Rotary Minute – Harvey Sellner

One of the problems with the Rotary Minute is that sometimes they really don’t do justice to many of our members that have had long and interesting careers and active “retirements.”

Harvey is one of those members so it’s not surprising that this was his third minute. You can use the search capability on the website to see the reports of the other two. In 2015 he shared some of the background of how he and his wife Calla got to Durham and his role in getting Rotary International involved in providing safe water where it is needed in many impoverished areas of the world that has been a focus of Rotary for many years now.

It was a natural jump from that to his current interest in sustainable agriculture which he described in his Minute last year.

This year, he dug a little deeper in to his engineering career in the US Space Program.

For those of you that have many loops around the the sun on this planet like me, you will remember when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and the determination that caused in this country to catch up and surpass them.  Most of you who weren’t around should catch the movie Hidden Figures which will give you a feel for the urgency that Sputnik inspired, as well as an inspiring story about three women that worked on the space program but will be remembered more for the segregation barriers that they broke.

But even we older folk weren’t aware of some highly-classified spy satellites that Harvey worked on, one of which dropped photographic FILM back into the atmosphere. Some of the youngest of our Rotarians may not even remember that that used to be how all cameras operated. Both Harvey and the movie pointed out is that most of us have more computing power in the phone in our pockets than was available for the first manned missions.

Harvey also worked on the Hubble Space Telescope which launched in 1990 and is still functioning today and is expected to continue sending fantastic digital pictures of space for many years to come.

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