On Nov. 5, Smithsonian Senior Curator Explains Why Go to the Moon

MELBOURNE, FLA.—As part of Florida Institute of Technology’s Humanities Lecture Series, Roger D. Launius, senior curator in the Division of Space History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., will speak at the university on Nov. 5. The 7 p.m. presentation, “Why Go to the Moon: The Many Faces of Lunar Policy,” is open and free to the public.

The presentation explores the continuing significance of the 1969 Apollo 11 landing on the moon as part of American culture. In addition, the lecture aims to show how Apollo has affected the American consciousness and governmental policies surrounding lunar exploration. Launius will examine all this in the context of historical events such as the demise of the Soviet Union, the end of the cold war, and the subsequent opening of archives of the space race in the east and west.

Launius received an undergraduate degree in history from Graceland College, Lamoni, Iowa, in 1976. In 1978 and 1982, he obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees in history at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, with major fields in American frontier and military history. After completing his studies, Launius became a civilian staff historian with the United States Air Force. He then served as chief historian of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Launius has also written and edited numerous books and articles on historical subjects. On aerospace history some of the more recent include: Space Stations: Base Camps to the Stars and To Reach the High Frontier: A History of U.S. Launch Vehicles. He provides his expertise on space issues as guest commentator on CNN, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS and on other networks.

The lecture will be on the Florida Tech campus in the Olin Engineering Complex Auditorium. For more information, call (321) 674-8082.

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