Weeklong Rice NASAversary begins Sept. 9

Rice is gearing up for a weeklong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Johnson Space Center and the university’s first half-century of formal NASA collaboration.

While Rice’s research collaborations with NASA began in 1959, just a year after the agency’s founding, NASA’s relationship with Houston — and a much broader, more formal relationship with Rice — began Sept. 14, 1961, when NASA chose a site in Houston, deeded to the U.S. government by Rice, as the location for NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center.

The Rice NASAversary week will begin Sept. 9 with a daylong workshop called “Space City 2020” at the BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC). The meeting will bring together government, business and academic leaders to plan for the future of Houston’s continued leadership in space exploration. Houston Mayor Annise Parker ’78 will participate along with Richard Wainerdi, president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center; Jeff Moseley, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership; George Abbey, the Baker Botts Senior Fellow at the Baker Institute for Public Policy; Neal Lane, the Malcolm Gillis University Professor and senior fellow in science and technology at the Baker Institute; Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship; and Eugene Levy, Rice’s Andrew Hays Buchanan Professor of Astrophysics. The admission fee is $210 and includes breakfast, lunch, parking, conference materials and an evening banquet featuring a keynote speech by astrophysicist and former NASA chief scientist France Córdova, president of Purdue University. Click here to register.

On Sept. 10, Rice will celebrate NASA Day at Rice Stadium when the Owls football team takes on the Purdue Boilermakers at 2:30 p.m. Free NASA exhibits and other pregame activities will take place in “Tailgate Owley” on the east side of Rice Stadium beginning at 12:30 p.m. For game tickets, visit RiceOwls.com.

Sept. 12 marks the 49th anniversary of JFK’s speech at Rice Stadium about the U.S.’s plan to land astronauts on the moon before the end of the 1960s. To mark the occasion, Rice’s Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies will present an evening course on the history of Johnson Space Center titled Houston, We Have a Space Program. The course will include evening classes Sept. 12 at the BRC and Sept. 16 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science; both programs will begin at 6:30 p.m. The classes will feature several current and former astronauts and JSC officials as well as panel discussions led by Pat Reiff, director of the Rice Space Institute, and video presentations on the history of the U.S. space program.

On Sept. 14, Norman Augustine, who was tapped by the White House to lead comprehensive reviews of the U.S. space program in both 1990 and 2009, will speak at 7 p.m. in Duncan Hall’s McMurtry Auditorium as part of Rice’s Space Frontiers Lecture Series. In his speech, titled “The Greatest Obstacle to Human Space Travel,” Augustine will explore several alternative futures for the U.S. space program. The speech is free, but seating is limited. Augustine, now at Princeton University, is a former CEO of Lockheed Martin, a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Science, former chair of the Defense Science Board and a former member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. For more information, click here.



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