Two Christian Reformed scientists recently collaborated on a NASA space project known as Deep Impact, though they didn’t know it at first.
The Deep Impact mission sent an 800-pound spacecraft out to collide with a comet at 23,000 miles per hour, giving scientists the opportunity to learn about the insides of comets.
Marty Huisjen, 61, a member of Crestview CRC in Boulder, Colo., managed the design, fabrication, and testing of three telescopes for the mission. Meanwhile, Kenneth Klaasen, 59, coordinated all aspects of Deep Impact’s scientific mission planning and flight operations from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Klaasen is a member of Bethel CRC in Sun Valley.
Huisjen and Klaasen met at a Deep Impact meeting in Boulder. “I was very surprised to meet a fellow CRC member,” said Klaasen.
The two men share more than their scientific involvement in Deep Impact. They both see their profession as a place to discover more about the God they love. “To me, one of the beauties of doing science is the insight it gives us into God’s character through the study of his creation,” said Klaasen. “As a Christian, I know I am working first and foremost for God, not man. I strive for excellence and try to do my work conscientiously.”
Huisjen also sees no conflict between his faith and the science he works on. “I integrate them as much as possible,” he said. “The opportunities to participate in discovering more about the diversity and grandeur of God’s creation are a great motivation.”