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Two Old Rendcombians and a Space Shuttle

It is always great to hear about Old Rendcombians meeting up with each other around the globe, making new connections. 

Two former Rendcomb College pupils met at the California Science Centre in Los Angeles recently; Old Rendcombian (OR), Vajresh Balaji (2015-16) met up with OR, Doug Ellison (1992-97).

Doug Ellison, is currently working on NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity as their ECAM Team Lead, where he has commanded the acquisition of over 10,000 images by robotic spacecraft on the surface of Mars.  Since landing on the Red Planet in August 2012, Curiosity has discovered evidence of an ancient habitable lake bed environment on Mars.

Whilst Vajresh was visiting Los Angeles Doug kindly offered to show him around the California Space Centre, including seeing the Endeavour Space Shuttle. Vajresh said: “Over lunch, I was able to learn more about Doug’s journey from Rendcomb to NASA and his experience at Rendcomb. It was interesting to find out about the similarities and differences between both of our experiences at Rendcomb, almost 20 years apart. I now have the rights to brag about touring CSC with someone who works for NASA.”

Doug Ellison replied: “It was an absolute joy to catch up with an OR. Vajresh – I am glad that what I hold dear about my time at Rendcomb from 1992-97 was still true all the way to your time in 2016. Any ORs who find themselves in the LA region – do get in touch.”

Doug Ellison is to be the keynote speaker at the school’s Founder’s Day event for pupils, staff and parents on Friday, 22 May. The College is delighted that he is returning to his alma mater in its centenary year as he is such a wonderful example and role model of where the combination of creativity, imagination and adventure can lead you.

Doug commented: “I am looking forward to spending time with students and hopefully inspiring them to reach for the stars.”

Vajresh stated: “Trust me, you do not want to miss his speech.”