Steve Payne always knew he wanted to work for NASA.
“As a kid, I watched the moon landings on TV,” Payne said. “I grew up with pictures of rockets on my wall. Like every kid in that era, space was everywhere and I wanted to do that.”
Over the years, Payne has not lost his passion for all things space and sometimes he gets a little carried away. Like earlier this year, when he was asked to build a model rocket for his child’s school fundraiser and ended up with a 15-foot-tall, high-fidelity model of a Saturn 1B rocket from the early days of the space program. The model rocket still sits in his living room.
“I did it for the kids’ school, but also because I’m a nerd,” said Payne. “I like launching model rockets anyway. I build my own rockets from scratch. I can make almost anything fly with a rocket engine in it.”