Teasel Muir-Harmony, Curator of the Apollo program at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, once again joins host Sean Mobley in this conclusion to the two-episode series on the political history of the Apollo program. In this episode, she talks about the classic 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and its place in Apollo political history, how domestic and international perceptions of the Apollo program varied quite significantly, and what role museums have in helping people deconstruct their understandings of history when new research challenges long-held ideas previously accepted as fact. We highly recommend listening to the previous episode before this one.
Welcome to the
Flight Deck Podcast
Listen to all of the Museum’s best aviation and aerospace stories on the Flight Deck Podcast, a podcast that makes history personal. Episodes released every other Tuesday. We hope you enjoy it!!
Returning guest Teasel Muir-Harmony, Curator of the Apollo program at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, joins host Sean Mobley for a Q&A about her book Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo. In this first of a two-part series, Teasel sets the stage and talks about the wider global context within which the US space program operated. We discussed the American politicians who encouraged and shaped panic around Sputnik and the space race, the importance of symbolism in a lot of the images and actions the astronauts took both on the moon and here on Earth, and how racism was a national security risk which the space program was partially designed to counter.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements of man has been stepping foot on the Moon. In 1969, the famous Apollo 11 mission fulfilled this dream. Fast forward to 2013, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos commences an expedition to find the powerful Saturn V F-1 rocket engines that propelled Neil Armstrong into space for the imperative Moon landing. The expedition presented many challenges, for example: with the remains from eight other Apollo missions in the same area, how do you know what part corresponds to which mission?
Conspiracy theories are unavoidable when your Museum deals with topics in science, but this week’s guest, Tony Gondola, outreach coordinator for the New Mexico Museum of Space History, has some good advice on how to debunk these unsound ideas.
After the Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the Moon, they embarked on an equally fascinating journey: a global goodwill press tour in Air Force One. Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony explains the importance of the tour and how the astronauts’ lives changed post-Moon landing.
Buzz Aldrin, the second human to set foot on the Moon, recalls the Apollo 11 mission and how one felt tip pen helped the astronauts successfully return to Earth.