Subject: Creativity
From: "Larry Kunz ((919) 254-6395)" <ldkunz -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 13:01:24 EST

Many of the discussions on this list touch on creativity: What is
it, how can it help my work, how can I get it, how can I recognize
it in someone? This week, some of the best examples of creativity
I've ever seen are (or ought to be) in the national spotlight.

As the Galileo spacecraft approaches its long-awaited rendezvous
with the planet Jupiter, a wire-service story and a TV documentary
(on the Discovery channel) describe how:

- The original plan called for a powerful launch rocket. When that
plan was scrapped, engineers devised a corkscrew-shaped trajectory
that swung Galileo once around Venus and twice around the Earth to
get the gravitational "slingshot" needed to send it to Jupiter.

- When Galileo's antenna failed to open properly, engineers managed
to essentially reprogram the onboard computer so it could perform
most of the originally planned functions.

The history of space exploration, of course, is rife with creative
problem solving. (Remember Apollo 13?) I'm not suggesting that
people post their favorite examples here -- we'd quickly get
off-topic. I am suggesting that, if I ever interview someone who
worked on the Galileo project, I'll be inclined to hire that person
based on his or her creativity.

At this time of budget-cutting fever in Washington, NASA gets my
vote as the government agency I'd least like to see Newtered. ;-)

Larry Kunz
STC Assistant to the President for Professional Development
ldkunz -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com

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