My earliest recollection of something related to space has to be the image of cosmonaut Alexey Leonov on Voshkhod 2 and his EVA in March of 1965. It was the cover of a space book that I had as a kid. I was so fascinated by it that I drew it too. That's how I got interested in space exploration.
My cousin and I regularly spoke about American and Soviet missions of the 60s and 70s. We use to enjoy exchanging information about astronauts, particularly about the ones that flew for the Mercury, the Gemini and the Apollo projects. The astronauts have always been an inspiration for me since I was a kid. I always had a great respect for them and I memorized all of their names and their missions. I looked at them as models of inspiration, bravery and courage. I have always been mesmerized by their accomplishments. My cousin earned a BS in aerospace engineering. I earned an AS in computer science from GCC, a BS in computer engineering from CSUN and a MS in electrical engineering from SJSU.
I was not lucky enough to be born to see the Apollo missions but I was lucky enough to see the Space Shuttle go into orbit many times on television and I lived through that era as well as seeing the International Space Station being built.
I am a big fan of the space race era, particularly from 1957 to 1975. I enjoy reading and watching material related to manned missions from 1961 to 1972, in particular about the Apollo missions. In August of 1996 I visited the KSC for the first time and saw the Mercury-Redstone, the Saturn V and the Space Shuttle. I returned to KSC in March of 2000 where I saw Rick Searfoss give a speech. In April of 2014 I had a chance to visit the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia where I saw and saluted many of my Apollo heroes from Grissom to Conrad and Roosa. In July of 2014 I had a chance to watch and listen Buzz Aldrin give a speech on the USS Hornet (CV-12) in California.
I have lived and worked in Piedmont, Michigan, California and Scotland. I currently live in Silicon Valley. I am an electrical engineer. My field is analog, hardware and power electronics. I speak 5 languages and some of my interests are music, electronics, photography, reading, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek mythology, beekeeping, baseball, history of space exploration, traveling, medieval castles and cooking.
Meeting an astronaut must be a cool experience. Being able to talk to any of them would be exciting. If I had to fly on a mission with an astronaut I would probably pick John Young because he is the most experienced and decorated of the bunch. I feel somewhat intimidated by his position in the pantheon of astronauts but I also felt he always had everything under control. If I could have a beer with an astronaut, I would like to have it with David Scott, Charles Duke or Eugen Cernan because they transpire as kind and genuine folks. However, if I could spend a day with a specific astronaut, I would have liked to spend it with Charles "Pete" Conrad because he was amazing at his job but he could also be funny.