Space. The final frontier. Besides being the backdrop for a great Sci-Fi TV show, it is the subject of today’s show. Kevin Conover’s guest is Dr. Henry Richter, who helped put the first American satellite into space. Henry was picked to oversee the development of America’s first earth…
Space. The final frontier. Besides being the backdrop for a great Sci-Fi TV show, it is the subject of today’s show. Kevin Conover’s guest is Dr. Henry Richter, who helped put the first American satellite into space.
Henry was picked to oversee the development of America’s first earth satellite, Explorer I. Henry says he lobbied to get Dr. James Van Allen’s package (a Geiger counter) on the satellite. This led to the discovery of the Van Allen Radiation Belts, which influence things from radio communications to the strength of the northern and southern auroras. The results from the Van Allen instrument were at first puzzling, largely because the instrument was saturated with the unexpectedly high levels of radiation surrounding the earth. Also, it was not until Explorer III that they had a tape recording of an entire orbit.
Dr. Henry Richter became a Christian later in life. He says, “I was a busy churchman, but I sure didn’t like the name ‘Christian’. As the chairman of the board of a big, name-brand church, I told them that as long as I was in charge we weren’t going to get one of the born-again Christians here!” It was mainly through the influence of a former secretary (who became his wife), who seemed to have a deeper walk than most ‘religious’ people he knew, that he began to seek answers to the more meaningful questions, finally becoming a born-again Christian himself in 1969. “Yet for a long time I believed that God used evolution to put it all together, but that’s just not possible.”
Concerning the big bang theory and man’s attempts to explain the universe without a Creator, he said, “The big bang and evolution is one of the biggest adult fairytales I can imagine.” This goes along with his book, The Universe: a surprising cosmological accident, currently under revision.
This episode first aired on April 22, 2017.