By Olaf Stapledon
A singular by way of Olaf Stapledon
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Additional resources for A Man Divided
Onc timc an acronauticd cnginccr namcd Doug Malcwicki happcncd by and saw it and was shockcd. Hc kncw righr away thc thing would ncvcr work. For onc thing, a canyon jump would rcquirc a takcoff speed on thc ordcr of four hun&cd milcs pcr hour, and at that ratc thc ridcr would bc blown off likc a spcck of dust. And for anothcr, a RFng motorcyclc would bc dynamicdly unstablc: it would stan nrmbling cnd ovcr end dmost as soon as it lcft the ground. Thc only way to do a jump like thar, Malcwicki thought, was with a rockct.
By thc time hc quit govemmcnt in thc mid-sixtics. Bob Truax had bccome one of thc world's forcmost cxpefts in rockctry. ,tI he idea for a canyon jump camc to Evcl Knicvcl in a bar cdled Moosc's Placc in Kdispcll, Montana. He was drinking a mixture of beer and tomato juicc ('They call that a Montana Mulc up there," he said), and staring at a picturc of thc Grand Canyon that hung on thc wall. The morc he drank, the smallcr thc canyon looked, and bcforc long he'd dccidcd to jump it. That was in 1966 or so.
Truax camc and told them about thc X-3. ,r I hc X-g projcct bcgan whcn Evcl Knicvcl camc uP out of ttrc canyon, unharmcd cxccpt for thc cut he got on his nosc whcn hc U C,rcn Mambo Chbkm nnd thc Tronsbrnnn Conditin jammcd his visor up. Knicvcl claimcd thcn and forcvcr aftcrward that hc ncvcr lct go of thc stick, and Truax, aftcr inspccting thc rockct, agrced, dcciding that thc parachutc mcchanism had failcd on its own. y, whcn Knicvcl climhd up out of thc canyon and saw Truax standing thcrc, the 6rst thing hc said was, "Wcll, Bob, thaCs going to bc onc hcll of a hard act to follow.
A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon