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Chapter Event - Texas

Spring 2012 Dinner Meeting
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Drinks - 6:00 p.m.
Dinner - 7:00 p.m.

50th Anniversary of the NASA Mercury 7 'AURORA 7'

Featuring Malcolm Scott Carpenter, Commander (USN Ret.)

The Spring meeting of the Texas Chapter of The Explorers Club will be on Saturday June 23, 2012 at the Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake, near the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Houston, Texas.

Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake
3000 NASA Parkway, Houston, Texas
Phone: 281-333-9300

The Texas Chapter of The Explorers Club has secured a block of rooms for our weekend event at the Hilton, at a special rate of $109.00 per night.

Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake
3000 NASA Parkway, Houston, Texas
Phone: 281-333-9300

The cost of the dinner is $100.00 per person. The attire for the evening is black tie optional (Military Uniform, Unique Attire or Native Fashion encouraged). There will be an open bar prior to dinner with libations available for all from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

The Texas Chapter of The Explorers Club is proud to host an event honoring Commander Scott Carpenter, USN (Ret) and the 50th anniversary of his historic flight of MA-7.

We will look back at the events which took place at the dawn of American Manned Space Flight, highlighting the second US orbital flight of Mercury MA-7, more famously known as Aurora 7. Carpenter's MA-7 flight launched from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, with Scott snuggly seated in his custom contoured couch of spacecraft #18 atop Atlas booster 107-D on 24 May, 1962 at 07:45:16 EST. Aurora 7 completed three orbits during the 4:55:57 duration flight. The primary focus of the flight was science. Experiments included the first study of liquids in weightlessness and Earth photography. Carpenters flight plan workload was in fact the most aggressive until well into the Gemini Program. Scott went on to become an aquanaut on SEALAB II (1965), and SEALAB III (1969) and is credited with being the first person to explore both of humanities great remaining frontiers, the ocean and space "The New Ocean".

The event will be held in Houston, adjacent to NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC), home of US Astronauts and Mission Control. The program will not only look back through the experiences of Commander Carpenter, it will look forward to the future of human space flight, with an emphasis on the procedures and technologies emerging to enable further exploration of space.

We will tour the facilities and labs of JSC, and celebrate the amazing life of Scott Carpenter and his historic achievements in space and ocean exploration. The hope is to inspire the attendees, celebrate the Mercury program, and indeed all of NASA's 50 year effort in human space flight, and stimulate the broader community by demonstrating a positive means to develop and maintain the will to continue our efforts in keeping our US human space flight program viable and active now and into the future.

NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC)is not merely the home of Mission Control, but also one of the key facilities furthering human exploration of space. As part of the event, on Saturday a tour is being arranged (12:00 pm to 3:00 pm) through the JSC and crew training facilities. The tour will include, at a minimum, the Mission Control complex, and the Sonney Carter Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), the training facility for Extravehicular Activity (EVA) where astronauts are able to simulate zero-g conditions encountered in space flight. Also of special interest is the new BOEING CST-100 Crew Module Mockup. This is the NASA Commercial Crew capsule currently being developed for USA access to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and for delivery of astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Very, Very Cool!!

In attendance will be members of the National and Texas Chapter of The Explorers Club, members of the Houston chapter of the AIAA, and 7 lucky Eagle Scouts from the Houston area. We also offer standing invitations to all US astronauts, past and present, so that they may take part in our celebration of 50 years of human space flight, and Scott Carpenter's Aurora 7 space flight of May 1962.

The executive committee of The Texas Chapter of The Explorers Club is proud to present the following panel for the banquet, representing some of the most outstanding astronauts, explorers, and scientists in America and the World.

As Co-Master of Ceremonies will be Dr. John 'Jack' B. Bacon, Ph.D. Jack has been a "Real Rocket Scientist" with NASA for 22 years. He is the Chief Systems Integration Engineer for the ISS, and NASA liaison to the Russian space program and the ISS. Jack is also on the founding board of directors of the Science National Honor Society, a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and a Fellow of The Explorers Club, FN'00.

In addition, we have Brigadier General Charles 'Charlie' M. Duke, Jr., USAF (Ret), Lunar Module Pilot "Orion" of Apollo 16. General Duke was launched from Cape Kennedy on 16 April, 1972 onboard Command Module "Casper" destined to be the 10th man to walk on the moon. Charlie would land with Commander John Young in the Descartes Highlands aboard LM "Orion" and make three EVA's totaling more than 20 hours, including the second use of the Lunar Rover Vehicle (LRV) which took the moon explorers 16.6 miles around the lunar surface. Apollo 16 returned to Earth, splashing down in the South Pacific 27 April, 1972, mission accomplished.

Further, we have Captain Christopher J. Ferguson, USN (Ret), Commander of STS-135 'Atlantis', the last space flight of the Shuttle Program. Ferguson launched with his crew of three other astronauts including Sandy Magnus, Mission Specialist, on 8 July, 2011, and returned to Kennedy Space center on 21 July, 2011. The landing ended the US Shuttle Orbiter Program. Chris also had flights aboard STS-115 'Atlantis' as Pilot, and STS-126 'Endeavour' as Commander. Ferguson currently works at BOEING as Director of Crew and Mission Operations for the CST-100 Commercial Crew Transportation System.

The ultimate goal of this event is to celebrate the achievements of the first American space program, Mercury, the astronauts, both past and present, and the results of our nations efforts to continue to put humans in space and keep them there for scientific research and the advancement of technologies in support of permanent human space habitation. In addition, we want to acknowledge the ability of our nation to achieve such great feats when we direct our will towards such a worthy task. Further more, we hope to inspire all humanity towards a productive and peaceful future.

The presence of these American Space Heroes will inspire the attendees, celebrate the accomplishments of the Mercury program, and all of NASA's efforts over the last 50 years. Our hope is to stimulate the broader community by demonstrating a positive means to maintain the political will to continue American human space flight and keep it viable and active now and into the future--To Infinity and beyond, Ad Astra!!

As is evident by the statements above, the executives and Board of Director's, of The Texas Chapter of The Explorers Club have received several requests asking how donors may contribute to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF), a fund established by Scott Carpenter and the original seven Mercury astronauts nearly 50 years ago. So we will have a very special ASF Cocktail Party, which will be held at the amazing Memorabilia Hall of the Space Center Houston (SCH) from 7:30 to 9:00 PM on Friday, June 22, 2012, and will be invitation only. Scott Carpenter will be there in person to shake your hand.

Here's how you can secure your invitation. JSC has limited us to 100 guests maximum, so be sure to secure your invitation early. We can accept any contributions of $10 or more, but for a donation of $100 you will receive one invitation to the ASF Cocktail Party. For a donation of $200 two invitations; and for a donation of $250 or more, you will receive four ASF invitations. We greatly appreciate contributions of any amount for this worthy cause. Please make a separate check out to the "Texas Chapter/The Explorers Club" and write ASF in the memo space. Please note that both The Explorers Club and the ASF are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, so your contribution is tax deductible.


We look forward to seeing you at the 50th Anniversary celebration of Scott Carpenter's Flight of Aurora 7, JSC, Houston,Texas, on June 23, 2012.

Texas Chapter of
The Explorers Club, to:
John Holder, Program Chairman
11502 Pradera Dr.
Austin, TX 78759-4524
Holder contact information: Telephone: 512/331-1011
Cell (for June 22-23-24): 512/699-9642
e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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