Arcady (1)

In the mid-sixties, my employer contracted with the French Space Agency (CNES) to provide pointing control subsystems for their Veronique rocket. In the spring of 1967 our control subsystem was integrated into their payload at the CNES labs near Paris followed by launch operations from Hamaguir, a French Foreign Legion fort in Algeria. I was away from home for almost five weeks.
The fall of 1968 brought another stint in Paris followed by operations at the new French launch site in French Guiana on the Atlantic coast. I was home for less than two weeks from late September until Christmas Eve when I arrived just in time to take my girls to midnight mass.

The winter of 1969-70 took me on a European Space Agency (ESTEC) campaign to London, Paris, and Amsterdam, then on to the ESTEC launch site at Woomera in the Australian outback. A total of almost eight weeks away.

All of this a grand adventure for me.
But hard on my family - especially on Joan.
I recently rediscovered some of her letters from this period and I've transcribed excerpts for these pages. They're Joan in her own voice.

The photos were taken in November, 1968 on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Claremont, California. I was home for the week before heading for French Guiana.


"We hold our glasses to our hearts and talk of when we lived together in Arcady."


Back To Home


Go to Site Map