John Mather: I got to write a thesis about a project that didn’t quite work.  And I declared to myself — I thought to myself — “Well, this is way too hard for a young person.  I’m going to get out of this field.”  So I got a job offer to become a radio astronomer.  “Okay, I’ll do that.” And I got a post-doc position at the NASA laboratory in New York City with a radio astronomer.  By then, NASA had another idea.  They announced an opportunity for proposals — in 1974 this was.  So I said to my advisor, “Well, you know, my thesis project failed, but it really should have been done in outer space.”  So he said, “Well, we’ll call up our friends.  These are people who know what to do with an idea like this.”  We had a meeting and created the concept for a satellite mission that would measure the cosmic microwave background radiation the way that it should be measured.  It was a long process after that, but 15 years later we launched it and it worked that time.  So my thesis project basically lasted for 25 years.