Brevard is the backbone of the space program
It’s hard to avoid space and aeronautics topics in a magazine based on the Space Coast.
So even though this isn’t our annual aviation and space issue, we have two stories of interest to readers interested in space and aviation.
The first is by Lucinda Coulter in our Moments in Space History column, where she writes about Brevard’s contributions to getting the Hubble Space Telescope launched in 1990. All missions involve heroes and NASA payload manager Bob Webster, who oversaw the launch, was certainly one of them. Astronauts even gave him their Silver Snoopy Award.
“We were problem-solving, but we didn’t know what the problems would be,” Webster tells Coulter.
Webster shares with Coulter the many challenges with Hubble, from dealing with midge flies that made their way into the payload bay just before launch day to the highly publicized defects in a mirror that caused early images to go blurry and required the launch of Endeavor and a crew of seven to fix it.
Now a success story, Hubble has resulted in the production of more than 16,000 scientific papers, with generations of scientists expected to continue mining data in the future. We are thrilled to provide several of Hubble’s views in this issue. As astronaut John Grunsfeld says of Hubble, “Its biggest contribution to humanity is that it has revealed the immense beauty of the universe.”
Another story in this issue highlights the best and brightest in Brevard’s aviation industry, Andy Allen, CEO of Aerodyne and a former pilot of space shuttles Atlantis and Columbia. Writer Maria Sonnenberg retraces Allen’s impressive career before his arrival at Aerodyne, an engineering and technology services firm ranked as one of Florida’s fastest-growing private companies. The company is playing a key role in the mission of Artemis I, which will enable human exploration to the moon and Mars.
Allen credits his 650-person team with the company’s success. “No matter what they are doing, they really, really care about their jobs,” he says.
It’s an observation that could be applied to the space and aeronautics industry throughout Brevard.
Publisher Gregory Enns is a fifth-generation Floridian whose family arrived in Titusville in 1891. A former newspaper reporter and editor, he started Indian River Magazine on the Treasure Coast in 2006. Indian River Media Group, the company he heads, now publishes seven magazines, including Space Coast Living, which was purchased in March. He is vice president of the Florida Magazine Association.