ABOVE: Dr. Benjamin Patz, computer engineer, electrical engineer, research scientist.
At that time they were having launches, it seemed like a couple a week. There was a tremendous amount of launch activity. You could go out and you could see a launch. When we first moved out we weren’t at the Cape. We were at Patrick. So you would go out on some building roof and see a launch. So the first few times that was very exciting…
In this excerpt from an oral history interview on October 31, 2011, Dr. Patz remembers the excitement of the space program and watching launches from the rooftops of Patrick Air Force Base. Dr. Benjamin Patz came to Orlando in the early 1960s to work at Cape Canaveral in the GENESYS program. He says the view from the rooftop wasn’t much different from seeing a launch from the seating for the congressmen and other VIPS. They were all nice launches.
Dr. Benjamin Patz’s scientific contributions to our area include working in the GENESYS Program at Cape Canaveral, Lockheed Martin, teaching at the Naval Training Equipment Center, Rollins College, and the University of Central Florida. His students from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UCF recall Professor Patz as a patient teacher who spent diligent time with everyone, undergraduate or graduate. In the GENESYS Program at the Cape his students were people working at Martin Marietta and NASA. Dr. Patz says, “They had interesting problems they would discuss with you… It was a good chance to go over control systems, electromagnetic fields, the boundary value problems.”
ABOVE: First rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on July 24, 1950. Orlando sonar physicist Vincent Benedetti was at the launch hear his firsthand account of this historic event in the American race to space.
ABOVE: 1967 photo of Dr. Benjamin W. Patz, center, in a meeting with Martin engineers, management, and research scientists on the Solar Probe Project at Martin Marietta in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Phil Gregory, engineer, is seated to the far left. Dr. Donald Beatty Wall, a mechanical engineer and manager, is seated second from the right. Dr. Wall later left Martin to work at the University of Central Florida and started his own company, Central Florida Engineering Services.
Listen to the rest of the interview with Dr. Patz.
LISTEN Part 1 (4:14)
LISTEN Part 2 (8:21)
LISTEN Part 3 (6:19)
LISTEN Part 4 (3:17)
LISTEN Part 5 (8:43)
LISTEN Part 6 (6:01)
LISTEN Part 7 (:52)
LISTEN Part 8 (2:36)
LISTEN Part 9 (4:25)
LISTEN Part 10 (2:48)
LISTEN Part 11 (7:32)
LISTEN Part 12 (4:52)
LISTEN Part 13 (4:56)
LISTEN Part 14 (6:48)
LISTEN (3:58) Patrick Air Force Base