Recently, I discovered a binder containing information about Harvey Mudd College alumnus, George “Pinky” Nelson. Nelson, class of 1972, was a student in the Bates Aeronautics program at Harvey Mudd. In 1984, he embarked on the STS-41-C Challenger shuttle with James D. Van Hoften, Robert L. Crippen, Terry J. Hart, and Francis R. Scobee. Following this, he was a part of two more missions to space. He is notable for completing a satellite repair while in space.
I found invitations to the space launch in 1984 for Joseph and Jean. Inside the invitations were stickers, pamphlets, instructions for attending the launch, and a pin. Along with this, there were many newspaper clippings about the launch and mission, and also articles about Nelson giving a speech about his flight’s return to Earth after his 1988 flight. Many Harvey Mudd students and faculty attended the Edwards Air Force Base to support Nelson’s return. Nelson greeted them saying, “After every mission, it is comforting to return to California, home of the great Harvey Mudd College” (The Muddraker, 1988). It also appears the Nelsons and the Platt’s also kept in touch over the years, as I discovered family Christmas cards and other personal correspondence.
More next week!