In December 1972, two men left the last footprints on the moon. Dr. Harrison Schmitt, a New Mexican, was one of those men. On October 12, 2012, Dr. Schmitt along with Jan Evans, widow of Apollo 17 command module pilot Ronald E. Evans, will be the guests of honor for the 40th Anniversary Commemoration of Apollo 17 at the New Mexico Museum of Space History.
The Museum, in partnership with the Fellowship of Las Cruces Area Rocketry Enthusiasts (FLARE) and New Mexico State University Alamogordo, will present a series of events honoring the Apollo 17 flight and crew on Friday October 12. Several hundred students from Alamogordo, Las Cruces and across the state are anticipated to attend.
Activities begin at 9:30 a.m. in the upper parking lot of the Museum. They will include launch demonstrations of scale replicas of some historic White Sands Rockets (V-2, Wac Corporal, and Little Joe II) as well as vehicles from the NASA manned space program (Russian Space Vehicle — Vostok, NASA Manned Space Vehicles — Mercury Redstone, Mercury Atlas, Gemini Titan, Saturn IB, Space Shuttle, and Apollo 17 Saturn V). Congressman Steve Pearce will introduce Dr. Schmitt to the students, who will give a short talk prior to the re-enactment of the Apollo 17 launch.
The highlight of the event will be a presentation by Dr. Schmitt and Mrs. Evans to the students at 10:30 at the Tays Center. The presentation will feature an overview of the Apollo 17 mission. Several students will have the opportunity to ask Dr. Schmitt and Mrs.Evans questions after their presentation. Their questions will focus on the importance of the space program. The Master of Ceremonies will be Michael Shinabery, Humanities Scholar and Education Specialist at the Museum.
Seventeen students will participate in a luncheon with Dr. Schmitt, Mrs. Evans and Congressman Pearce. Students who wish to participate in the luncheon are required to submit an essay on the importance of the space program, choosing from four topics. The lucky seventeen will be chosen by the quality of their essays.
In the afternoon, students will return to the museum grounds where they will participate in hands-on demonstrations, museum tours and special exhibits. Southern New Mexico Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) students will hold an Egg Loft competition in the parking lot at the museum. Exhibitors include the Civil Air Patrol, Experimental Aircraft Association, White Sands Test Facility, Spaceport America, SEMAA and others. Afternoon presentations will be given by authors Ted Spitzmiller and Loretta Hall.
The above events are open to the public. Standard entrance fees apply for the museum and IMAX theater. Beginning at 6:30, FLARE will present an Apollo 17 night launch reenactment in the upper parking lot at the museum. Several rockets will be launched just before and after sunset. Apollo 17 was the first night launch of a U.S. human spaceflight. This event is also free to the public.
A gala fundraising dinner will be held that evening to celebrate the accomplishments of Apollo 17 and its crew. Dr. Schmitt and Mrs. Evans will be the guests of honor. An informal roundtable discussion will be held following dinner. Only one hundred tickets are available for the dinner. The cost is $55.00 per person. Twenty five tickets are available for an exclusive after dinner reception. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Dr. Schmitt and Mrs. Evans. Tickets for the reception are $100 each. Proceeds will benefit the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation.
For more information on purchasing tickets for the dinner or the reception, contact Cathy Harper at 575-437-2840 ext. 41153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.