Apollo astronaut, Marshall and original von Braun team members to speak at Von Braun Forum on May 11
The past, present and future of space transportation will take center stage at the annual Von Braun Forum in Huntsville on May 11. The forum panel will feature pioneers from NASA's earliest days, Apollo astronaut Charles Duke and representatives from the Marshall Center who are engineering the future of space today.
The panelists will highlight the development of the space program, from the first fleet of rockets that launched humans into space to the Vision for Space Exploration, including completion of the International Space Station and human and robotic exploration of the moon, Mars and destinations beyond. They also will discuss today's cornerstone experiences as the journey continues with new missions and the design and development of NASA's new crew and cargo launch vehicles managed at the Marshall Center for the agency's Constellation Program.
Sponsored by Marshall, the forum celebrates accomplishments of the space program and the contributions of Dr. Wernher von Braun, Marshall's first director and chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle.
Charles Chitwood, Marshall Center deputy director, will kick off this year's event. Panelists include astronaut Charles Duke, lunar module pilot of Apollo 16 — the fifth manned lunar landing mission — and members from the original von Braun team: Konrad Dannenberg, Hans Fichtner, Dr. Walter Hausserman, Joachim Kuettner and Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger.
Other panelists are Marshall Center team members Mike Rudolphi, director of the Engineering Directorate; John Horack, assistant manager of the Science and Mission Systems Office; Robert Lightfoot, manager of the Shuttle Propulsion Office; and Phil Sumrall, manager of advanced planning for the Constellation Systems Launch Vehicles Project Office. Ed Buckbee, co-author of "The REAL Space Cowboys," former NASA public affairs officer and the first executive director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, will moderate the forum.
A special video, "The Von Braun Visionaries," produced by the Marshall Center, will premiere at the forum. It includes interviews with the five members of the original von Braun team who will speak at the forum.
The forum will be held May 11 from 2-4 p.m. CDT at the Education Training Facility at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. It is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but seating is limited.