Jonathan Craig Lapin

As he would have put it: Jonathan Craig Lapin won his battle with eternity on December 15, 2021.Childhood excitement about NASA’s Apollo program triggered Jonathan’s lifelong fascination with space. By college, he couldn’t resist the urge to drop everything and drive all night with a friend to witness the first Space Shuttle launch. Within a few years, he joined McDonnell-Douglas, where he had the opportunity to work on the first commercial shuttle payload. And 5 years later, shortly after the Challenger disaster, he landed a position at NASA in the training division. There, he helped build a shuttle cockpit simulator for training astronauts and testing flight systems. One contractor, deeply impressed, told him the simulator was “a national treasure”. He later worked on a variety of projects to support manned missions to the Moon and Mars, and never lost his love of space exploration. Except for never getting to space himself, he got to live his dreams.For the last 22 years, he also lived with the ravages of MS, which inexorably took away control of his body and caused him terrible pain. His growing disability forced him to retire from NASA in 2014. Though confined to a power wheelchair and extremely weak, he managed to stay involved in many projects – some space-related, some political. He generously shared his knowledge and wisdom with researchers, students, and educators. Jonathan was a kind, truly moral person who cared deeply about a future that he knew he would not see.He adored his young son, Hiro, and lived for the days they spent together. His greatest regret was that he would not be around to see Hiro grow up.His family, Hiro Lewis-Lapin (son), Ruby Lapin (mother), Donald Lapin and Carol Lapin Goodman (siblings), miss him already. We are profoundly grateful to his loyal and caring friends and the long-term home helpers who have made it possible for him to live in his own house on his own terms for so many years.Jonathan wanted his body donated for scientific purposes. The family plans to delay a memorial service until the weather and the pandemic situation are better.