Forsyth County Public Library celebrates the 50th anniversary of humankind’s first steps beyond planet Earth with a special series of programs this month.
In 1969, the world watched as humans stepped foot onto the Moon. The tumultuous Space Race of the preceding decade challenged imaginations, rapidly advanced technologies, and captivated the world’s attention.
Fast forward 50 years and the Moon is still the farthest our species has traveled, but not the farthest we’ve explored. Library patrons and local residents are invited to learn about the history and the future of space exploration in a new series of free events and guest lectures this month.
First, Dr. Lesley Simanton-Coogan, Director of the George E. Coleman, Sr. Planetarium at the University of North Georgia (UNG), will present “To the Moon and Beyond” on Sunday, July 14 at 2:00 p.m.at the Cumming Library. Dr. Simanton-Coogan will discuss current research on populations of star clusters and galaxy evolution, as well as the history of exploration in our own solar system
John Indergaard, Lab Coordinator at the UNG Physics Department, will explore the history of the Space Race leading up to the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon and describe the most fascinating findings of more recent unmanned exploratory missions on Tuesday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Post Road Library. Indergaard’s presentation, “Space Race and Beyond,” will also explain the possibilities of human space travel to Mars.
NASA Solar System Ambassador Curt Godwin will speak at “It’s Not Just Rocket Science: The Why and How of Space Exploration” on Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hampton Park Library.
Godwin has been a fan of space exploration and kept his eyes to the skies from an early age. He now represents NASA and his talk will highlight past and future human space exploration efforts, including the Space Launch System (SLS) scheduled to land on the Moon by 2024.
The library’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing will culminate in the launch of its oral history project, Forsyth Remembers. This new project invited Forsyth residents to give interviews about their recollections of the space race and the lunar landing when Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the Moon.
Lunar Landing Memories, the first collection of audio interviews to be published in the Forsyth Remembers oral history project, will debut on Saturday, July 20 at 2:00 p.m. at the Sharon Forks Library.
Curt Godwin will return to the library to give introductory remarks about the Apollo 11 mission and the lunar landing. Then, the first Forsyth Remembers recordings will debut alongside video footage from the lunar landing. Laura Seward Forczyk, owner of space consulting firm Astralytical Laboratory for Space Resources and Executive Director of the Georgia Space Alliance, will close the event with a special presentation.
A scientist with entrepreneurial leanings, Forczyk researched astrophysics and planetary science at three NASA centers and worked for a nonprofit facilitating International Space Station national laboratory research. She has flown research on two parabolic “Zero G” campaigns, worked ground support for a third, and managed a satellite branch of an international “Zero G” start-up.
Forczyk is frequently sought for her perspectives on the space industry and her space policy expertise has been utilized by three US House of Representatives’ offices and five state and county organizations. She was interviewed on HLN and various radio, podcasts, and newspapers, most recently the Washington Post.
She also wrote four reports on the topics of NASA human spaceflight, launch vehicles, launch rates, near-space vehicles and is currently writing a book on the millennial generation working in the space industry. Following her presentation, Forczyk is expected to take questions from the audience about space exploration and opportunities in the space industry.
Each of the events commemorating the lunar landing is open to the public and admission is free. For more information, or to search the catalog for books, videos, and materials about space exploration and the lunar landing, please visit the library’s website at www.forsythpl.org.