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Brian was born in 1940 in Boston and was raised in Americas middle-class suburban post-war Baby Boom, as I also was.Brian was imbued with American Revolution mythology, which can be seen in his books, such as his playing the Paul Revere of free energy. C., and his awe at the Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln memorials, filled him with a flag-saluting patriotism that presaged a long and self-admittedly co-dependent relationship with his nations capital.While Brian passed through the selection process, his peers were concerned about what Brian would sacrifice to become an astronaut.Scientists most productive years were usually their late twenties and thirties, and Brian would not be spending them performing science, but learning how to execute space missions that had rather obscure scientific goals.In his senior year in high school in 1956, the year before Sputnik launched, Brian wrote a paper on space satellites, which puzzled his class and teacher, as it was such a strange topic. During high school, Brian was at the top of his classes, and was an Eagle Scout, an athlete, and he further described his traits as, devout Catholic, Republican, no liquor, no sex, and obedient to authority. Brian was a middling student during his early collegiate years, but was busy exploring adult life.He got that phase behind him and was accepted at Georgetown to seriously study astronomy, which eventually led him to NASAs astronaut program.In retrospect, I wonder if Brian knew that the end was near. I initially planned to write an essay of my memories of Brian, but it quickly became something else.This essay is partly biographical, partly reminiscences, and partly about Brians lifes work and legacy.
In 2008, I helped edit his last book, The Energy Solution Revolution. In 2008, he finished a multi-year bout with skin cancer, and in early 2009, Brian asked me to help him with his NASA and Wikipedia biographies, and we wrote a proposal together for the Department of Energy (Brian briefly discusses it here). We did more interviews together in 2011, and Brian was planning to mount a public effort relating to the principles that I learned for bringing free energy to the world.
C., and became a research assistant in Georgetowns astronomy department.
From a blind obedience to authority while growing up, previews of Brians fractious relationship with the Establishment became evident at Georgetown.
The Space Race was largely an exercise in nationalism, to beat the Soviet Union to the moon.
Several dynamics led to Brians resignation from NASA.
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Their papers were regularly published in the scientific establishment's house organs: the magazines Science and Nature.