NASA’s Apollo Mission and Earth’s Climate Crisis
On July 16, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a journey to the Moon and into history. Four days later, while Collins orbited the Moon in the command module, Armstrong and Aldrin landed Apollo 11’s lunar module, Eagle, on the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, becoming the first humans to set foot on the lunar surface.
Wernher von Braun, a German and later American aerospace engineer and space architect, joined NASA in 1960 and served as director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center and as the chief architect of the Saturn V super heavy-lift launch vehicle that propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon. Wernher’s daughter, Margrit von Braun, has spoken to audiences across the country this year in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, which her father was an instrumental figure in.
Join us for an evening with Margrit as she shares lessons from Apollo–why and how we got to the moon; lessons from Earth–how pollution and environmental health problems are connected to climate; and how we apply lessons learned from space and the Apollo mission to our current climate crisis.
Margrit von Braun is an environmental engineer, working in the areas of hazardous waste management and risk assessment. She holds degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Idaho, and Washington State University. After working for USEPA in Atlanta, Margrit moved to Idaho in 1977 to work for the Idaho DEQ. She joined the faculty at UI in 1980; she directed the Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering programs for 10 years and served as Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Recently, Margrit and her husband Ian founded TerraGraphics International Foundation (TIFO), a non-governmental organization assisting communities in reducing their environmental exposures. Margrit was born in Huntsville, Alabama, and has fond memories of growing up in the town that took us to the Moon.