On a sadder note: The late FAA spaceflight leader Patti Grace Smith receives tributes as does “greatest boxer” Muhammed Ali

by | Jun 11, 2016 | Commercial human spaceflight, commercial launch services, Satellites | 0 comments

In June, the world of private commercial spaceflight was in mourning for Patti Grace Smith, 68, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer. She headed up the Commercial Space Transportation regulatory arm of the Federal Aviation Administration. By making sure that private human spaceflight remains in her office’s domain rather than fall under aviation regulation, she was able to give the nascent industry a more relaxed regulatory regime to allow it to prosper when harder regulation may have stifled it.

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, paid tribute to Patti Grace Smith noting that she had “helped lay the foundations for a new era in American spaceflight.”

In the same month, and stealing most of the world’s media headlines was the death of boxing legend Muhammed Ali (nee Cassius Clay) who was, during the 1960s and 1970s, the World’s most famous man. This column is not really the place to note his achievements whether in boxing, or for his work in helping breaking down racial barriers, or for his brave stand against the Vietnam war, or for his struggle with Parkinson’s Disease, or even for just his famous poetic wit. However, we mention him here because during the peak of his career, his famous fights: the “Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman in Zaire in 1974, and the “Thrilla in Manilla” against Joe Frazier in the Philippines in 1975, were major world TV events involving early mass satellite-relayed live broadcasts.

Three times heavy weight world champion, Ali, often declared himself in a mock boastful stance, as “The Greatest”. Many believe that when it comes to boxing, he probably was.

Seradata gives its tribute to both Patti Grace Smith and to Muhammed Ali, and we give our condolences to the friends and families of both.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

NTSB finds that pilot error was to blame for SpaceShipTwo failure but so was poor design and training

The premature in-flight deployment of the feathered tail plane speed braking system was the primary cause of the destruction of the Virgin Read more

Farnborough Air Show: Eight UK Spaceport candidates announced…while glamour, regret, tattoos and a few aircraft were on display as well

At the Farnborough International Air Show, Space technology was in evidence - most noticeably the special Space Zone in Exhibition Hall Read more

VIDEO: #iac2009 Civilian access to space session

Watch this video of the Internatonal Astronautical Congress in Daejeon, Korea where Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn, Sierra Nevada vice Read more

FAA: France wants human spaceflight regulatory help

At the Space Foundation's 25th National Space Symposium Hyperbola spoke to the US Federal Aviation Administration's associate administrator for the Read more

EVENT: 30 June space tourism @ Royal Aeronautical Society

Go here for the agenda for the London based-Royal Aeronautical Society that will have a good line up of people Read more

Virgin Galactic president’s FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference speech

Virgin Galactic Will Whitehorn's comments at the FAA 11th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference, 5-9 February 2009

Official: Spaceport America is now a spaceport

So they got there eventually. It was the US Federal Aviation Administration environmental impact assessment that held it up. The Read more

FAA plans for suborbital point-to-point transport

At the 29 October 2008 Federal Aviation Administration commercial space transportation committee a John Sloan gave a presentation on the Read more