The Apollo 11 Lunar Landing: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

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Avram Theater

Stony Brook University (Southampton Campus)

239 Montauk Highway

Southampton, NY 11968

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July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing—the first manned mission to the Moon when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin took that “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” To celebrate this historic event, Montauk Observatory will hold a FREE 5-hour public program.

PRESENTED BY: Montauk Observatory & Stony Brook University

QUESTIONS: MontaukObservatory@gmail.com


1:00 Welcoming remarks by Montauk Observatory and Stony Brook University

1:15 Lecture by Stony Brook University Prof. Timothy Glotch, “50 Years of Lunar Science”

2:15 Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. will introduce & award citations to the Grumman Roundtable panelists

2:30 The Grumman Roundtable: behind the scenes stories about Grumman and the Apollo 11 project

3:30 Break and refreshments

3:45 Screening of Todd Miller's acclaimed documentary, “Apollo 11”

5:15 Q&A with a film production team manager and NASA software engineer, Ben Feist

6:00 Conclusion


1:15 “50 Years of Lunar Science: What We Learned From and Since Apollo 11.” Presenter: Professor Timothy Glotch, a Principal Investigator with NASA's SSERVI program, a Participating Scientist on NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, Co-Investigator on NASA's Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment, and on faculty at Stony Brook University since 2007. The Apollo missions provided a wealth of scientific information about the Moon from remote observations, samples collected, and experiments left on the lunar surface. This talk will describe the advances that we have made in our understanding of the Moon in the 50 years since the Apollo 11 astronauts successfully landed on the lunar surface and returned safely to Earth. Prof. Glotch will also look forward to the coming decades of lunar exploration, including the eventual return of humans to the Moon and the requirements for a long term sustainable presence.


2:15 Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., will introduce The Grumman Roundtable panelists and present each member with a NYS Citation to acknowledge their invaluable contributions to the Apollo 11 space program.


2:30 “The Grumman Roundtable.” Insiders present a behind-the-scenes view of what went on at Grumman during the creation of the lunar module (LEM). The panel includes:

Raymond LeCann (moderator), former Grumman VP and Director of the Lunar Module Data Reduction System (LDRS)--the man who made sure all the equipment worked before sending the guys into space;

Joseph Bevilacqua, a design engineer in the LEM Crew & Equipment Integration Division, who met with the astronauts, and is a former President of the Grumman Retiree Club;

Leon Gurinsky, a rocket scientist who worked on the LEM propulsion systems;

Anthony Mascolo, a design engineer responsible for fireproofing the cockpit, and who met with Joseph Gavin and Wernher Von Braun; and

Edward Whitman, an engineer who worked on communications between the LEM and the Command Service Module.


3:30 “Apollo 11.” A screening of the full-length (93 min.) version of Todd Miller's acclaimed 2019 documentary that contains never-before-seen footage and audio recordings that take you straight into the heart of NASA's most celebrated mission: the first manned Moon landing.


5:15 Q&A with Ben Feist, NASA Spaceflight Data Management & Visualization Researcher, who led the documentary team that restored 11,000 hours of mission control audio to bring the silent Mission Control footage back to life. Ben is also the program historian for Apollo17.org and ApolloInRealTime.org. He will describe his work and answer questions about the film.


Montauk Observatory (MO) would like to thank it's co-presenter, Stony Brook University (SBU), Dr. Rich Reeder and SBU's Office of the Vice President of Research, Assemblyman Thiele, and all the speakers for generously donating their time and resources to make this event possible and to ensure its success. MO is also grateful to the following organizations for their kind collaboration: the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club, the Grumman Retiree Club, and the Long Island Chapter of the IEEE. Thanks, too, to the sponsors for their generous support: Neon/CNN Films, SSERVI (NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute), The Hampton Maid, and Northern Trust.

Montauk Observatory (soon to be called Hamptons Observatory) was established in 2005. It is a publicly supported NYS 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to fostering interest in science, particularly astronomy. To that end, it holds frequent lectures, stargazing events and portable planetarium shows throughout the towns of the east end. MO created the South Fork's first astronomical observatory (in East Hampton) which contains the largest research-grade telescope on Long Island; these state-of-the-art facilities will soon be made available over the internet to students, teachers, researchers and the general public. Montauk Observatory offers its quality educational programs free-of-charge to ensure that they are as accessible as possible to all. Tax-deductible donations to help support Montauk Observatory and its educational programs are always gratefully received.


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Date and Time

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Avram Theater

Stony Brook University (Southampton Campus)

239 Montauk Highway

Southampton, NY 11968

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