This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned flight to the moon and Pitt is bringing four space experts to campus on March 26 for a panel discussion — “1 Step, 50 Years: An Apollo Moon Retrospective” — to mark the historic event.
Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy in Florida on July 16, 1969, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. On July 20, an estimated 530 million people watched on television as Armstrong stepped onto the moon and said his now famous words, “...one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He was followed minutes later by Aldrin. In total, Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the moon’s surface as Collins orbited the moon.
The panel who will discuss the lunar landing includes:
Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space. Sullivan logged more than 532 hours in space during three flights. She was Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 2014 to ‘17. In 2017, she was designated as the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.
Jay Apt, former space shuttle astronaut, former director (1997-2000) of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland and current professor at the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business, Engineering and Public Policy. Apt logged over 847 hours (35 days) in space during four flights, including 10 hours and 49 minutes on two space walks. He has flown around the Earth 562 times.
Douglas Brinkley, bestselling author and professor of history at Rice University in Houston. Brinkley’s most recent book, “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race,” is set for release on April 2.
Jennifer K. Levasseur, museum curator in the Space History Department at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
The event, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the University Club, is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. RSVP here.