Saturday, October 6, 2007
Ken Johnston Answers Commentors Questions
For the most part I have been researching material for another book, but I will be more vigilant in checking this Blog and responding.
My apology for not getting back and responding to some of your statements. For the most part, I appreciate your comments and agree that we need more of the “common” folks to tell their stories so that we can piece more of the puzzle together.
Now for “The Wizard of OZ” coming out behind the curtain. I wasn’t aware that the person questioning my "first hand experience" didn’t know how to type“Ken Johnston” into the Internet and find out about my entire history. However for the record; I am now 65years old. I hold a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Oklahoma City University and two advanced degrees from the Reformed Baptist Seminary, one in Theology and the other PhD in Metaphysics.
I worked at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX from 1966 through 1980 for several prime contractors. During the first half of the Apollo program I worked for the Grumman Aerospace Corp. as a Consultant Pilot and Astronaut Liaison officer. I substituted for the Astronauts during over 3,000 hours at the controls of the Lunar Module space craft. There were 5 of us with Grumman that were the test pilots on the LM. One of us had to be in the spacecraft at all times when there was an astronaut present to answer any questions they might have and to help teach them how to fly it. The five of us went through the same training that the Astronauts had including physical fitness, zero-g training, avionics, propulsion, astronautics, etc.
After the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon most of us engineers with Grumman got (RIF) laid off so I moved over to the Lunar Receiving Laboratory where I became the Manager of the Data and Photo Control department which put me in control of all mission photography,which is how I managed to be able to get a set of pictures donated to my Alma mater. Later I worked on the Shuttle Space Suit assembly as an engineer and test subject where I flew hundreds of parabolas in NASA’s KC-135, also known as the “Vomit Comet”. I have done vacuum chamber tests and underwater Zero-G tests. While in the USMC I flew faster than twice the speed of sound in the F-4 Phantom back in 1964. I have flown at over 60,000 feet altitude and know what it is like to be up where the air is really thin. Later I worked for Martin Marietta at Vandenberg AFB during the construction of the Shuttle Launch facility called “Slick 6”. In 1984 I went to work for the Boeing Company where I retired in 1998 as a Boeing 737 Flight Instructor.
So I hope this answers some of the questions regarding my first hand experience. I am new to blogging and as a rule I am not much of a computer expert in getting in and out of the blog’s. I hope you will excuse my faults and I will try to be more responsive in the future. Keep up the good work.