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Making a splash

Our best ideas come in the shower. Or so the saying goes.

Well, this is certainly true for James H. Crocker.

Back in 1993 James Crocker worked as an engineer for NASA.

He was a member of the team tasked with fixing a faulty mirror on the Hubble Telescope, as it sped through space. Not a straightforward task.

The challenge was not only getting a fix up there, but how exactly it should work.

Many months and millions of dollars were spent, before the solution came from the most unlikely of places.

James Crocker’s shower.

Whilst in the shower he was hit with a eureka moment when he noticed the straight forward mechanism used to adjust the heads position. Crocker realised this was exactly the solution to Nasa’s mirror issue.

A few months and a rather high tech version of Crocker’s shower later, and the Hubble was back in business.

So what’s happened here?

This is a classic example of divergent thinking, or an idea taken from one domain solving an issue in another.

It is amazing what can happen when we step away from our desk.

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