Dale Manquen grew up in the middle of the Space Age, quite literally, living in Las Cruces, New Mexico, home of White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). His father worked at WSMR as an electrician, and he took Dale to work with him several times and showed him around the facilities. When Dale enrolled at New Mexico State University, he earned money for college expenses by working for the Physical Sciences Laboratory, a branch of the college that had contracts to support various missile programs. While there, Dale helped analyze data for the Nike Zeus anti-missile missile, including America's first attempt to intercept an orbiting satellite in 1969.
Dale avidly followed all the space-related news, including the Apollo Program. He never lost touch with his Space Age roots, and even today spends time at his local library reading space-related magazines. He loves air shows, aviation museums and any kind of technical exhibits. Visiting a JPL Open House and seeing Galileo the Galileo spacecraft in the hi-bay is one of his fondest memories.
Dale spent 15 years designing professional audio tape recorders and another 15 years building robotics systems. While the systems he built never cruised around the surface of Mars, they did provide automation assistance to engineers in recording studios. Somewhere between these two career segments Dale became an Electrical Engineering Professor at Cal State University at Northridge. He loved teaching and motivating students, especially when helping them to see the big picture of how their studies could change their lives and the lives of everyone around them.
Dale marvels that, during his lifetime, tremendous strides have been made in understanding the entire continuum of matter, reaching from high-energy particle physics to giant Black Holes. He feels this is a fascinating puzzle that demands attention as we struggle to grasp the true significance of Life.
Dale wants to use the Solar System Ambassadors program to teach others about the benefits that are obtained from the seemingly abstract activities millions of miles or millions of light years away. He would like to generate the spark that leads a youngster to follow a career in Science, continuing the search for the answers to our future.