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Presentations on Lunar Launch and Trinity Given by Ted Spitzmiller

July 14, 2009

Saturday and Sunday’s lectures by Ted Spitzmiller were a success, as he spoke on the topics of the Apollo 11 Lunar Launch and the Trinity Site Nuclear Test.

Ted Spitzmiller is an author, nuclear weapons specialist, and flight instructor.  Having flown more than 4,000 hours in over 60 different types of aircraft, and having more than 40 articles and 2 book publications under his belt, Mr. Spitzmiller is truly an expert.  On Saturday July 18th and Sunday July 19th, Mr. Spitzmiller presented about two historic occasions at the Museum.  These consisted of one hour lectures about the Apollo 11 lunar launch, as well as the famed Trinity Site Nuclear Test. A brief overview of the topics is provided below:

Lunar Launch:
The Apollo 11 mission was the first manned mission to land on the moon.  The fifth human spaceflight of Project Apollo and third human voyage to the moon; this spaceflight launched on July 16, 1969.  The project was part of a larger political and technological “Space Race” between the United States and the Soviet Union during the 1960’s.  This race began after the Soviet launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1957, and was an ideological rivalry that focused on this vital space technology because of the potential military applications as well as the morale boosting social benefits during the Cold War.

On July 16, 1945 the US Army, via the Manhattan Project, tested an implosion design plutonium bomb on the White Sands Proving Ground - located about 35 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico.  This test and corresponding weapons project translated into the use of the “Fat Man”, which was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945.  This was considered by many as the beginning of the “Atomic Age.”  Sixty-four years later, the technology and science derived from this project are most prevalent in the energy and medicine world, but can be found in numerous applications.

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