Apples and oranges

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Posted by Big Ron on September 23, 20 at 19:55:42:

In Reply to: Re: Find Eric Dale. Itís done. posted by PowayDevil on September 23, 20 at 08:10:10:

True, leaders have inspired great advances. But CEOs generally focus on their own personal interests. Lloyd Scott was the President of Santa Barbara Research when I first arrived. Before SBRC, he reported directly to Howard Hughes in Culver City and had a ton of fascinating stories.

The HAC Culver City Facility sat on a low land fill. There was a mile long ridge along its North border with Loyola Marymount University on top. Lloyd got a call from Howard Hughes. "I'm sick of looking at that dry brown slope from my window. When I come in tomorrow morning, I better see a solid field of daisies." Lloyd had the HAC runway lights pointed to the slope and hired every available landscaper in LA to work all night installing the irrigation system and filling the entire slope with white freeway daisies. The next morning, Lloyd waits for the call -

"Dammit Lloyd, you planted white daisies. I wanted yellow daisies." Lloyd smiled and told me, "It was a lot easier the second night."

"...push forward, make commits, etc. - without regard to the realities of the technical data behind the potential for success"

That was the Hughes Aircraft Culture. Dr. Talley was successor to Lloyd Scott as SBRC president. SBRC was under contract to discover and develop new deep space optics technology for the Voyager program. Dr Talley had the furniture removed from the corner of his office. He wanted everybody to know that if we were late and Voyager missed its launch window, it would end up as a $4 Billion lamp sitting in his office. I was amazed how effective that empty corner became to inspire the engineering departments to work as a single minded team. It worked. Both Voyager I and Voyager II continued to function well beyond their expected lives. Both have left our galaxy still returning data.

Here is one of the first Voyager photos of the Jupiter storms. The photo was "smuggled" to me as a going away present by the SBCR photo lab. It was the only time I ever violated my top Security clearance.

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