NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California recently partnered with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Antelope Valley chapter, to host an Apollo 50th anniversary event called Small Steps to Giant Leaps.
The event honored the historic moment when mankind first landed on the moon and looked ahead to NASA’s future of space exploration with the Artemis program.
The science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focused family event featured Apollo-Soyuz astronaut Vance Brand, who was the keynote speaker. Brand also commanded three space shuttle missions, logged 746 hours in space and more than 9,669 hours as a pilot. He was part of the crew on four space missions; Apollo-Soyuz, Space Transportation System (STS)-5, STS 41-B and STS-35.
Brand shared a special presentation on his Apollo-Soyuz space exploration mission and how NASA is creating a new era of exploration by sending humans back to the moon by 2024.
The Artemis program is leading this effort with innovative new technologies and systems to explore the lunar surface. NASA will send the first woman and the next man to the moon with the goal of sending astronauts to Mars.
Larry Cliatt, a NASA engineer presented a talk on sonic booms, a very loud sound people currently hear on the ground when an aircraft is flying supersonically. His presentation focused on the quiet supersonic technology that NASA and Lockheed Martin are developing as part of the X-59 experimental airplane.
Attendees also were able to learn more about Armstrong’s current projects through STEM displays and activities that aimed to encourage the next generation of explorers into those job fields.
Displays included lunar sample exhibit, an X-59 low-boom flight interactive demonstration, a space glove and helmet interactive exhibit, LED paper light up circuits, and local FIRST Robotics Competition team demonstrations to name a few.