Apollo 11 Anniversary Lecture: "Six Decades of Space Science" - Dr. Brian O'Brien
Courtesy of SEDS Rice - Rice University
Streamed live on Mar 18, 2019
At the time of the planning for the Apollo launches, it was not clear how much dust would be on the lunar surface, and whether that dust would be an issue for Apollo EVA's. In fact, the dust was not too deep, but was readily moved and inescapable. Apollo astronauts and experiments found that fine, sticky and abrasive lunar dust, as fine as talcum but more cutting than sandpaper, was the number one environmental problem on the Moon. Professor O'brien, who was one of the founding faculty members in the Rice Space Science Department during the planning and assembly of the Apollo missions, designed, built, and made many discoveries with five instruments put on the Moon by Apollo astronauts on Apollo 11, 12, 14, and 15, including a dust detector (DDE) and an ion/electron plasma detector, CPLEE. Dr. O'brien, who is the only surviving Apollo science Principal Investigator, will present his reminiscences of Rice and Apollo from that exciting time in history, and stories of Moon dust, which is still a vital and relevant subject today and for future explorations of the Moon.