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Man of the Universe
Larry Brooks with help from Kurt Marti and Kevin McKeegan


This is a photo of the “first push” to get the engine of the car started for the first time after John rebuilt it. It was on Nob near our home, John’s in the driver’s seat, and the “pushers” were Barry Raskin (a former neighbor), Sam Winner (now deceased), and Rod Franklin. I think it was in the year 2000. It ran well for several yards, then had a giant oil leak! Courtesy Carol Kerridge


John had a stellar (pardon the pun) career in the research of extra terrestrial materials – fragments of asteroids and meteorites and the Apollo mission moon rocks. In 1968, he obtained his PhD in crystallography from the University of London in England and with a budding reputation in the field he brought his research to the U.S. Shortly thereafter, he received a NASA fellowship to conduct research at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, and there garnered more attention for his research. This was followed by a temporary position (that lasted 22 years) in UCLA’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences and UCSD’s California Space Institute. During this time he served on NASA’s exobiology program, including the planning for research on Mars. John was well-known for his extensive work, his depth of understanding of the field, and his persistence that solar nebular properties be placed in the appropriate astrophysical context, a central theme in the field today. His three decades of work included election as a Fellow of The Meteoritical Society.


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