Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meeting the legendary and incredible Burt Rutan

Last night, here at UNF, the university and the Worlds Affair Council hosted a talk given by the one and only Burt Rutan. For those of you who don't know who Burt Rutan, he is one of the most innovative aerospace engineers there ever was. He designed SpaceShipOne, the first ever commercial spacecraft, as well as many other amazing aircraft.

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Mr. Rutan spoke last night on a few different topics. He spoke of the work he did, and about some of his designs; he highlighted the history of the space industry and its current "shortcomings". Mr. Rutan also spoke about how radical change needs to happen in the industry so that the youth can become inspired to go into the STEM fields.

One of the most powerful quotes of the evening I thought was, "In ten to fifteen years, there will be nobody on the planet that has walked on another world." How bizarre is that!? Once the astronauts that did walk on the moon (the ones that are left are not exactly young), all die, there will be nobody on the planet that has been to the moon. How weird... (coincidentally, this was Mr. Rutan's mantra for the evening.)

After his talk, Mr. Rutan stayed to answer questions and sign copies of his book, and I went up and spoke to him. I asked him how he got to become such a big player in aerospace, and about the materials SpaceShipOne was made out of. I also got a photograph with him, (which unfortunately turned out horribly, but I'll still share it with you all!) I know my geeky side comes out when I say this, but I was so star struck meeting him. I was meeting an idol of mine, and it was incredible.

Burt Rutan and I! 
It was such an honor listening to Burt Rutan's talk, as well as being able to talk to him afterwards. It is an experience I will never forget.

His talk will also be shown on CSPAN for anyone interested!


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2 comments:

  1. Wow what an honor! I wish I knew that he visited UNF. Cool blog!

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    1. Thanks! And it really was an honor, I couldn't believe I actually got to talk to him.

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