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.

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.

Video Courtesy of Rice University.

Brian knew he'd hit pay dirt came when Buzz Aldrin told him so - from a quarter-million miles away. "The thrill of the Apollo 11 landing for me was when Buzz was commenting, something like 40 feet above the ground, on strikes due to dust," O'Brien said.

Brian J. O'Brien on studying the moon and teaching astronauts

Brian J. O'Brien on studying the moon and teaching astronauts

About Prof. Brian J. O’Brien

Dr Brian J O’Brien is an environmental and strategic consultant, principal of Brian J O’Brien and Associate and Adjunct Professor of Physics, University of Western Australia. He is a former Director and Chair of the Environmental Protection Authority of WA. He took his PhD at the University of Sydney and then worked in the US for 10 years – at the University of Iowa and then as Professor of Space Science at Rice University, Houston, from 1963–68.

Dr Brian J O’Brien is an environmental and strategic consultant, principal of Brian J O’Brien and Associate and Adjunct Professor of Physics, University of Western Australia. He is a former Director and Chair of the Environmental Protection Authority of WA. He took his PhD at the University of Sydney and then worked in the US for 10 years – at the University of Iowa and then as Professor of Space Science at Rice University, Houston, from 1963–68.

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