The final countdown

It’s T-minus zero, and as the main engine ignites, Lt. Col. Scott Peel’s mind begins to race. As commander of the range operations team at Vandenberg Air Force Base, he knows that now there’s no turning back.

The 5,000-pound military satellite, attached to a Delta II-7920 rocket sitting on top of thousands of pounds of highly combustible fuels, leaves the Earth for its journey into space. And now all he can do is watch and wait for the satellite to separate from its booster vehicle.
Scott Peel

Lt. Col. Scott Peel, EMgt’89

The Dec. 14, 2006, launch of USA 193 was Peel’s fourth. His three previous launches – an intercontinental ballistic missile test, a missile defense interceptor test and another satellite -had all been successful. But that didn’t lessen the anticipation of this mission. “Launching extremely expensive, unique or one-of-a-kind satellites is far from routine,” says Peel, EMgt’89. “It is the most stressful thing I’ve ever helped do, but it is also exhilarating and rewarding.”
Only after all stages have fired is the immense pressure, built by each successive “go” call, replaced by euphoria for the range team, says Peel.
“The ability to declare ‘mission success’ can take weeks or months depending upon the type of mission,” Peel explains.

“Only after all stages have fired is the immense pressure, built by each successive “go” call, replaced by euphoria for the range team.”

Fourteen months later, in a strange twist of fate, another Missouri S&T grad, Andrew Jackson, ECE’03, would start a launch sequence that would bring down the malfunctioning satellite.
“I’m not surprised that two Rolla alumni were working high-risk, technically demanding operations,” Peel says. “The U.S. military is looking for all different types of people with different educational backgrounds, but because the services employ many cutting-edge technologies, the appeal for graduates from schools such as Rolla is high.”
Peel is stationed at Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where he is pursuing his third master’s degree, this one in national security.

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

[Read More...]

Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

[Read More...]

Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

[Read More...]

Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

[Read More...]

Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

[Read More...]