Bill Atwood: I grew-up during the age of Sputnik. I remember my Dad taking me out when I was—I was ten years old. We got-up at 4:00 in the morning, and it was late spring as I remember—but it could have been late fall—and I remember going outside and being so excited as this little point of light went whizzing across the sky.
Dave Thompson: And everybody else was going out and looking up at the sky, and trying to look for these satellites going overhead. I went out and looked and said Òyou know, that sky is fascinating out there. There are lots of other things. There are planets, there are comets, there are stars, there are nebulae.Ó And I started learning about those on my own, and always it was fascinating.
Julie McEnery: I always really cared and was curious about how the world works, and how it worked fundamentally. So, I donÕt just want to know how a car drives down the street, I want to know fundamentally how energy is formed, why the world is here, how the universe works.
Steve Ritz: What I remember really loving in science classes is when there was a lecture demonstration. And I remember very well when there was a surprise. And I remember that wonderful feeling of excitement, almost disorientation for a minute, wonder that we could find out new things about the world, surprising things about the world through scientific investigation.
Neil Gehrels: I grew-up in a family that was—my father is an astronomer. When I got to college, I thought Òwell I really want to do something else just to be different.Ó But I realized after awhile that this was really my passion and my biggest interest. So, I came back to studying physics and astronomy, and itÕs been a delight ever since that.
Peter Michelson: IÕve always been interested in physics. ItÕs really a hobby. I like—IÕm one of the luckiest people in the world, because IÕm doing what I like to do. I donÕt think of it as a job. ItÕs fun. ItÕs interesting, and you know, you learn something new every day.
Kevin Grady: I think for me personally, we want to get a telescope up there that they can do great things with. And at that point, IÕll be extremely pleased.
Chip Meegan: The past few decades have been a golden age for astronomy, and so IÕm delighted that I continue to be a part of that.