#368 Apollo At 50 – Teasel Muir-Harmony

The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates Science Series

Welcome to The Not Old Better Show, I’m Paul Vogelzang and this is episode #368. As part of our Smithsonian Associates Inside Science Interview series, we are joined today by scientist, author, explorer, Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony. Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony will be appearing at the Smithsonian Associates program, July 10, 2019, and the title of her presentation is Apollo at 50: A History in Artifacts.

With those words, Neil Armstrong uttered what would become one of history’s most famous one liners. Our Not Old Better Show audience, many of whom listened in from Earth as Armstrong during the Apollo 11 space mission was on the landing site of the moon. The entire Project Apollo ranks among the most bold and challenging undertakings of the 20th century. Within less than a decade, the United States leapt from suborbital spaceflight to landing humans on the moon and returning them safely back to Earth. Hundreds of thousands of people helped make these missions possible, while billions more around the world followed the flights.

Fifty years after the Apollo moon landing, to celebrate the Apollo 11 anniversary, our guest today, Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, curator of Apollo spacecraft at the Air and Space Museum, reassesses the history of Project Apollo through the most evocative objects of the Space Age. The material legacy of the Project Apollo missions is immense—with thousands of artifacts from capsules to spacesuits to the ephemera of life aboard a spacecraft represented in the Smithsonian’s collections.

Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony examines artifacts and the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum collections that highlight how Project Apollo touched people’s lives, both within the space program and around the world, from the Wright Bros. at Kitty Hawk to Neil Armstrong at Tranquility Base. More than space hardware alone, the objects Dr Muir-Harmony features reflect the deep interconnection between Project Apollo and broader developments in American society, politics and life.

That, of course, that was our guest today, Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony’s reading from her new book, Apollo to the Moon: A History in 50 Objects (National Geographic) is available for sale and signing. Join us in celebrating the Apollo 50th anniversary while hearing more about this amazing program than we ever knew before.
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