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NASA Brings Apollo 11 Experts Into Classrooms

November 9, 2009

Forty years after humans first walked on the moon, NASA is offering the next generation of explorers a chance to learn how the challenges of the Apollo 11 mission were met. Through a series of interactive educational videoconferences, students will hear firsthand accounts of the people who made the lunar landing possible.

During a week of programs beginning Nov. 16, NASA’s Digital Learning Network will host videoconferences between classrooms around the country and NASA employees who had a special connection with the Apollo 11 moon mission.

The series kicks off Nov. 16 from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., focusing on the work of aerospace pioneer John Houbolt. Students will learn how a young engineer convinced his boss that lunar exploration would be possible only if something called “Lunar Orbit Rendezvous” was used as the passageway to the moon.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will host the Nov. 17 videoconference, during which students will learn how a rocket taller than the Statue of Liberty was constructed for peaceful space exploration and why its presence tipped the scale of the space race in favor of the U.S.

Students will connect with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 18 to discover America’s spaceport, the site where the Apollo 11 astronauts made their final preparations before counting down to launch on the fastest rocket in the world, the Saturn V.

During a Nov. 19 event with NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, series participants will learn more about the home of the astronaut corps and take a peek inside NASA’s Mission Control Center, the setting of communication with Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins as they were zooming toward the moon.

The week-long series concludes on Nov. 20 from NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., where students will learn how NASA may one day return to the moon and explore the universe beyond with the Constellation Program.

The one-hour programs will begin at 1 p.m. EST each day. The videoconferences will be webcast to the public and can be viewed at: http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/content/webcast

With this and other elementary and middle school education programs, NASA seeks to engage and attract students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics — disciplines critical to the nation’s space exploration efforts.

To learn more about NASA’s Digital Learning Network, visit: http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/index.jsp

To learn more about NASA’s education programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/education




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