Thursday 24 July 2014

Working in Ottawa today --Stop the presses!

Follow up, today in The Toronto Star

Stop the presses!

I had punched out a Pulp this morning, effectively just phoning it in and settled back into my seat to read the rest of the newspaper.

When on page S6 of the Globe and Mail I saw a photo of Ben Etkin.   Ben passed away recently at the good long life age of 96 and was the father of my friend of 25 years or so, Dave.

The photo is accompanied by not only an account of Ben's accomplishments over the years, Order of Canada, Dean of Engineering at U of T, 11 or so patents, too many published papers to count, but also his team's involvement in helping bring back Apollo 13 back in April 1970.

NASA and the Apollo 13 manufacturer, Grumman, contacted Ben and his team to determine and calculate the method and forces required to jettison the lunar module from the command module just prior to re-entry.

A number of years ago Ben recounted that day and the tasks assigned to he and his team to me, and at the time he downplayed his team's role, as one team among many that were working out how to jettison the module as well as calculate the burn rate of the main engine.

What I read today is that it turns out that Ben's team was the only one.

Too bad that wasn't in the movie :)

Have a great day, check all of your numbers twice.


  1. Great read. But what happened to the other Pulp?

  2. He was a wonderful man, a very intelligent and kind man and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He Did make the world a better place.

  3. Really nice article...thanks for the link. Makes me proud to be Canadian...

  4. Posted a follow up article from the Toronto Star