It Really Is Rocket Science

By Jim Prelesnik

March 2016

When I was in elementary school, I remember the principal coming to my classroom one morning and asking the class to follow him to the "audio-visual room." (The audio-visual room was an unused classroom with a television set where students could watch educational television broadcasts.)

During the broadcast, we watched as a rocket blasted off, heading for space. I can't remember what the rocket was carrying, but I vividly remember being amazed that there were people smart enough to design and build a rocket that could be launched into space.

Little did I know that approximately 30 years later, I would design circuitry that would be carried to the International Space Station by the space shuttle, and the experiment using my circuitry would be successfully tested on-orbit.

Today, 20 years after that first test, a production version of my electronics is still in use on the space station.