Houston Christian’s invited guest to campus today was Capt. Gene Cernan, who was a part of three trips to space; he was also the last person to walk on the moon. I greatly admire his courage and spirit towards his mission and the space program. Though he did not delve much into politics during his talk, he made it very clear that he is not an Obama fan. His primary concern is found in the lack there of initiative to move the space program forward. I must confess that I know little about this topic. Further, I am not versed in the “true” merits of space travel. However, I enjoyed his general message to our students, which focused on courage and taking risks. Mr. Cernan and I would agree on many things, but I suspect we look at the decade of the 1960s from differing points of view. He admitted that it was JFK and the 60s that brought about a transformation in America’s race to space, but in an indirect fashion, was critical of the turbulence that defined the period. I, on the other hand, believe that the 1960s was the most important and significant decade of the 20th century. I did enjoy visiting with him during the post-talk luncheon.
One thing that Cernan stated, which I do agree with him on, is that of NASA’s budget. Congress allocate NASA less that one penny per person. This is problematic in that NASA does so much when it comes to engineering and air travel. Most people look at NASA as being a mere space travel entity, but that is not the case; I do think that NASA needs to educate the public more on its role.
On the 50th anniversary of manned space flight and the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle launch, Houstonian, Capt. Gene Cernan will speak to his grandson’s school-wide leadership assembly at Houston Christian High School tomorrow, April 12th. Capt. Cernan’s talk is part of Houston Christian High School’s “Passport to Lead” program.
Where: Houston Christian High School, Pampell Family Chapel
When: Tuesday, April 12th
10 a.m. assembly, followed by student Q&A
Who: During his 20 years as a Naval aviator, including 13 years with NASA, Capt. Eugene A. Cernan left his mark on history with three historic missions in space as the pilot of Gemini IX, the lunar module pilot of Apollo X, and the commander of Apollo XVII. After flying to the moon not once, but twice, he also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk in space and the last man to have left his footprints on the lunar surface. Among his numerous honors, the most significant are the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with Star, induction into the U.S. Space Hall of Fame, enshrinement into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, Naval Aviation’s Hall of Honor and the International Aerospace Hall of Fame.
Mr. Cernan’s Talk
A few faculty members and students join Cernan for lunch
Picture Credit: S. Livingston’s twitter