Astronomy Lecture: Apollo 8: 1968 and half-century later

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Program Type:

STEAM, Lectures

Age Group:

Adults , Teens
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Program Description

About this event:

Join Planetary Scientist Peter Thomas for an astronomy lecture on the topic of Apollo 8. 2018 was the 50th anniversary of the historic flight! Thomas will discuss how the first human flight away from Earth came about, how it was received in 1968, and how we talk about it and other space exploration today, a half century later.

Apollo 8’s flight to the Moon in December 1968 was the first visit to another world by humans.  It came at the end of one of America’s most consequential years, and heralded the imminent success of John Kennedy’s risky pledge in 1961 to race to the Moon.  The talk reviews how the flight came to be, the context of the flight in 1968 (some personal), and compares that to the environment for future space exploration today. Peter Thomas grew up in Durham North Carolina in the 1950’s avidly following the birth of the space age. He received a PhD in geology from Cornell in 1978 and until retirement in October 2018 worked on space missions studying Mars, satellites, asteroids, and comets through Cornell’s Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences.

This program aligns with 2019's library-wide theme of SPACE and is the first of a few lectures hosted by Cornell Astronomy. Additional details coming soon!