Don Bostrom, at the time a recent graduate of California State University, Northridge — then known as San Fernando Valley State College — sat in a control center at Edwards Air Force Base northeast of Lancaster. The year was 1964, and Rocketdyne — a major supplier of U.S. rocket engines — was testing F-1 engines for NASA. The engineers launched the engines from test platforms on a ridge, about 800 feet from the control centers where Bostrom ’64 (Electrical Engineering) and his team monitored the test runs. The thick glass windows of the control center shielded the engineers from the fireball erupting from the test stand that mounted the 16-foot-tall test engines.
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