• Mon, Mar 31 at 7:00 pm


    Dir. Al Reinert, USA, 1989, 80 min., NR, HD

    Part of Science on Screen: Connecting Cinematic Art with Hard Science.

    National Evening of Science on Screen

    Forty-five years ago, man first set foot on the moon. Director Al Reinert’s 1989 film tells the story of the Apollo missions from the perspective of the men and women who made this momentous occasion possible. Through first-person narration from those involved and the 8mm home movies shot by Apollo astronauts, we are taken on the harrowing but breathtaking journey from the earth to the moon. Punctuated with a phenomenal score by ambient music pioneer Brian Eno, the film revels in the wonder and ecstasy that results from man’s step into the unknown while also reflecting on the deeply personal experience of being completely untethered from the world in which we all live. FOR ALL MANKIND is an astounding look at the excitement of the scientific discovery of generations past and portends the era of even deeper space explorations. 

    Topic and Speakers:
    Post-film panel discussion with space shuttle astronauts Dr. Rhea Seddon and Capt. Robert "Hoot" Gibson, NASA engineers Brooks Moore and Al Reisz who both worked on the Apollo missions, and Vanderbilt history professor Tom Schwartz, whose specialty is 1960s America (and specifically the Cold War). The panel will talk about the scientific and cultural context that made the Apollo mission a success and the key scientific benchmarks that led to the moon landing, the expected and unexpected challenges, and space exploration in the the post-Apollo era. Tracie Prater will moderate the panel. She is an aerospace engineer in materials and structures at the NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville and received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt in 2012.

    Speaker Bios:

    Dr. Rhea Seddon is a physician and former astronaut. A veteran of three space shuttle flights, Dr. Seddon spent 19 years with NASA. In 1978 she was selected as one of the first six women to enter the astronaut program. She served as a mission specialist on flights in 1985 and 1991 and as payload commander in charge of all science activities on her final flight in 1993, a total time in space of 30 days. After leaving NASA in 1997, Dr. Seddon was the assistant chief medical officer at the Vanderbilt Medical Group for 11 years where she led an initiative aimed at improving patient safety, quality of care, and team effectiveness through the use of an aviation-based model.  Now with LifeWings Partners, LLC she teaches this concept to healthcare institutions across the country. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in physiology, Dr. Seddon received her M.D. degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, where she completed her residency in general surgery. She lives in Murfreesboro with her husband and fellow astronaut Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson and their children.

    Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson has served as a fighter pilot, test pilot and astronaut. He flew five missions aboard the space shuttles Challenger, Columbia, Atlantis and Endeavor (four times as the mission commander and once as co-pilot). After retiring from the U.S. Navy he joined Southwest Airlines. He was awarded numerous decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Long Island Air and Space Hall of Fame, the Space Camp Hall of Fame and the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

    Brooks Moore retired from NASA in 1981, but remains engaged in the aerospace industrial community in Huntsville. He earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University and an M.S. (also in electrical engineering) from Georgia Tech. He began his engineering career at the Naval Research Laboratory in Panama City before moving to Huntsville in 1952 to join the Army’s Rocket Development Team under the director of Dr. Wernher von Braun. Here he directed the design of control systems for the Army’s Redstone, Jupiter and Pershing missile systems, a development effort which culminated with the 1958 launch of the first U.S. satellite Explorer. He became a charter member of NASA when the agency was formed in 1960. Mr. Moore oversaw the design of guidance, control, electrical and computer systems for the Saturn I, IB, and V rockets. Following the moon landing, he worked on development of electronic and control systems for Skylab (the U.S.’s first space station) and later the Hubble Space Telescope.

    Aloysius (Al) Reisz is currently the president and CEO of Reisz Engineers in Huntsville, Alabama. Mr. Reisz graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and began his career as a propulsion engineer with Boeing during the development of the Saturn V rocket at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. During the 1970s, he served as an engineer for the Skylab program, the first manned operating laboratory in low earth orbit and the precursor to the International Space Station.

    Thomas Schwartz is a professor of history, political science, and European studies at Vanderbilt University. Educated at  Columbia, Oxford and Harvard Universities, he is the author of "America’s Germany: John J. McCloy and the Federal Republic of Germany" and "Lyndon Johnson and Europe: In the Shadow of Vietnam," and with Matthias Schulz,  "The Strained Alliance: U.S.-European Relations in the 1970s."  He has received fellowships from the German Historical Institute, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Social Science Research Center. He served on the Historical Advisory Committee of the Department of State, and was the president of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations.  He is currently finishing a biographical study of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.