Senator, Astronaut and NASA Advisory Council Chair Harrison Schmitt on “A Trip to the Moon”

VIDEO: Pardee Center Conference

April 12, 2007

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In this wide-ranging talk at the Pardee Center Conference on “The Future of Space Exploration”, Senator Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 Astronaut and NASA Advisory Council Chair, shares his own experiences of “a trip to the moon” and weaves in with this engaging and personal account a discussion of some of the policy challenges facing space exploration, now and into the future. He looks back at his own personal explorations in space and describes what it feelslike to be in space. As he puts it: “Being there is the essential human ingredient.” The talk is followed by questions from the audience.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the 40th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty, this Pardee Center conference brought together leading space scientists, visionaries, and entrepreneurs from around the world to imagine the next half-century of space exploration. The conference resulted in a vision statement by the participants outlining five key areas of concern for the next 50 years.

About the Speaker

Harrison Schmitt was the only geologist in the astronaut corps and in March 1970 and became the first of the scientist-astronauts to receive a crew assignment as backup crew for Apollo 15. During the Apollo 17 flight, Schmitt probably took a photograph of the Earth called The Blue Marble, one of the most widely distributed photographic images in existence. After the completion of Apollo 17, Schmitt played an active role in documenting the Apollo geologic results and also took on the task of organizing NASA’s Energy Program Office. In August 1975, Schmitt resigned from NASA to seek election as a Republican to the United States Senate representing New Mexico. He served one term and, notably, was the ranking Republican member of the Science, Technology, and Space Subcommittee.