By Dr. Vassilios (Bill) Elias Haloulakos:V. E. “Bill” Haloulakos, Aerospace Science Consultant/Professor; AIAA National Distinguished Lecturer and Legacy Member; Distinguished Engineering Educator Award Winner
Dr Vassilios Elias Haloulakos, a longtime friend of mine and contributor to The Business Thinker, fell asleep in the Lord on January 13, 2019 – his 88th birthday. This article by Dr Haloulakos was his final testimony on how Science Fiction became Science Fact, a recurring theme in much of his scientific and engineering work. The stellar career of Dr Haloulakos spanned the Jet Age, Space Race and Cold War. He was studying for his Master’s Degree in 1962 along with Neil Armstrong in the very same classroom at the University of Southern California before Armstrong was chosen for the space program.
The collection of scientific books and research papers authored by Dr Haloulakos — which include his landmark contributions to the Gemini and Apollo manned space expeditions, Sky Lab, nuclear propulsion for space flight, UpStage anti-ballistic missile, DC-10 jet airliner and the Delta reusable rocket — will be donated to Brigham Young University later this month, fifty years to the day of the Apollo 11 moon landing when his USC classmate, Armstrong, became the first human being to set foot on the moon.Now future generations can learn about this very important era in our history by visiting the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University and reading Dr Haloulakos’s research papers and books on the Space Race, and many other related events that have shaped our lives. If you have interest in reading or viewing the work of Dr Haloulakos as a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 along with other remarkable scientific achievements, here is the contact information for getting access.
Physical and Mathematical Sciences Librarian
Brigham Young University
2415 Harold B. Lee Library
Provo, Utah 84602
Further information on the life of Dr Haloulakos can be accessed at this weblink:
This article has been previously posted on October 20, 2018 (LinkedIn and Google). It is a great honor and pleasure for me to post this article in the Business Thinker by submission and permission of Reverent George Haloulakos, the son of my deceased friend.
In my son’s book HIGH FLIGHT, a compendium of aviation case studies, yours truly, Dr. V.E. (Bill) Haloulakos, co-authored Chapter 7 (Imagination) with George. This chapter discussed how the classic 1960s science fiction epics “Lost in Space” and “Planet of the Apes” reflected nuclear rocket propulsion protocols that I worked on during that era. Now, we have a follow-up to this chapter and are re-releasing to the general public, two of my books that were the basis for the co-authored contribution to HIGH FLIGHT.
These two books authored by Dr. V.E. (Bill) Haloulakos are: >MATHEMATICS, THE LAYMAN AND DAILY LIFE. (ISBN: 9780100729001)
> ROCKET PROPULSION FUNDAMENTALS AND MISSION ANALYSIS (ISBN: 9780100729018)
Here is our follow-up to Chapter 7 (Imagination) from HIGH FLIGHT
Recently we watched Episode #6 (“Welcome Stranger”) from the classic sci-fi TV series Lost in Space. This particular episode originally aired on October 20, 1965 with guest star Warren Oates as American astronaut James Hapgood who has come to enjoy the life of a roving space cowboy. Hapgood and his rocket ship “Travelin’ Man” lifted off from Earth on June 18, 1982 aiming for a possible soft landing on Saturn as an optional part of a fly-by survey mission. He missed his landing and has been wandering in space for 15+ years before his encounter with the Space Family Robinson in the late 1990s. This wonderful episode reflected the scientific protocols from the hey-day of the 1960s space age as well other projects not widely known to the general public at the time, notably the use of nuclear powered rockets for both interplanetary and interstellar space travel. While the public was largely enthralled with the USA versus USSR race for the first manned moon landing, other manned space flights were also being planned for Mars along with possible missions to Saturn and Jupiter. At the time, a soft
landing on either Saturn or Jupiter was deemed possible as the gaseous composition of these two planets was not yet fully known. Viewed through the prism of scientific knowledge and mission protocols during the 1960s, a landing on Saturn’s moon Titan was understood as both feasible and achievable as an intermediate step before landing on Saturn itself.
This applied also to the goal of fulfilling interstellar space travel. The original mission of the Jupiter-2 saucer craft was to transport the Space Family Robinson to the Alpha Centauri star system. When Hapgood explains that he was travelling on a path taking him to Epsilon Eridani, a type K main sequence star, as is Alpha Centauri B, it becomes evident that for Hapgood and the Robinsons to cross paths was clearly in the realm of possibility in the future envisioned by Lost in Space. Again, this is affirmed by the scientific knowledge from the 1960s. A 1964 RAND Corporation report titled Habitable Planets for Man listed Epsilon Eridani as a star with a relatively high 3.3% of having a planet worthy of colonization. Therefore both the Hapgood and Robinson space expeditions are in line with the best knowledge of the time when Lost in Space was aired on network television! One other interesting item: extra-solar planets are said to be present around Epsilon Eridani and it has been the focus of a SETI project.
Annie Jacobsen’s book about exotic high-tech military/research projects, Area 51, documents that such long-range missions were not only in the works but would require nuclear rockets to make them feasible/achievable. Moreover such expeditions were planned to occur in what would be the same timeline of the future as envisioned by Lost in Space. This is the essence of the published works of Dr. Haloulakos as well as his research and technical contributions to helping conceive or develop nuclear rockets as well as reusable rocket ships such as the McDonnell Douglas DC-X, long before Space-X and Blue Origin.
What is also remarkable is that the saga of space cowboy Hapgood and his ship “Travelin’ Man” not only reflected the scientific protocols of the 1960s (the same period in which Lost in Space aired on network TV), but actually provided the template of what future rocket ships would look like more than two decades later. Shown here are artist renditions of “Travelin’ Man” (Source: Pinterest) and the McDonnell Douglas DC-X (Source: NASA) that was deployed in the early 1990s.
Here is information on Dr. Haloulakos’ books that inspired this work:
The math book is a reader-friendly presentation on the history of universal mathematical concepts and how they relate to our daily life. The propulsion book focuses on nuclear rockets and shows how our favorite sci-fi epics were / are a window into the future of science fact!
If you would like to learn more about the published work of Dr Haloulakos, please contact George Haloulakos. Cell (voice & text) 425-241-5016 or e-mail: Haloulakos@gmail.com