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Caldwell joins “Apollo Dialogues” at Smithsonian

Photo of Barrett Caldwell at Apollo 11 workshop
Prof. Barrett Caldwell (2nd from r) discusses the Apollo era at a workshop at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC. (Photo/Barrett Caldwell)
IE Professor Barrett Caldwell took part in “The Apollo Dialogues Workshop” at the National Air & Space museum to help commemorate the upcoming Apollo 11 50th anniversary.

The National Air & Space Museum has planned a number of events from October 2018 to July 2019 to commemorate the Apollo 50th anniversary and the Apollo era. One such event took place on December 7, as the museum and NASA hosted the Apollo workshop to consider the current state of the space history field. The museum's Space History Department and NASA's History Division invited colleagues whose research and writing extend understanding of Apollo and related areas to discuss current topics, suggest new lenses for analysis and interpretation, and consider new paths for future scholarship. 

"We see the Apollo 50th anniversary as an opportunity to introduce a whole new generation to what happened during our lifetimes," said Valerie Neal, space history department chair at the National Air and Space Museum. "The majority of our visitors now were born after 1969. They know the story secondhand, but they don't have that visceral experience of it."

Caldwell, professor of industrial engineering, director of the Indiana Space Grant Consortium, and a member of the Apollo 11+50 Mission Team, was invited to participate.

"I was glad to be part of a discussion that combined people who have been so involved with the history of NASA and the Smithsonian’s perspectives on our aerospace legacy," said Caldwell. "I was very pleased to hear that archivists from the Air & Space Museum wanted to visit Purdue, because they were impressed and curious about the Apollo artifacts that we have that they do not. It was a great reminder of Purdue’s unique contributions to spaceflight, and how my dreams of working with NASA back in December 1968 have come full circle."

In a separate Apollo 11 50th Anniversary event, Caldwell will join the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) by video in February 2019 to comment on the relationship between art & science at a world premiere of “From the Earth to the Moon & Beyond” by James Beckel. 

“I have the experience of being inspired beyond words by space exploration and engineering,” said Caldwell. “All of these weave together in a tapestry of beauty.” 

See more Apollo 11 50th Anniversary events and information at the National Air & Space Museum. See here for more about the ISO concert: https://lnkd.in/eg8p299.

Writer: DeEtte Starr, starrd@purdue.edu