August Monthly Dinner
Aug 3, 2016
William J. O'Neil
No Host Bar Starts: 6:00 p.m.
Dinner Starts at 7:00 p.m.
Mr. O’Neil received his BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University with Distinction in 1961. He has an MSAE from USC. He worked at Boeing Airplane Company and Lockheed Missiles and Space Company prior to joining JPL in 1963. His assignments at JPL have included trajectory design and navigation for Surveyor--the first soft-landing lunar spacecraft, Navigation Chief for Mariner Mars 1971--the first U.S. spacecraft to orbit another planet, Navigation Chief for Viking--the first soft-landings on Mars, and Manager of the JPL Mission Design Department. He served as the Science and Mission Design Manager for Project Galileo during its development phase throughout the 1980’s. A few months after Galileo’s October 18, 1989 launch, He was appointed Galileo Project Manager. The Galileo spacecraft--an Orbiter and an Entry Probe--arrived at Jupiter on December 7, 1995 becoming the first to penetrate an outer planet atmosphere and the first to orbit an outer planet. Mr. O'Neil continued as Galileo Project Manager through the completion of the primary mission at Jupiter. On its circuitous route to Jupiter, Galileo became the first spacecraft to perform asteroid flybys--Gaspra in October 1991 and Ida in August 1993. Project Galileo discovered a natural satellite of Ida--the first ever sighting of an asteroid satellite. The Galileo Orbiter successfully completed its two-year primary mission scientific tour of the Jupiter System on December 7, 1997. It went on to perform nearly six additional years of extended Jupiter orbital tour science gathering before being crashed into Jupiter in September 2003. Galileo was intentionally crashed to prevent any chance of Earth spores reaching Jupiter's moon Europa because Project Galileo discovered Europa might itself harbor microbial life. Ironically, the Galileo Orbiter's greatest discovery earned it the death sentence.
Following his Galileo assignment, in 1998 Bill was appointed Chief Technologist for the Mars Exploration Program at JPL. In this capacity he led a Mars Sample Return Mission Architecture Study and subsequently the implementation planning for the Mars Sample Return Project with first missions to be launched in 2003 and 2005 to return samples to Earth in 2008. In November 1998 he was appointed Project Manager for the Mars 2003/2005 Sample Return Project (MSR), which was to be the first project to bring samples from another planet to Earth. MSR was indefinitely postponed in the wake of the Mars'98 mission failures. Bill served as the Manager of JPL's Systems Management Office within the JPL Director's Office in the last year of his JPL career retiring on May 1, 2001.
Bill served several years as Chairman of the Space Exploration Committee of the International Astronautical Federation and is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics both based in Paris.
He has been honored with NASA’s highest award--the Distinguished Service Medal--for his management of Project Galileo. Previously he was awarded Outstanding Leadership Medals for his work on Viking and Galileo Development. In 1997 he received the Purdue Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award and an honorary Doctorate in Astronomy from the University of Padova, Italy--Galileo’s University. In 2004 Purdue awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering. Bill and his wife Diane, (married 59 years,) lived in Sierra Madre, California (and adjacent neighborhoods), a small village suburb in the northeastern foothills of Los Angeles before moving to Atascadero in 2007. They have two adult children, Philip and Christine, and a teenage granddaughter, Eilly. Their youngest child, Gregory, died of a massive first heart attack at age 40 in 2002.
Bill's non-professional interests included international travel, downhill skiing, his classic automobiles, their mountain cabin retreat, and their two "mom & pop" six-unit apartment buildings. He has been a member of Warbirds since arriving here and several car clubs. His cars have taken Best of Class three times at Wings & Wheels.
View pictures from July dinner and speaker click here.
Dinner is catered and open to the public ($17/person), reservations are required prior to 6 p.m., Monday prior to dinner, either On-line HERE or call 805 296-1935
Sherm Smoot, Museum President, donor David H. Goff, Jim Barker and Gary Corippo, discussing the new acquisition
The museum recently received a Focke_Wulf 149 D "Piggi" aircraft. This aircraft is in excellent condition, and will be on display in Hangar 1. The FwP-149 D is a former German Air Force trainer, originally built by Piaggi Areo, in Genoa, Italy, later licensed to Focke_Wulf.
For more information and pictures of the Focke-Wulf 149D, click here.
Museum Docents Make it all Happen!
Estrella Warbirds Museum relies on an outstanding cast of volunteer docents to help run the museum, the gift shop, the automobile display.
It's a great place to make new friends and meet people from all over the world that stop by Paso Robles to visit the museum!
If you would like to volunteers a few hours each month, or week, let us know. We would love to meet you! Stop by the museum or find more information here.
|1st Annual EWM Top Flight Golf Scramble - A Hit on the Fairways
Estrella Warbirds Museum presented the inaugural "Top Flight Golf Scramble" at Paso Robles Golf Club on Saturday, June 25, 2016 to benefit the museum. Golfers took to the links on a beautiful Summer morning following a briefing by Director of Golf, Mike Brabenec, PGA - PRGC and an 8:30am shotgun start.
The tournament was the result of months of planning by EWM Fundraising Department members: Mike Levine, Betty Miller, Sue Dollemore, Margi Bauer, and Jill Thayer. Event volunteers included: Steve Lochen, Peter Snyder, Karen Flynn, Barbara Lochen, James Messineo, and Jerry Jones.
Top Flight Golf Scramble was advertised regionally with Save-the-Date fliers, a brochure, an ad in the SLO Tribune, public service announcements on local media, an e-flier with Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, web and social media, and word-of-mouth.
Golfers enjoyed an 18-hole round of golf with cart, box lunches, hors 'd oeuvres, refreshments, a commemorative cap, tournament prizes, and a great day of fun.
The following sponsors, prizes, and winners include:
Paso Robles Ford -
2-year lease of a Ford Edge for a "Hole-in-One"
Venteux Vineyards -
(2) bottles of wine each to winning foursome
Estrella Warbirds Museum -
$100 for "Closest to the Pin"
Paso Robles Golf Club -
• Free round of golf for the top five "Closest to the Pin"
• Free round of golf for "Longest Drive"
• Free round of golf to "Most Mediocre Foursome"
• (1) Free golf lesson for each member of "Worst Foursome"
A drawing was also held for the following prizes:
• $50 gift certificate to PRGC Pro Shop
• A gift certificate to Guest House Grill
• Bottles of wine from Venteux Vineyards
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hallmark Realty
Hamon Overhead Door
Jill Thayer Associates contributed the marketing design, and event and tee signage.
A great time was had by all. Special thanks to staff, volunteers, sponsors, and players for your support of the museum!
View pictures from Top Flight Golf Scramble, click here
Dennis Gage, host of My Classic Car, interviewing Carol Verstuyft, WWW8 Coordinator
Warbirds Wings & Wheels 8 was a tremendous success this year thanks to Dan and Carol Verstuyft and a terrific group of volunteers whom helped make it the largest event of the year. It attracted nearly 4,500 people and over 250 vehicles on display. Registered cars came from north of Petaluma, south from San Diego and east from Lake Havasu City. This year's event was filmed for TV by Dennis Gage. Showing is set for "early 2017 season."
A special "Thank You" goes out to the multitude of volunteers who worked together to ensure success. Thanks so much!
Be sure to check out pictures and comments from the event.