A father and daughter remember Apollo 11, growing up with NASA

George Abbey, senior fellow in space policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the former director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC), and his daughter Joyce Abbey, a longtime NASA contractor conducting case studies for the JSC and an advocate for K-12 aerospace education, sat down with KPRC-TV reporter Rose-Ann Aragon for an interview on the perspectives of space families during the Apollo era and the decades that followed. The interview will air during a special marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20. KPRC, an NBC affiliate, organized pool television coverage of the first lunar landing mission.

Abbey recently published a paper that traces America’s race to the moon and describes what it took to be the first there. “50th Anniversary of Apollo 11: America’s Race to the Moon” details the dramatic events and ingenious ideas set into motion in the U.S. by the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik and subsequent launch of Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space. In the paper, Abbey also laments the current state of U.S. space policy.

Abbey’s rise from Air Force pilot to NASA power broker and his almost 40-year career at the agency is the focus of a new biography, “The Astronaut Maker: How One Mysterious Engineer Ran Human Spaceflight for a Generation.”

(Photos by Jeff Fitlow)

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.