Tim Cole

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Presenter affiliation: 

RASC Ottawa Member
Past meeting chair

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About the Presenter: 

Past president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Ottawa chapter, Tim Cole describes himself as a lunatic with a romance for the sky. He paraphrases science fiction author Jerry Pournelle in describing his discouragement over the cancellation of Apollo missions 18, 19 and 20, and the end of the program in 1972: “I never thought I would live to see the first man walk on the moon, but I sure as hell didn’t think I would live to see the last one.” “That was my attitude and disappointment,” Cole recalls. “How could we NOT keep doing this? And then I realized — because we did it. The job is done. It’s over.” Cole was born in Harbour Grace, N.L. in 1958, the same year, he points out, that NASA was born. The first book he asked his parents to buy him was What Is a Rocket? when he was four. The next was the How and Why Wonder Book of Stars. As a youngster, he built numerous aircraft and space models, including the Saturn V rocket, lunar and command modules, and one of Gemini 4 astronaut Ed White’s famous 1965 tethered spacewalk, the first by an American. When he was eight, Cole sent away to NASA for a package of maps, photos and other space-related material. On one wall of his bedroom was a technical drawing of the Saturn V rocket that stretched from knee level to the ceiling. He joined a science book club. Growing up in the Apollo Era, Tim has been fascinated with space and astronomy for as long as he can remember. After working as a professional engineer for many years, he shifted careers to writing and illustration and has been active in science education and outreach, working as a educator and content developer for the Canada Science and Technology Museum and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. When not involved in astronomy-related activities, Tim is an avid reader, an electronics and software tinkerer, and an enthuisastic amateur in military history and the history of nuclear energy.