JFK’s space legacy, future moonshots in spotlight at Sept. 12 Rice Space Institute event

Rice University Office of Public Affairs
News and Media Relations


Amy McCaig

Mike Williams

JFK’s space legacy, future moonshots in spotlight at Sept. 12 Rice Space Institute event
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine ’98 will discuss NASA Artemis program

HOUSTON – (Sept. 10, 2019) – A bestselling historian will tell the riveting story of humanity’s first landing on the moon and NASA’s top administrator will preview the nation’s next lunar landing at a Sept. 12 event at Rice University.

Photo of the moon. Credit: 123rf.comThe legacy of the late President John F. Kennedy, the Apollo space program and future trips to the moon will be among the topics discussed at “JFK and the Race to the Moon,” a program to be held at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

The event is hosted by the Rice Space Institute in partnership with the Baker Institute, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and Houston Spaceport. It will kick off at 5 p.m. with a welcome reception and remarks from David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute and a professor of physics and astronomy at Rice; Jeff Isaacson from USRA and Steven Rothstein from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

The keynote speech and question-and-answer session with Douglas Brinkley, author of “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race” and the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Professor of Humanities at Rice, will follow. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine ’98 will later discuss NASA’s plans for a lunar return with the Artemis program.

Two panel discussions will follow Bridenstine’s talk. The first, “The Legacy of JFK and the Apollo program” will be moderated by Alexander. It will feature commentary by George Abbey, space policy fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute; Walter Kiefer, a senior staff scientist in the Lunar and Planetary Institute at USRA; Rothstein and Brinkley.

The second, “Future Moonshots,” will be moderated by Peter Rossky, dean of the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, and will include observations from Moshe Vardi, University Professor and the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering at Rice; José Onuchic, the Harry C. & Olga K. Wiess Professor of Physics at Rice; Qilin Li, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice; and Doug Natelson, professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rice.

A reception and book signing with Brinkley will follow the event, which is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending the event may RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-legacy-of-jfk-and-the-apollo-program-tickets-70500973309.

Members of the media interested in attending the event may contact Mike Williams, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6728 or mikewilliams@rice.edu.


This news release can be found online at news.rice.edu.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:

Rice Space Institute: https://rsi.rice.edu/

Douglas Brinkley bio: https://history.rice.edu/faculty/douglas-brinkley

Jim Bridenstine bio: https://www.nasa.gov/about/highlights/bridenstine-biography.html

Photo link: https://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2019/04/100668253_l-18a9uh8.jpg

Photo credit: 123rf.com

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 4 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.