Ten Apollo Mission Controllers will land their grandchildren on the Moon in the Museum’s Expedition Center, July 18


July 15, 2019
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WHAT:  Mission Controllers of the Apollo missions reenter the control room in our Expedition Center, but this time, they’re landing their own grandchildren on the Moon. Emergencies and high drama are guaranteed along the way. But with their grandfathers’ and grandmothers’ help, each team will solve problems, maintain systems, launch a probe and successfully land at New Tranquility Base. Then, the Mission Controllers share their experiences with the Apollo 11 landing.

Follow the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Facebook for the livestream of this special event. We are encouraging children to seek out adults who remember Apollo and share their experiences.

Also, in the Glassell Hall is a to-scale replica of a 2021 Nova-C Lunar Rover. The Rover boasts the very first liquid oxygen/liquid methane engine in space and cutting-edge precision landing software. It is the only Texas-based commercial lunar lander announced by NASA to fly payloads to the Moon in 2021.

WHO:  Dr. Carolyn Sumners, VP Astronomy & Physics, HMNS and Interviews with the Apollo controllers and their grandchildren. Mission controllers include: John Jurgensen (Jurgensen worked in the Mission Control Center for the first ten Apollo flights and was in the MCC when Apollo 11 landed.); George Abbey (Abbey was there during the Apollo 13 crisis and made the phone call telling Gilruth of the explosion on the spacecraft and was part of the team that earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom for bringing the astronauts home safely.); Dan Bland (Bland trained the Apollo 1-15 crews in the Apollo Command Module Simulator.); Mario Runco (Runco flew three Space Shuttle missions [STS-44, 54 and 77], performed a spacewalk on his second mission and is now retired.); Patricia Reiff (She was in Mission Control in the ALSEP room for Apollos 15, 16 and 17. When the ALSEP was shut down in 1978, she turned off the final Apollo instrument. She is still analyzing space plasma data, but from newer missions!); and many more.

WHEN:  Thursday, July 18th, 10–11:30 a.m.

WHERE:  Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr.

WHY:  “The Museum’s Apollo celebration focuses on the future. When we see how much astronauts enjoyed being on the Moon, we know what it will be like to escape Earth’s gravity, explore the Moon and perhaps the whole solar system,” said Dr. Carolyn Sumners, VP of Astronomy and Physics at HMNS.  “Our future dreams began with Apollo”.

HOW:  For more information or to schedule an interview with Dr. Carolyn Sumners, the Apollo controllers and their grandchildren, contact Melodie Wade at (832) 498-4265 or Chase Sadler at (832) 293-3299, or come to Museum Services for assistance.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science—one of the nation’s most-heavily attended museums—is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, including the Giant Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium and George Observatory and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Houston Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at 5555 Hermann Park Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure.

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The Houston Museum of Natural Science

One of the nation's most heavily attended museums-is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, and the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium, and George Observatory, and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at 5555 Hermann Park Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure.

Visit HMNS.org


Media Information Sami Mesarwi Melodie Wade

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The mission of the Houston Museum of Natural Science shall be to preserve and advance the general knowledge of natural science; to enhance in individuals the knowledge of and delight in natural science and related subjects; and to maintain and promote a museum of the first class.

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