Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Alumni News > Space Adventure for Jon Connell

Space Adventure for Jon Connell

Jon Connell (OI 1975-79) explains the beginnings of an unconventional career!
29 Apr 2022
Written by Jon Connell
Alumni News

At the age of sixty years I find myself at the start of a new career. Two years ago after a successful lifetime in the American illumination industry my career was on a predictable path. Regularly the most experienced person in the room and with nothing much left to prove my future was happily planned. Nothing wrong with that. I had ambitions of course but I knew more or less where I was going to be standing when I achieved anything new. Then came COVID. Today I manufacture spacecraft.

I'm a rocket man and I run a manufacturing program developing human space environments for Gravitics here in Seattle, Washington USA.

The problem with space today is that suddenly everyone is going there but there is actually nowhere to go when you arrive. We manufacture artificial gravity human living environments. While courting me the Gravitics president informed me that 'within five years he planned to be meeting with me in the new boardroom - which will be located in orbit'. Bond villain style. If I dare I might get to visit space then - and the product I am working on will be the hotel that I stay in. WIlliam Shatner just did it at 90 years old, so I have a window of opportunity yet open to me.

How did that happen? Experience. There is hope for us all then. At sixty years old it seems I have gained a sufficiently broad enough experience of making things in general to be useful in any manufacturing program - especially so fast-track rapid development programs utilising diverse new tech and driven by billionaires. I wouldn't have been useful to NASA, but to aggressive capital I am a perfect fit.

Born in the 1960s and growing up watching Apollo many of us dreamed of being astronauts. Life regularly frustrates our best intentions. Having ascended to what I thought was the top of the hill it turns out there was an undiscovered country just beyond. (Deliberate space reference for those with eyes to see). I feel renewed. What fun!

Jon Connell (OI 1975-79)

Similar stories

There was joy in the room as those present started to recognise each other and their teachers! More...

Photograph by Gavin King

Russ returned to the Library at Ipswich School to hand in a book he has been 'looking after' for 30 years. More...

From 1947 to 1954, John Graham was a prominent member of the Ipswich School community - he was a member of the rugby fir… More...

Archie Reynolds and ‘Masculinity in Bloom’, Isabel Montgomery's 'Obscurity' can be viewed

Two OIs have had their work selected to be included in a national online art exhibition. More...

Most read

We are sorry to announce the passing of Paul Child. More...

We are very sad to announce the passing of John who was at the School from 1947 until 1956. More...

We are very sad to announce the passing of Jack Aggett who was at the School from 2006 until 2019. More...

Have your say

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech