JFK’s space legacy, future moonshots in spotlight at Sept. 12 Rice Space Institute event

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine '98 will discuss NASA Artemis program

Style Magazine Newswire | 9/10/2019, 3:03 p.m.

A bestselling historian will tell the riveting story of humanity’s first landing on the moon and NASA’s top administrator will preview the nation’s next lunar landing at a Sept. 12 event at Rice University.

The legacy of the late President John F. Kennedy, the Apollo space program and future trips to the moon will be among the topics discussed at "JFK and the Race to the Moon," a program to be held at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

The event is hosted by the Rice Space Institute in partnership with the Baker Institute, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and Houston Spaceport. It will kick off at 5 p.m. with a welcome reception and remarks from David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute and a professor of physics and astronomy at Rice; Jeff Isaacson from USRA and Steven Rothstein from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

The keynote speech and question-and-answer session with Douglas Brinkley, author of "American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race" and the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Professor of Humanities at Rice, will follow. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine ’98 will later discuss NASA’s plans for a lunar return with the Artemis program.

Two panel discussions will follow Bridenstine's talk. The first, "The Legacy of JFK and the Apollo program" will be moderated by Alexander. It will feature commentary by George Abbey, space policy fellow at Rice's Baker Institute; Walter Kiefer, a senior staff scientist in the Lunar and Planetary Institute at USRA; Rothstein and Brinkley.

The second, "Future Moonshots," will be moderated by Peter Rossky, dean of the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, and will include observations from Moshe Vardi, University Professor and the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering at Rice; José Onuchic, the Harry C. & Olga K. Wiess Professor of Physics at Rice; Qilin Li, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice; and Doug Natelson, professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rice.

A reception and book signing with Brinkley will follow the event, which is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending the event may RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-legacy-of-jfk-and-the-apollo-program-tickets-70500973309.