Meet the Crew: Mark Peck, Mechanical Engineer

Bryan Campen: What’s your title? What are you working on right now?

Mark Peck: Mechanical Engineer. My projects are the 3N22 (RCS thruster) and the control stick mount [note: we will post on the control stick mount in the near future]. Other than that I expedite all the machine shop parts being built, and I work with about 20 different shops.

13-10-02_RCS-quick-release-mount-3021Bryan Campen: What’s happening in this shot?

Mark Peck: There will be twelve thrusters on Lynx. And once we are flying, we need to be able to rapidly remove the whole thruster module from Lynx and test it. We are plumbing the thruster in a new way to make it easy to change  between flights and for testing. We’ll be able to simply pull the thruster module for maintenance and find out what we need right on the test bench.

BC: So what’s your nickname?

MP: Dragster. I drag race.

BC: How long have you been at XCOR?

MP: About nine months, since January 2013.

BC: Background and hobbies?

MP: Drag racing was my profession before this, fishing is my hobby. My 12 year old boy was just asked to take the SAT at Duke University. Apparently he is in the top five percent of the nation for seventh-graders.

BC: Wow.

MP: Thank God he gets his smarts from his mom. [laughter]

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Mark Peck with his son and daughter at the Veteran Memorial in Midland, Texas (2012)

BC: Stupid question, but do you still work on cars?

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MP: 
We all three have dragster race cars, my two kids and me. I’m hoping by next season my kids and I will have our cars back together and go back racing again. We built all of our cars ourselves.

BC: What’s your favorite movie?

MP: Transformers. I always wanted to build one.

BC: What about your favorite space-themed movie?

MP: Just has to be Star Trek.

BC: Yeah but which one?

MP: The first one. I’m that old. [laughter] 001-the_motion_picture_poster

BC: What are you working on right now, this very minute? 

MP: I’m working on a dune buggy in my shop in Midland. Putting some new geometry on it to make the suspension work right (a new sand rail).

BC: Do you have a favorite saying? 

MP:  Everybody makes mistakes. It’s not the past, it’s the future that makes us who we are. That’s what shapes your character.

BC: Who said that?

MP: I did.

BC: Will you fly on Lynx? 

MP: I will, yes. In a heartbeat. Hopefully next year I’ll also go over 200 miles per hour in my 1800 horsepower dragster as well!