Buzz Aldrin, pictured, spoke Sunday with other space heroes at the Seattle Museum of Flight in Tukwila. Click on photo for slideshow.
UPDATE WITH SLIDESHOW: Buzz Aldrin, other astronauts & cosmonauts spoke at Museum of Flight
UPDATE: Sunday, SEPT. 23:
CLICK ON PHOTO FOR SLIDESHOW
The Seattle Museum of Flight in Tukwila welcomed an A-list of astronauts, mission controllers, cosmonauts, and other officials this weekend for their "Wings of Heroes" gala and talks. The Sunday event, held under an enormous tent behind the museum's Charles Simonyi Space Gallery, was attended by space enthusiasts of all ages, many to hear Buzz Aldrin speak on a panel.
"Before any of us, myself in particular, could be up there, we certainly had to be preceded by the actions of the Soviet Union, like Sputnik (...) to President Kennedy's pronouncement (to Congress) on May 25 and on Sept. 12, 1962 at the Rice Hotel in Houston," said Aldrin.
"Humanity is destined to explore, to expand, into the universe, but doing so urgently requires a rekindling of America's space program, a unified space vision," he said. "When I was a young person I wasn't the only one in the neighborhood who looked upward and thought of going to the moon and stepping on other planets. I was a reader of science fiction.
"At that moment in time no one had traveled in space, so everyone, including me, had to bank on imagination to conjure up ways to make those dreams come true. You (younger people) will be the first to walk on Mars, or the first settlers to colonize that planet. There are out of this world things to accomplish (...) The space voyages beyond our Earth of the next 25 years will motivate the next wave of technology entrepreneurs."
Buzz added, "I was deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, my space exploration companion, Neil Armstrong. As Neal, Mike (Collins) and I trained together for our momentous Apollo 11 expedition we knew of the technical challenges we'd face as well as the magnitude of the weighty implications of that historic journey. We will always be connected as the crew of 'Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon 1969', yet for the many millions who witnessed that remarkable achievement for humanity we were not alone. An estimated 600 million people back on Earth watched on TV as we both walked on the moon.
"Whenever I gaze at the moon I feel like I'm in a time machine, (recalling) that precious pinpoint of time when Neil and I stood on the foreboding yet beautiful Sea of Tranquility," he said. "We both looked upward at our shiny blue planet poised in the darkness of space. I now knew that we were further away from Earth than any two humans had ever been, but we were simply a spearhead of a community of participants, virtually the entire world took that unforgettable journey with us.
During Q&A, a A very young child in the audiences asked Aldrin, "What was it like to be on the Moon?"
The audience laughed, and the gracious 82 year-old replied, "Take a look at two children's books I've written, 'Look to the Stars', and 'Reaching for the Moon'."
Also in the audience was Campion Fellin, 18, a West Seattle senior at Seattle Prep. He asked the panel how best to pursue aerospace opportunities as a student. Panelists said education was the key, particularly the STEM Education Coalition. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Also, UW and other colleges offer financial support through the Astronauts Scholarship Foundation.
Aldrin was asked about private enterprise's entry into aerospace.
"Like so many things. the government is in a position doing basic research, inquiring, and doesn't need to turn a profit. So many times these endeavors done by government with political backing are not as efficient as the private sector, (which are) sort of stripped down, lean, and have a business proposition in mind. It certainly is the parallel of aviation.
"Shortly after the Wright Brothers, the government came in and said, 'You barnstormers are crashing and giving aviation a bad name. We want you to do something, to carry the U.S. mail. And they pioneered (these flights) until the airlines said, 'We can make a profit taking people.' Now, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and European government people want to land on the moon for their national prestige. We don't need to do that. We need to replace it with commercial people performing commercial tasks on the moon including mining its south pole."
This Saturday and Sunday, Seattle’s Museum of Flight will welcome an A-list of astronauts, mission controllers, cosmonauts, and other officials. While they will attend the private Museum’s Wings of Heroes Gala Saturday, the public is welcome on Sunday, for the general price of admission to the museum, when many will appear publicly for a talk under a tent behind the museum's Charles Simonyi Space Gallery, including Mr. Simonyi.
The tent will also be abuzz with guests Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., the second man to walk on the moon. Sadly, his crew mate, Neil Armstrong, passed away Aug. 25. Also appearing will be Jerry Bostick, Flight Dynamics Officer (FDO) Apollo 13, who consulted on the Apollo 13 film, and was responsible for the famous phrase, "Failure was not an option."
Here is the lineup and the public is invited:
Spaceflight Lectures – Sunday, September 23
11 a.m. - Moon Missions - The First Space Station - The Shuttle
· Buzz Aldrin - NASA astronaut, Gemini 12, Apollo 11.
· Jerry Bostick - NASA mission controller for Apollo 13 and other missions, shuttle program manager.
· Gerald Carr - NASA astronaut, Skylab 4 (1974).
· Owen Garriott - NASA astronaut, Skylab 3 (1973), shuttle mission STS-9 (1983).
· Jack Lousma - NASA astronaut, Skylab 3 (1973), shuttle mission STS-3 (1982).
· T.K. Mattingly - NASA astronaut, Apollo 16, shuttle missions STS-4, STS-51C.
· Milton Windler - NASA mission controller for Apollo 13 and other missions, Skylab, space shuttle.
1 p.m. - Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and International Space Programs
· Valery Kubasov - Cosmonaut, Soyuz 6 (1969), Soyuz 19/Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (1975), Soyuz 36/Salyut-6 space station (1980).
· Alexey Leonov - Cosmonaut, Voskhod 2 (1965), Soyuz 19/Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (1975).
· Charles Lewis - NASA mission controller for Apollo 17, Skylab, ASTP and early shuttle flights.
· Sy Liebergot - NASA flight controller for missions including Apollo 13 and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.
· Glynn Lunney - NASA mission controller for Apollo 13 and other moon program missions, manager of Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and shuttle program.
· Charles Simonyi - Spaceflight participant, Soyuz TMA-10, 9 (2007), 14 and 13 (2009).
On Sunday, The Charles Simonyi Space Gallery will be temporarily open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with admission, for a sneak peek of the Space Shuttle Trainer exhibit. After Sunday, the Space Gallery closes again so final work can be done before the grand opening in November. On Sunday, Astronauts, mission specialists and other notable dignitaries from Saturday’s gala will be signing autographs and speaking, with two lectures scheduled for 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The 11:00 a.m. panel will include Astronauts Buzz Aldrin, T.K. Mattingly and many others and the 1:00 p.m. lecture will feature several Cosmonauts, Charles Simonyi and other NASA mission controllers (full program schedule and listed speakers below). When completed, the Space Gallery will be home not only to the newly reassembled Space Shuttle Trainer, but to a collection of notable space artifacts that pay tribute to the history of spaceflight while embracing the future.
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