Public Release: 

Panel to commerate 40th anniversary of Apollo Eagle lunar landing

They will recount their memories of the lunar landing and analyze its place in history

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

July 14, 2009 - Reston, Va. - The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce that it will host a panel discussion commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Eagle lunar landing, which took place on July 21, 1969. The panel, at 7:45 a.m. on August 3, is part of the 7th International Energy Conversation Engineering Conference and the 45th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, being held August 2-5 at the Colorado Convention Center, in Denver.

The panel will feature leading figures from NASA mission control and the astronaut corps who were involved with the Apollo project throughout its duration. Participants will share their memories of the Apollo project and the lunar landing, and analyze the landing's place in history. AIAA's executive director Bob Dickman will serve as moderator. Panelists will include:

  • Arnold D. Aldrich - Former associate administrator for aeronautics, exploration and technology at NASA, Aldrich held key leadership positions with the agency during the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and space shuttle programs.

  • Gerald D. Griffin - Lead flight director in Mission Control for the Apollo 12, 15 and 17 lunar landings, Griffin was an integral part of the team that helped the astronauts of Apollo 13 return safely to Earth after an exploding oxygen tank aborted their lunar mission.

  • Glynn S. Lunney - One of NASA's longest serving employees, Lunney was the flight dynamics officer for Gemini 9, 10, 11 and 12, and the lead flight director for Apollo 7, the Apollo project's first manned test flight. He was on duty in Mission Control during the Apollo 11 lunar landing, and played a key role in resolving the Apollo 13 crisis.

  • Franklin L. Van Rensselaer - Holding various management positions in NASA over his 20 year career with the agency, including the position of flight controller on the Saturn V project, Van Rensselaer is NASA's charter member of the United States Senior Executive Service.

  • James R. Thompson Jr. - The fifth director of the NASA Marshall Flight Center, and former NASA deputy administrator, Thompson was the chief of NASA's space engine section in 1968, and was responsible for the design and test evaluation of auxiliary space engine propulsion systems for the Saturn launch vehicle.

  • Harrison H. Schmitt - The last American astronaut to set foot on the lunar surface, during the Apollo 17 mission, Schmitt was instrumental in providing Apollo flight crews with detailed instruction in lunar navigation, geology, and lunar feature recognition. He also helped Apollo crews express the scientific aspects of their mission reports.

  • Robert B. Sieck - Joining NASA in 1964 as a Gemini spacecraft systems engineer, Sieck later served as an Apollo test team project engineer. He concluded his career at NASA serving in various roles in the agency's space shuttle program.


For more information on the Apollo Eagle Lunar Landing panel, or the two co-located conferences, visit or, or contact Duane Hyland at 703.264.7558 or Registration for both conferences is complimentary for credentialed members of the press.

AIAA is the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344
Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551

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