MINNEAPOLIS -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- New Minnesota nonprofit AirSpace Minnesota is welcoming to the Twin Cities the last of 12 men to step on the moon, to celebrate Minnesota’s contributions to America’s space program. The organization’s goal is to inspire students to embrace skills and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), by showcasing role models from Minnesota’s great aviation and aerospace legacy, today’s practitioners and tomorrow’s opportunities.
Dr. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, an astronaut, pilot, geologist, academic, businessman and former U.S. Senator, will give a keynote address at the Northern Star Council Boy Scout Base Camp at Fort Snelling on October 11th from 11:30 – 1:30 pm. Following the public address and luncheon, he will sign copies of his book Return to the Moon: Exploration, Enterprise, and Energy in the Human Settlement of Space from 1:30 – 2:30 pm. To register for the Oct. 11 presentation and book signing, visit airspacemn.org and click on “Events.”
Dr. Schmitt will speak about his personal experience and the impact of Minnesotans on taking America into space, especially Bob Gilruth, who is recognized as the father of America's human spaceflight program. Remembered as the man who told President Kennedy to put a man on the moon, led the Apollo program, built the Johnson Space Center and oversaw 25 manned spaceflights, Gilruth would be 100 this October. He received his degrees from the University of Minnesota, where he was taught by Professor John D. Akerman. At the U, Akerman founded one of the first departments of aeronautical engineering in the country and hired pioneers like inventor Jean Piccard, the real-life inspiration for “Star Trek” character Jean-Luc Picard.
AirSpace Minnesota is committed to helping students see the appeal and value of skills and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). “Creating a brighter future for our citizens and economy will depend on having the dreams, skills and perseverance necessary to navigate significant challenges and capitalize on opportunities,” says AirSpace Minnesota president Kristi Rollag Wangstad. “We must inspire learners to go boldly in the tradition of Bob Gilruth, Jean and Jeannette Piccard so they can gain confidence in their ability to grow their skills, overcome obstacles and make a difference through their work.”
AirSpace Minnesota is a new nonprofit organization formed to chronicle Minnesota’s great aviation and aerospace legacy, showcase today’s innovators and equip new generations with dreams and skills. Its work will educate learners of all ages about the value of skills and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The organization is advised by local corporations including: 3M, Cirrus Aircraft, Honeywell Aerospace, UTC Aerospace, The Mayo Clinic and others. The organization is preparing to launch the first replication of the Aviation Learning Center at Seattle’s renowned Museum of Flight. For more on the organization and its plans, visit its website, and like AirSpace Minnesota on Facebook.