A little about the team

UC Berkeley's George Pimentel Principal Investigator and Kenneth Herr Co-Investigator lead the Infrared experiment for the Mariner 6 and 7 platform.
Other team members brought various support skills and each explores some of their personal experiences from this project.
Photo from August 1999 reunion of some team members with IRS engineering model.
Kneeling, left to right: Donald K. Stone (computer programmer), Kenneth C. Herr (Co-Investigator), John Lester (Les) Hughes (cryogenic engineer), Paul B. Forney (Project Scientist)
Standing, left to right: Laurel Kirkland, Lynn Bostick (clean room/technician), Paul Duffy (SSL machinist), James Holsworth (computer programmer), Michael Lowe (engineer).

Les Hughes Flight Project Engineer

 graduated as a BA Physicist from SF State in 1965, then stumbled into a role as Lab Technician working for Ken Herr and George Pimentel.  This was my first technical job and I was astounded by how interesting everything was compared to course work.  My only previous job was as a clerk in Long's Drugs, which I did for 6 years while going to school.
I became Flight Project Engineer (whatever that was) when we received NASA contract and was overjoyed at prospect of developing a scientific instrument  that was going to flyby Mars in 1969.  When I was a kid, I read science fiction and Mars was so very prominent as the mysterious place that might hold other life in our solar system.  What a rush…
Then came 4 years of intense work that consumed almost every waking hour.   And to think that they were paying me to do this!  I designed the 12" telescope and worked with Jim Holsworth on the ray tracing that optimized the design.  I also designed the gas delivery system that powered the cryostat that produced 20K temperatures for the Channel 1 Hg:Te detector.  
And with that intensity of work came an equal intensity of fun.  This ranged from the camaraderie of a team of folks all pointed toward the same goal, to playing volleyball on the building roof, and occasionally partying very hard.

Jim Holsworth Chief Programmer

A year out of college I landed my first real job that sort of related to my science degree. And it shaped my life, because I became the first programmer for the project (No doubt based on my vast experience of one course in !BM1620 machine language and a little Fortran). I was obviously the most qualified for this post.

While learning about ray tracing and telemetry data I was also fortunate to learn programming in the early years. Most coding was assembly language and booting for each application. They were "big" machines. Big because they weighed more than a group of people. But they had all of 16 kilobytes of memory. Not megabytes or gigabytes.  I owe a lot to this first job. I got my MS from UC Berkeley while here and had more fun than any job since.


I hope that each team member can tell a story about his/her experiences. A couple of short paragraphs about something fun, educational or any remembrance of your time on this project.

You can upload both text and photo files to our Google group or send them to me. In either case, I'll crop your photo and add your story online.

This is separate from the war stories of gas bottle or cape trips. I think these deserve a separate section.