The 40th Anniversary of the Apollo program
This series of commemorative rocket launch flights are staged by FLARE, the Fellowship of Las Cruces Area Rocketry Enthusiasts. We will launch scale models of both Historic White Sands rocketships, and Apollo era spacecraft.
On October 11-13, 2012 The Fellowship of Las Cruces Area Rocketry Enthusiasts and the New Mexico Museum of Space History will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 17 mission. The event is being held at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM and is once again an education and outreach opportunity for Southern New Mexico middle school students. Most activities are open to the general public.
Astronaut Geologist Harrison Schmitt
Apollo 17 was the last of the lunar missions and the first to lift-off in darkness. For this event we are very pleased to have New Mexico’s native son and most famous geologist, Dr. Harrison H. Schmitt, as a Guest of Honor. Harrison Schmitt, known to many as "Jack", was the Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 17, the twelfth and final man to step onto the moon, and the only true Geologist to perform field work on the lunar surface.
Along with Harrison Schmitt, Jan Evans will be in attendance to pay tribute to her late husband Ron Evans (Apollo 17 Command Module Pilot) who passed away in April 1990. A special dinner event is being planned as part of the Apollo 17 40th Anniversary Commemoration to raise funds for the Ronald E. Evans New Mexico Space Academy Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide the opportunity for underprivileged kids to participate in the Space Academy Summer Camp Program. A contribution also is being made to the Harrison H. Schmitt and Teresa A. Fitzgibbon Scholarship Fund at New Mexico State University, dedicated to the university education of young New Mexicans.
Harrison Schmitt and Ron Evans were part of the Apollo 17 crew that also included Gene Cernan (Commander). Their mission began in the midnight hour of December 7th, 1972. The intense flames from the five Saturn V First Stage F-1 engines literally turned darkness to daylight as the crew catapulted toward their encounter with the moon.
While in lunar orbit, America (Command Module) and Challenger (Lunar Module) separated. Evans remained in lunar orbit aboard America performing visual geologic study of the lunar surface, general housekeeping, and maintaining control of the cameras and other highly sophisticated scientific equipment carried in the Service Module's Scientific Instrument Modulde (SIM) Bay. Cernan and Schmitt in Challenger descended upon Tauras-Littrow. It is there that they spent just over three days extensively exploring the surface of the moon in their Lunar Rover. Harrison Schmitt had a field day collecting the most rocks ever brought back by an Apollo crew (256 lbs – Source Apollo 17 Wiki). It is no wonder that Harrison Schmitt collected what some scientists say are the two most intriguing moon specimens to be brought back to Earth, tagged as Orange Pyroclastic Glass 74220 and Troctolite 76535.
The footprints of Schmitt and Cernan are the last to be left on the moon. Hopefully someday in the future that distinction will no longer be true.
It is going to be such an honor to hear the stories of the Apollo 17 adventure from an adventurer, geologist, and New Mexico native who lived the experience! We hope you can join us!!
12 October, Friday Morning to Early Afternoon - Apollo 17 40th Anniversary Commemoration Event at the New Mexico Museum of Space History.
|9:00-9:30||Students Arrive at the NM Museum of Space History|
|9:30-10:00||FLARE Commemorative Rocket launch:
|10:00-10:30||Students Transported at the NMSU-Alamogordo Tays Center.|
|11:30-12:00||Harrison Schmitt and Jan Evans enjoy a Taco Bar Lunch with Selected APS, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), and LCPS Students at the Museum Archive Building.|
|11:30-2:00||Student Hands-on Activities/Static Displays/IMAX Movie – NM Museum of Space History.|
|11:30-1:00||FLARE Event – LCPS Student Eggloft Competition – NM Museum of Space History Upper Parking Lot.|
|12:30-1:00||Harrison Schmitt and Jan Evans Walk Through of Space Museum to meet with APS and LCPS Students.|
|1:00-1:30||LCPS Student Launch Awards Ceremony – NM Museum of Space History Upper Parking Lot (Harrison Schmitt to Present Awards).|
Friday October 12 (evening) – New Mexico Museum of Space History.
- Gala Dinner Event - 6-9:00 pm at the New Mexico Museum of Space History. Dinner with Dr. Schmitt and Jan Evans begins at 7:00 pm. Choice of Prime Rib Au Jus or Broasted Chicken Apollo. 100 tickets available at $55.00 each. RSVP to Cathy Harper at 575-437-2840 ext. 41153. Call or email email@example.com for additional information.
- Cocktails with a Moonwalker - Enjoy dessert, cocktails, and the opportunity for a personal conversation with Dr. Schmitt and Mrs. Evans during this private after dinner reception. 25 tickets available at $100.00 per person. Includes drinks, desert, and a photo opportunity (additional fee will apply for photos).
- Apollo 17 Night Launch Reenactment* (Space Museum Upper Parking Lot)
Saturday October 13, (morning/early afternoon)
- Jan Evans Ladies Brunch*
*Event times are yet to be determined.
Harrison Schmitt poses on the lunar surface with the American flag
and the crescent Earth. Photo by Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan.
Ron Evans during his one-hour, six-minute deep space extravehicular activity to retrieve camera cassettes and perform a personal inspection of the Scientific Instrument Module (SIM) bay area. Photo by Apollo 17 Lunar Module Pilot Harrison H. Schmitt.
Jan Evans accepting Ron Evans' induction into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1997.