves in a room with only the materials known to be on the mission and not only came up with the solution, but instructed some nervous, heat-stroked astronauts to build it.

    • by milkmage (795746)

      "locked themselves in a room with only the materials known to be on the mission and not only came up with the solution, but instructed some nervous, heat-stroked astronauts to build it."

      not really, SkyLab was uninhabited until they got the fix up there.

      The finished parasol, built from telescoping aluminum tubes and silver-and-orange fabric of nylon, Mylar and aluminum, was stowed aboard the crew’s Apollo spacecraft. At 9 a.m. on May 25, the crew — Commander Conrad, Joseph P. Kerwin and Paul J. W

    • I don't normally post about personal things, but this seems like a good place for it. There was another guy like him who passed away recently. My grandfather [wikipedia.org] was an amazing man, and (I like to think) played a very important role in NASA's success. The den at his house is basically a museum of his medals and signed photographs with astronauts and presidents. I loved going through it with him, and I'm going to miss listening to his stories.

  • Jack and several other engineers were beating their heads against a wall to try to save the SkyLab missions. The first crew was docked and stuck in the Command Module with the temperature inside SkyLab in the mid 100s. He looked out a window and saw a young lady with a parasol. The light went on...

    Thanks to Chuck Tombs for relaying that...and for the excellent package of autographed 8x10s of the SkyLab Astronauts. A real prize for a 9YO science nerd.

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