Twenty-six former TIers and guests registered and braved the hot July night to attend the Shoot for the Moon event by Dallas author James Donovan. It was held at the Allen Public Library and dinner (topped off by a moon-shaped cake with craters!) was provided from their cafe. Most of us could remember watching a small, black-and-white TV screen and hearing, on July 20, 1969, "Houston, the Eagle has landed" -- and the world has not been the same since. The author has extensively researched and recorded our ten-year political strife with Russia and our shock after tiny Sputnik 1 (183 pounds and about the size of a beach ball) flew high across our land in 1957. In 1961 President Kennedy announced the dramatic and ambitious goal of putting a man on the moon and bringing him home safely before the decade was out – a feat that would ultimately determine the victor of the space race. At the time, astronaut Gus Grissom likened the challenge to building another New York city overnight. NASA emerged quickly and had stringent requirements for the future astronauts: male (for the first three groups), physically fit, well-educated (some had engineering degrees or Ph.D.s) and previously a fighter or a test pilot. This long journey to the moon involved 400,000 employees, 20,000 companies and about $25 billion to achieve (close to $170 billion in today's dollars); but what was the cost to the personnel involved? We relaxed in the very nice Allen Public Library auditorium and listened as James Donovan discussed his conversations with the astronauts -- their thoughts, training, relationships, triumphs, disasters and the stresses upon their families. The contributions of TI's technology to the success of the Apollo and other space missions was recognized; and it was even suggested that, without TI's help and expertise, a moon landing would not have occurred -- at least within President Kennedy's promised timeline and perhaps not at all.
If you would like to read more about UTD's part in this outstanding event, they have posted an article on this subject https://www.utdallas.edu/news/research/moon-landing-space-utd-50th-2019/?WT. mc_id=NewsEmail