Astronaut Harrison Schmitt to deliver engineering lecture

by William G. Gilroy

Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, the only scientist and the last of 12 men to step on the Moon, will visit the University of Notre Dame on March 3 (Monday).p. Schmitt will deliver a lecture open to engineering students and the campus community at 12:50 p.m. in the DeBartolo Hall auditorium. His talk, “To the Moon and Beyond,” is the second installment in the 2002-03 Distinguished Engineering Lecture Series presented by Notre Dame’s College of Engineering.p. Schmitt will deliver a public lecture titled “Exploring the Moon and Planets After Apollo” at 6:30 p.m. in Room 141 of DeBartolo Hall.p. During the lectures, Schmitt will share stories of the Apollo 17 mission ? the last manned mission to the Moon ? explaining how that mission changed the understanding of the early history of Earth and discussing the role the Moon holds in future space exploration, utilization and settlement by mankind.p. A native of Silver City, N.M., Schmitt has the diverse experiences of a politician, geologist, pilot, astronaut, administrator, businessman and writer. He earned his bachelor’s degree in science from the California Institute of Technology, studied as a Fulbright scholar in Oslo, Norway, and attended graduate school at Harvard University.p. Selected for NASA’s scientist-astronaut program in 1965, Schmitt organized lunar science training for the Apollo astronauts, represented the crews during the development of hardware and procedures for lunar surface exploration and oversaw final preparations of the Apollo Lunar Module Descent Stage. On December 11, 1972, he landed in the lunar Valley of Taurus-Littrow.p. Upon returning from the mission, he first managed NASA’s Energy Program Office and then served from 1976-82 in the U.S. Senate. Schmitt served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and Commission on Ethics Law Reform. He worked as cochairman of the International Observer Group for the 1992 Romanian elections, as vice chairman of the U.S. delegation to the 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference in Spain, and as chairman of the Technical Advisory Board for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.p. Today, Schmitt consults, speaks and writes on policy issues concerning space exploration, lunar resources and the American Southwest. He is chair emeritus of The Annapolis Center and an adjunct professor in the Department of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He serves on the corporate boards of Orbital Sciences Corporation and PhDx Systems, Inc., and is founder and chairman of Interlune-Intermars Initiative, Inc., an organization that seeks to advance the private sector’s acquisition of lunar resources, helium-3 fusion power and the broad clinical use of medical isotopes produced by fusion-related processes.p. The Distinguished Engineering Lecture Series was established to expose Notre Dame students to individuals who have achieved at the highest levels of their professions. Speakers from various technical disciplines are featured throughout the academic year to give students a better understanding of the role of engineering in society and the impact they, as aspiring engineers, can have.p.

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