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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16, 2014 @04:48PM (#46500561)

    Although I have an advanced degree in a physical science, it was all my hobby tinkering in electronics and mechanics that made a real difference in both my thesis research and my subsequent career. That's why things like Heathkit and the old Radio Shack are sorely missed. Simulations on a tablet are not the real thing.

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

    Indeed. When I was in the Navy, we all had the exact some training... but once you got to the fleet, some guys turned out to be great console jockeys, but little else, some guys couldn't handle the hot seat at all. (Though to be honest, being fast and accurate managing the team and the system from the console was no mean feat.) Some guys were intuitive troubleshooters, others methodical, yet others never really got the hang of it though they could stick to the procedures and get by so long as the going didn't get too weird. Etc... etc...

    In theory, we were all interchangeable widgets shaped and honed in training. In reality, personality, aptitude, and inclination played a huge part.

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