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Video by Danny Garfield and Ethan Ebinger.


Astronaut David Scott received two standing ovations during a lecture he delivered Friday about his role in the Apollo 15 mission and scientific research on the moon.

More than 100 students, parents and faculty members congregated in MacMillan 117 to hear Scott, the recipient of both a Brown honorary degree and two NASA Distinguished Service Medals. After being introduced by Professor of Geological Sciences Jim Head as "a true American hero," Scott delivered his presentation,"The Voyage of Apollo 15 to the Hadley-Apennine Region of the Moon."

Scott described the journey of Apollo 15, the first lunar mission with a primary focus on scientific research. From Apollo 15's three-day mission in 1971 on the moon, NASA acquired 170 pounds of lunar rock and soil and 1,000 photographs of the moon's surface. But with a limited amount of vital supplies, time was a pressing constraint, Scott said.

"There is so much to explore on the moon. You always wish there was more time to collect more samples and look at everything," Scott said.

Scott shared anecdotes of the "tense space race" when the space program was in its early stages and presented the audience with pictures and scientific findings of the mountainous region explored. Citing former President John F. Kennedy's challenge to the American people to "beat the Russians," Scott praised Kennedy's ability to convince Congress to support space exploration.

"Personally, I think the public is into space, but it's their representatives that have no interest in presenting this interest to administration," Scott said. "Representatives need to connect and realize what space exploration means to people."

Scott also described the experience of being in space and toward the end of his lecture, he invited the audience to examine rock samples from the Apollo 15 lunar mission. "It takes 12 minutes to get out of orbit, and at 10,000 feet the Earth becomes a globe. You take so many pictures, and each picture is always the same," Scott said, adding that "it's a reminder that we need to take care of this Earth."

Mariana Castro '16 called the lecture inspirational. "It's amazing to see how well-trained these astronauts were, and it was so exciting to learn about a time when space exploration was at its prime," she said.

In addition to impressing those interested in space exploration, Scott also inspired students through the power of creativity.

"I really enjoyed this talk. Imagination is a big part of my work as a student. I'm also focusing on the moon as a part of my project as well, so this really helped me," said Hunter Blackwell, a junior at the Rhode Island School of Design.


Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Professor of Geological Sciences Jim Head accompanied decorated astronaut David Scott on a lunar mission. In fact, Head worked on the Apollo 15 mission from NASA headquarters in Washington. The Herald regrets the error.



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