Jennie: Dr. Gary Senn talks about the first moon landing and tastes some out of this world NASA cookies!


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)— July 20th was the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Apollo 11 made history and opened a new frontier for humankind.

Dr. Gary Senn, the director of the Ruth Patrick Science Center at USC-Aiken, says kids today don’t have any concept of us only being earthbound.

“For most of the young folks, at least anybody in high school, there has been somebody in space every day that they’ve been alive.”

” What they were able to do in the 60’s,with the level of technology that they had at the time, I think it’s just amazing. One thing that a lot of people don’t know is when they were doing the landing, they were counting down and they were giving how many feet, they were giving numbers. The numbers that they were giving was how many seconds of fuel they had left and they were down not under 20 seconds of fuel before they actually landed on the moon, so there’s a spot in our show we actually talk about where mission control was very nervous because they couldn’t find a good spot, they were kinda high and they only had seconds of fuel left. And so they land, of course, the astronauts were just cool as cucumbers. You know, there’s nothing to it. But the mission control people were really, really nervous about them making it so, it was phenomenal. Another thing that I like to point out is you know, we talk about computers today. Back then, computers were a group of women who did the mathematics.”

Those women were portrayed in the 2016 movie, Hidden Figures. It tells the incredible untold story of Katherine Jonson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson- brilliant African-American women working at NASA who served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn.

Dr. Senn’s team at DuPont Planetarium has been redoing the video presentation, To The Moon and Beyond.

To The Moon and Beyond is a planetarium show that we did with our planetarium system some years ago. So we got a new system, but it was not compatible with the show that was there, so we had to redo the show for our new system. We completed that in June and we’ve been showing it in July.”

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