Julyt 11, 2019

Purdue adds panel featuring National Space Council members to Apollo 11 anniversary celebration

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Representatives from the National Space Council Users Advisory Group will participate in a public panel discussion on July 18 as part of Purdue University’s Apollo 11 50th anniversary celebration.

The panel, “Some of the Many Dimensions of Space: Exploration, Commercial and National Security,” was recently added in addition to the July 20 panels, “Past, Present, Future NASA Flight Director Panel” and “Industry’s Crucial Role in the Apollo 11 Mission.” Purdue will celebrate the moon landing and Purdue alumnus Neil Armstrong with a series of events July 18-20, including a presentation by Apollo 11’s flight director, showings of a new Armstrong documentary, children’s activities, and a meet and greet featuring space authors. A related news release is available online

This July 18 panel will take place at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. The event is free, but a ticket is required. Members of the panel include Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., a retired four-star admiral and former head of STRATCOM; Dr. David Wolf, a four-time shuttle astronaut and Purdue alumnus; Mary Lynne Dittmar, president and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration; and Mandy Vaughn, president at Vox Space. All panelists are selected members of the User Advisory Group to the National Space Council. The UAG is committed to advancing and renewing America’s space industry by advising and informing the National Space Council.

The celebration of the Apollo 11 moon landing is part of Purdue’s own 150th celebration, which is themed around Armstrong’s giant leap. The sesquicentennial anniversary will conclude with an astronaut reunion at Homecoming in October.

The National Space Council Users Advisory Group panelist bios

* Ellis, chairman of the UAG, completed his 39-year Navy career in 2004 as command and control of United States strategic and space forces. Ellis is a graduate of the Navy Test Pilot School and the Navy Fighter Weapons School, commonly known as TOPGUN, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2013.

* Dittmar serves as the president and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration. She previously served on the National Space Council Committee on Human Spaceflight, co-chaired by Purdue President Mitch Daniels, and is currently a member of the Space Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Dittmar also is a member of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Council for the Department of Transportation. Her previous experience includes managing flight operations for the International Space Station for the Boeing Co.

* Wolf, a 1978 Purdue graduate with an electrical engineering degree, is a 28-year NASA veteran and astronaut, spending 168 days in space and conducting seven spacewalks over four separate missions. Wolf is a medical doctor, electrical engineer, inventor with 17 U.S. patents and was named the NASA Inventor of the Year.

* Vaughn serves as the president of Vox Space and previously worked as senior director of business development and mission management at Vox Space’s parent company, Virgin Orbit. She also worked for General Dynamics Mission System’s Space and Intelligence Systems Directorate, and General Dynamics.

Additional panelist information is available online.

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Writer: Madison Sanneman, msannema@purdue.edu

Media Contact: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Stephanie McKinley, events specialists for College of Engineering, samckinl@purdue.edu

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