Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Moon Landing Anniversary Celebrated With Rocket Launches at St. Louis Science Center

By Carmelo Turdo
The James S. McDonnell Planetarium of the St. Louis Science Center celebrated the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing today with a series of family activities, including a number of rocket launches conducted under the guidance of the St. Louis Rocketry Association.  Association members were on hand to introduce model rocketry to visitors and assisted children as they constructed model rockets prior to launch.  Their display inside the Planetarium lobby included model rockets of all sizes, including large metal models that can reach into the stratosphere.  Air-powered model rockets were also launched just outside of the Planetarium.  Here are some views of the model rocket display and launches:

Gregg Maryniak (left), Planetarium Director John Lakey
In the afternoon, special guest speaker Gregg Maryniak, Chairman of the Energy and Environmental Systems Department at Singularity University and Chairman of the X-Prize Foundation, gave his presentation entitled "Can the Moon Save the Earth?"  Maryniak recalled that the original reason for manned exploration of the moon was political in nature, part of the Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union.  Absent the immediate political rivalry concerning space travel, Maryniak contends that the moon can be part of the solution to the energy and environmental challenges that will become critical in the decades to come.  He proposes a strategy of harnessing raw materials from the moon and constructing the means of collecting solar energy from space rather than building the infrastructure on earth.  Through a series of animations, it was demonstrated that operating from the moon is much more efficient than overcoming the earth's gravity every time man uses the space between the earth and the moon.  More importantly, Maryniak was skillful in making this "rocket science" understandable to audience members of all ages.  

Throughout the day, visitors enjoyed the exhibits and activities regularly available at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium, including full-scale Mercury and Gemini spacecraft, authentic Mercury astronaut space suits, flight simulators, the OmniMax theater, and other science galleries throughout the St. Louis Science Center.  Here are some views of these aviation and space exhibits:

Gemini (left) and Mercury Spacecraft

Mercury Space Suits Worn by Cooper and Grissom

McDonnell Aircraft Engineer Alex Strovinsky's Effects on Display  

Pulseworks Flight Simulator

One of Two Additional Pulseworks Flight Simulators
Flight Simulators in the Take the Controls Simulator Room 

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