Apollo 11 40th Anniversary Celebration at UHCL

Saturday July 18, 2009

Ann and Louis by the Sign
The Johnson Space Center was instrumental in getting the University of Houston to locate a branch in the Clear Lake area near the Center. The UHCL concentrated on graduate level classes and many employees of the Johnson Space Center were able to continue their educations at this convenient location. Becky got a BS in Anthropology there after her bachelors and MBA at the main campus. When she noticed that UHCL was sponsoring this free "old fashioned" family picnic type event and spread the word to the rest of us. Ann and Louis and I got there first so I asked them to pose by the sign. Maybe some fill flash would have helped.

Hot dog supper
Here we are at a table eating some free hot dogs and Moon Pies (but no RC). I met Gus Tsioulos, a friend from work, there and he took this photo for us. One of Louis' high school friends was there and they had a nice visit. Several of Louis' students were there, too, and said "Hello." We went through the line for hot dogs while Louis got some astronaut signatures. I should have photographed that. Anyway, Ann got hot dogs (long story) and Becky, Phillip, and Sarah joined us by then.

The view toward the band.
This instrumental and vocal group really sounded great. They were singing folk music type songs from the 60s and 70s. Songs like the Kingston Trio sang back in the old days.

The entertainment
OK. This is a better view of the group.

View out the front door.
Some of the things were still outdoors in spite of the threat of rain. (It did sprinkle some.) Some company had sent a hot dog cooking team and they were acroos from the moon rock display inflatable. It took a lot of running to keep the hot dogs supplied to the folks inside who were putting them on buns and handing them to the folks waiting in line.

Phillip and Sarah at the Moon Rock Display
This is a closer view of the moon rock display. I didn't go through. Phillip and Sarah were just leaving it.

Making craters in the sand.
Most of the things were geared to children. These are just a couple of examples.
Children were supposed to create craters in the sand by dropping golf balls into it.

Sarah at the Wheel of Apollo Trivia
Questions were selected by the number on the spinning wheel. Sarah correctly answered that there were three crewman on Apollo 11.

The weather was really pleasant so Louis and I waited outside for John and Madi. Ann and Becky were already waiting in the theater for the movie. Phillip and Sarah found the ice cream booth and then we all went in and found places in the theater. Glenn Lunney, who was a flight director back in the Apollo days and subsequent programs was there with his son who now has a similar postion and they made some comments before the video which was a quick review of Apollo 11. Then we went home.

I sometimes wonder whether the U.S. still has what it takes to go further with the "manned" space program. But I always say that if the Chinese, or perhaps others, make a serious effort to reach the moon, we might be shocked into getting with the program again. Can you imagine a fight over whether to keep the space station going, crash it into the Pacific Ocean, or give it to the Chinese and Russians?

Skipper Family Magazine

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Posted 7/20/09