Nearly 43 years ago, NASA launched Apollo 11 to the moon. What exactly did it take to accomplish this successful, history-making mission? Hear a behind-the-scenes account from one of the NASA scientists who helped make that dream a reality, at a special program at Fort Bend County Libraries’ University Branch Library on Tuesday, July 10, beginning at 7:00 pm, in the Large Meeting Room of the library, located at 14010 University Blvd in Sugar Land, on the UH campus.
In the program “Have Rocket, Will Travel,” retired NASA physicist Don Cooper will share his experiences creating the technology that helped launch Apollo 11 in 1969, and the efforts that his team went through to successfully bring the Apollo 13 crew home safely in 1970. Cooper will also discuss the history of U.S. rockets, and his role in designing the Saturn V ascent guidance and trans-lunar targeting equations that would help make space travel possible.
An Oklahoma native, Cooper became fascinated with math and science while still in high school. He attended Oklahoma Baptist University, where he majored in physics and mathematics with a minor in chemistry. His career after college took him to Huntsville, Alabama, where he worked at the Marshall Space Flight Center on NASA’s Apollo program. His career then led him to Houston’s Manned Spacecraft Center, which would later become known as the Johnson Space Center. During his years there, Cooper worked on eight Apollo missions, the Atlas Centaur, the Air Force Dyna-Soar, and the Mars rocket NOVA.
Cooper retired from NASA in 2002, and soon found a new calling – that of encouraging a new generation of students to pursue a future in the physical sciences. He enjoys speaking to youth groups, community organizations, schools and colleges, hoping to inspire the technology leaders of the future.
The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call the branch library at 281-633-5100 or the library’s Public Information Office at 281-341-2677.