January 24, 2001 |
They came together in the 1940s and '50s, drawn to possibilities brought to light by a crisp, new dawn. Most were young, some right out of college. They were ambitious, unusual in their brilliance and, in some cases, their eccentricities. Many of these "rocket boys," the Space Age's first generation of engineers and scientists, are gone, perhaps to the heavens they once explored. But for a small group of Jet Propulsion Laboratory retirees, work continues.