Sad Day

I’m sure by now, most of you have heard about Len Cormier’s passing. He’s my second friend I’ve lost to cancer within the past two or three months. Len was a great guy–the first person who ever offered me a job in the space transportation business. He was unfortunately, way ahead of his time when it came to commercial space (IIRC he’s been trying to get commercial space businesses off the ground for over 40 years now). I’m going to miss him. I hope commercial space succeeds before we lose too many more of the trailblazers like Len.

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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6 Responses to Sad Day

  1. Monte Davis says:

    I’ll miss him especially as one of the last worth listening to on the USENet space groups. We disagreed about how close the “knee” in CATS cost/performance might be, but always amicably and instructively.

  2. Jon Goff says:

    Monte,
    Yeah, I agree about him being one of the last people worth reading on usenet. These days if I even bother, I’ll just do a search for one of a few names, to see if they’ve said anything interesting. I think the list is down to three (Jorge F., you, and Derek L., with your name being the most common–Jorge talks about a lot of stuff I’m not as interested in, and Derek’s pure cynicism–you at least balance cynicism with constructive criticism). Which is a pity, because usenet was how I became involved in commercial space development, and where I learned a lot of my early lessons (only some of which have had to be unlearned).

    But, it’s sad to see him go.

    ~Jon

  3. cpwinter says:

    This is sad news indeed. Once, on Usenet, I expressed to him the hope that he would write some sort of memoir. I suppose he was too busy designing spacecraft. Now it falls to somebody else to write up his life.

    Would you believe there’s no entry for him on Wikipedia? It’s time that was corrected.

  4. J05H says:

    Len was one of the great thinkers and doers of the space movement. His concepts of ultra-light launchers were very interesting. He proposed “SpaceShipOne”-type designs (for orbit) before Scaled was even in the space game. His presence will be missed.

  5. Lee says:

    He was more than just a gifted and visionary engineer; Len was a paragon, a model in his personal behavior for all to emulate.

  6. bungo says:

    @cpwinter: There is now. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Cormier
    Revise and extend as appropriate.

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