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JPL Remembers Ray Bradbury (Video)

Science fiction pioneer Ray Bradbury, whose some 27 novels and 600 short stories mixed a sense of small town with the expansive universe, died Tuesday night in Los Angeles. He was 91.

Ray Bradbury, who authored dozens of novels and scores of short stories, most notably "The Martian Chronicles'' and "Fahrenheit 451,'' attended many major space mission events at over the years. 

On Nov. 12, 1971, on the eve of Mariner 9 going into oribit at Mars, Bradbury took part in a symposium at Caltech, according to the JPL website. In this excerpt from that event, Bradbury reads his poem, "If Only We Had Taller Been.'' Watch the video above. 

More recently, Bradbury spoke at JPL's 5th anniversary celebration of the Mars rovers in 2009.

Dan Abendschein June 07, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I was at the 2009 speech and it was great. Bradbury was funny and he definitely had a couple of axes to grind - he told this great story about how on the night of the moon landing he was scheduled to be interviewed on British television, but he walked out of the studio because he felt the host was showing insufficient enthusiasm for space travel.
Robby June 07, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Oh, how cool that you were there. I've seen interviews with him and he was pretty funny. And scary smart.
Laura Monteros June 07, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I was at the landing of Spirit, and Ray was on the panel. Oh, glory, that rocket scientists and engineers caught the imagination and love of this man! Last saw him at a book signing in fall of 2010. He was not well, but he was a trooper. He called his writing "speculative fiction", which is really where the SyFy channel gets their "What if?" slogan, I think. Truly, he was a writer about the human condition, no matter the time or place. "Dandelion Wine" and all his stories about Douglas Spaulding exemplify this, as do his semi-fictional musings on his time in Ireland. Bradbury was very much in the mold of William Saroyan with his sanguine observations of human character. Though many writers may be called "beloved"--Laura Ingalls Wilder and L. Frank Baum come to mind--few covered such broad territory and reached so many different types of readers. And I don't think anyone passed his output!
Donna Evans June 08, 2012 at 01:36 AM
I saw him at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference when I was in grad school. Classic me, I was late, hadn't paid attention to the program and saw hoards of people spilling out of this huge room. Yup, it was for the dear Mr. Bradbury. His cantankerousness cracked me up.

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