July 13, 2012
On Friday, July 13, the Space Academy attended Apollo Remembered, a talk given by Mr. Terry White at the Ohio Aerospace Institute. The talk was given to inform listeners of the different facets of the Apollo program. Many of the facets are often overlooked. Mr. White discussed the vision of the Apollo mission, beginning out of Cold War rivalry between the US and the Soviet Union. With the challenge that President Kennedy presented to the nation, the vision of sending a man to the moon became a national obsession.
The Mercury Project began allowing initial work to be done on technology required to send humans into orbit around the Earth. Project Mercury succeeded in putting the first and second Americans into space: the astronauts were John Glenn followed by Alan Shepherd. Mercury was quickly followed by Project Gemini which used the Titan II space vehicle, allowing Americans to stay in space longer than ever before.
Finally, following Project Gemini, was the Apollo program. Mr. White illuminated the details of the Apollo program that show the failures, struggles, and successes that allowed the monumental achievement of landing men on the moon. One of the most significant aspects of the Apollo program, in the eyes of Mr. White, was that though Apollo was often seen as a product of national competition, it was achieved in the spirit of peace and achievement not just for the United States, but for all mankind.
Mr. White concluded with a description of the legacy that the Apollo mission has left. He described the call the upcoming generation has to take initiative and responsibility for making achievements on the scale of the Apollo mission possible again.