Two longtime colleagues, William Hug and Ray Reid founded Photon Systems 25 years ago, in June 1996. In a fashion similar to the founding of Apple and HP, Photon Systems was founded in William Hug’s garage. Of course, this was not a typical garage, since it included a very high vacuum turbomolecular pumped laser process station! The first lasers were demonstrated to scientists from JPL in 1997 and Photon Systems received its first Phase I and II SBIR contracts with NASA to develop deep UV Raman and fluorescence methods for detection and identification of trace amounts of nucleic and aromatic amino acids. Since then, Photon Systems has continued to develop innovative deep UV lasers and spectroscopy technology to solve challenging problems both on Earth and in space, culminating in the Mars Perseverance/SHERLOC instrument and mission.