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Robert D. Allen
(757) 864-6176

For Release: July 7, 1999

RELEASE NO. 99-059

Former NASA official explores Apollo decision

Portrait of Dr. SeamansWhat prompted President Kennedy to challenge the United States to put a man on the moon? How was the Apollo program accomplished? What can we learn from it?

Dr. Robert C. Seamans, Jr., a high-ranking NASA official during the peak of NASA's Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, will answer these questions on Tuesday, July 13, at 2:00 p.m. Seamans will present a Langley colloquium entitled "Space Exploration Progress and Future Opportunities" at the H.J.E. Reid Conference Center.

Members of the news media are invited to attend. To reserve a place in the audience, please contact Bob Allen at (757) 864-6176.

In January 1953, Seamans stood before the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Club of Southern California. He discussed development projects underway at MIT, where he worked, as well as future satellite opportunities in space exploration. At the time, he predicted that satellites would precede human space flight and that a human might orbit the Earth in ten years.

Apollo 11 30th Anniversary LogoHe was correct. However, he did not have the temerity to suggest a lunar landing in 16 years.

Seamans joined NASA in 1960. He served as a NASA Associate Administrator from Sept. 1960 to Dec. 1965 and as an Associate and Deputy Administrator until 1968. Previously, Seamans worked for MIT from 1941 to 1955 and the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) from 1955 to 1960. After his tenure at NASA, he served as Secretary of the Air Force from 1969 until 1973.

Seamans will present a similar Sigma Series lecture at 7:30 p.m. that evening at the Virginia Air & Space Center (VASC), in downtown Hampton. The lecture Sigma Series lecture is open to the public.

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