The Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology at Kansas City, MO held a program “The Science of Apollo” on March 28, 2019. It consisted of a panel comprised of Harrison H. “Jack” Schmitt, Gerald D. “Gerry” Griffin, and Clive R. Neal and moderated by the science writer Andy Chaikin. Gerry Griffin was the Flight Director for Apollo 17 and leader of the Gold Team of flight directors at the Manned Spacecraft Center during the Apollo era. Professor Clive Neal of the University of Notre Dame, a noted Geologist and Petrologist, has spent many decades studying lunar rock samples, and is part of a team that will soon open and analyze the contents of a vacuum container holding an Apollo 17 core tube driven into the lunar surface, which has never been opened before, having been stored at the Lunar Sample Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX since its arrival almost 50 years ago!
(Left to Right): Andy Chaikin; Apollo 17 Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt; Apollo 17 Flight Director Gerry Griffin; and Professor Clive Neal. The slide on the screen is Jack Schmitt standing by the American Flag which is pointing towards the Earth (off the screen).
The panel discussion largely consisted of reminiscences of the Apollo era, training to go to the Moon, rock samples that were collected and their significance, the orange soil that Jack discovered and the trench he dug through it, engineering constraints on designing habitats for use on the Moon, and the necessity of going back to the Moon to stay permanently. The program lasts 1 hr 24 min with a brief Q&A at the end. A video of the panel discussion can be viewed by clicking here.