Who is SuperChunks?
Who is this crazy cat that started all this?
Well first off, I'm not really that crazy. I'd like to think
I'm a "crazy cat" but I know I'm far from it. I guess "Cool
cat" is another way to think of it. I'm sure I'm not that cool
either. My name is Vu Nguyen and I came from the old country
of Vietnam. My family left that crazy place when the country
fell to communism back in the mid '70's. If you talk to me,
you'll swear I was born here in the States. Not much of a VN
accent to show the signs of the old country. English is now my
first language, but I swear it's my second language at times.
Through all of the parenting high expectations/requirements for a
higher education, I managed to land myself at the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.
NASA-JPL and the Angeles National Forest Station Fire of 2009
I'm not a rocket scientist, but I work pretty closely with those
folks. I'm forever honored that I have been given so many
opportunities to work on such unique and interesting projects and
people. I've been fortunate enough to be graced by the likes
of: Mars Science Laboratory, Mars Exploration Rovers, Spitzer, Deep
Impact, Genesis, Mars 98, and many more. It's hard, but honest
Myself and my colleague with the MSL rover flipped upside down on
a vibration table for G-force testing.
Definitely a different type of suiting up.
I worked on the Athena rover and MSL. Pathfinder was before
my time with flight projects.
All three generation of rovers in the Mars Yard.
I started motorcycling in late 2004 and I'm still deeply in love
with the activity even after seven years. I can't imagine a
day without two wheels beneath me be it rain or shine. My
adventures aren't quite as expansive/extensive as those on www.advrider.com, but I've had
my fair share of adventures that are within my means. It's
definitely enough to keep the wanderlust at bay. Family and
work responsibilities have prevented me from partaking in an "around
the world" trip. It would be nice to do one of these days.
2011 has been a particular hard year on the motorcycle scene due to
the Mars Science Laboratory project (the next generation Mars rover
that will grace the red planet). It's been hard and humbling
work to get everything ready for prime time. Soon enough all
the blood, sweat, and nerves will be put to the test when the rover
takes center stage. The launch. 5 years of work
culminating in the phrase, "T-10 seconds and counting." As if
that isn't enough to worry about, the nerves will be tested anew
when the rover contends with Entry, Descent, and Landing
(EDL). Ack! It's never easy regardless of how many time
I've been through this. You can never shake the feeling of
helplessness when everything is so beyond your control.
Unlike some unfortunate souls out there, that aren't even given a
single opportunity to so much as glance at a motorcycle, my spouse
has agreed to the acquisition of both BMW F8GS and R12R. Maybe
it's because she's tired of me yapping about "... not having the
other bike." What about a different manufacturer? The
answer for that is also quite simple. It can be summed up as
another spousal comment, "A Suzuki? ... NOOoooo. It's BMW or
nothing." How am I suppose to argue against that?
Silliness aside, I want to thank you for taking your precious time
to visit SuperChunks. I hope you find the site entertaining
and possibly helpful.
Cheers and be safe out there. Always remember to put yourself
in a safe situation when you're on two wheels (bicycle or
motorcycle). You never know who's not paying attention
(texting). In the words of Neil Peart, "... try to keep
reminding myself, YOU ARE INVISIBLE." (from "Far and Away: A Prize
The MSL (Curiosity) Cruise Entry Descent Land Team
YES!!! It's a successful landing of MSL!
Written on: September 18, 2011
Last modified: August 11, 2012