tv Apollos Political Foreign Policy Impact CSPAN August 22, 2019 8:01pm-9:30pm EDT
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and satellite provider. 50 years after the moon landing, apollo 11 astronaut, michael collins, reflected on the apollo programs impact at the time as well as on today's politics, diplomacy, foreign- policy and space initiative. welcome. it is truly a thrill to see space diplomacy a topic near and dear to me. thank you so much for joining us this evening. i am a historian of science and technology and a curator at the smithsonian air and space museum for the apollo space collection. 50 years ago this week, the apollo 11 crew fulfilled kennedy's call to land humans on the moon within a decade and return them safely back to earth. i hope you've been celebrating all week. a greater percentage
of earth's population followed their flight than any previous event in human history. after the flight, the astronauts toured over 20 countries on every continent, nixon proclaimed them the best possible ambassadors americans can have on earth. today, we look back and ask her what was the political and foreign relations significance of the apollo program and what is this enduring legacy, we look forward, questioning how space diplomacy should inform foreign relations today. i will shortly give historical context on the role of u.s. apollo in foreign relations and this will be followed by a conversation with me and michael collins. then, we have a larger panel discussion that looks at apollo and also how it can inform the future of space diplomacy. first, i would like to say thank you for coming and to
recognize special guests today, the collins family and friends, thank you for joining us. and, i would now like to introduce you to george washington university president, thomas leblanc. [ applause ] >> good evening everyone, and thank you for your introduction and ongoing commitment to space history. i'm pleased to welcome you all to the auditorium and to join you for this event, celebrating their 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 moon landing. i would especially like to thank our cosponsors, the smithsonian's national air and space museum and the u.s. space department and this england evening's distinguished panel ascot agent general colin, dr. stowe fan and -- it's an honor to hear from you this evening.
i would also like to recognize the professor of political science and international affairs at our elliott school of international affairs and founder of the space policy institute. founded in 1987, the institutes research and integration into a robust academic program is one of our universities most significant contribution to the space field. a world leader in research, graduate study and informed discussion related to issues of science, technology and public policy. the institute has developed generations of students, scholars and professionals engaged in space related work in government, industry and academia. it's interdisciplinary students and faculty bring deep experience in space policy, law, economics and history. they are internationally known and respected for their expertise and law and economics
and routinely consult with industry and international organizations and of course our own government. we value these partnerships and the contributions remake together understanding history, providing research and expertise on current developments and continuing to prepare future leaders that could help advance our efforts in space well into the future. please enjoy this evening's discussion. thank you. >> next, the undersecretary for economic growth and environment from the u.s. date department will say a few words. thank you [ applause ] >> it's a great honor and
privilege for us to be here representing not only the united states the men of peace and all nations with the interest of curiosity and vision for the future. these were the few words that the late neil armstrong told the president of the united states as he walked on the moon 50 years ago. so, as we celebrate this golden anniversary of apollo 11, i humbly stand here today in the same building and you will soon see that with michael collins, one of the men of apollo 11. and, he is an inspiration to us all as a matter of fact, he was an assistant secretary at the state department and it's great to know we have that never- ending bond that never-ending
connection that you see with the dedicated team and the great diplomatic corps at the state department. i also have something in common with neil armstrong. we were both ohio boys and we went to purdue to study engineering. and i went on to plan tv but i can tell you that space is personal for me and ever since i was that little 12-year-old boy, sitting in the living room with my mom and my dad and if you sisters and watch as neil armstrong, one's stall small step for man one giant leap for mankind. i developed a love affair with space and i had three really great points of personal connection.
first guy was my roommate at purdue, one of the roommate and he ended up going in the shuttle his name was gray hardball and i'll never forget you coming in late at night, maybe i was at a party and was sitting down drawing board and we just switch from sly rulers to cultivators and i said where used heading so hard and he said i want to be an astronaut and i said you can't because the astronauts are military . >> he said if you dream hard enough and you work hard enough you can make it come true and i saw him through for decades witnesses dedication, discipline, drive, intellect and high-end ideals to me, he is symbolic of the men and the women answer the call and other best of the best and i
remember, after he got done from a shuttle mission, i said what was it like in base and he said i never wanted to come down and he loved it. he also any astronaut who says they don't throw up in outer space right when they get there is a liar. [ laughter ] so, my third point of connection is i had the honor of being the chairman of the board of trustees at purdue and i hosted neil armstrong several times and you get to be able to ask them questions and those kinds of things. and, such a great hero for all of us and what he used to say, if you said hey you are a hero he would shun that away and he would go, i am and forever will
be, the white sox pocket protector a nerdy engineer and i remember sitting at a dinner with him and the highest award at purdue is the neil armstrong award and we were honoring silly sullenberger with it and they've only handed the award out a handful of time so he gets up on stage and looks down and says solely -- sully that we have two awards in common, and he said the people who land in strange places, that's just a little bit of them but i think my greatest point of personal connection and pride is that my oldest son is a rocket scientist. he is a
spacecraft design engineer for nasa and has designed a robot arm for march 2020 and i'll never forget going down to jpl the first time i had to go see him and he is giddy, he's so excited. these are the smartest people in the world the greatest engineers in the world. how many levels is it up to professional track and he said 17 and i said what lever -- what level are you and he said one, is in that great, nowhere to go but up. and i said great, i'm proud of you. if you have a sense i have a little space envy you guessed right and that's my five years ago i bought a ticket on virginal galactic to go in outer space. i don't know if the guys are gonna let the undersecretary partake in space tourism but, someday i am going to do it and i can't wait.
i am also proud to say that space is such a priority for our president and he's reinvigorated with vice president pence who is chairman of the national space council and we have empowered private partners, unleashed america's space industry like never before and it is now the policy of the united states of america to go back to the moon within five years and, from there to mars and beyond just two weeks ago at the state department along with commerce, we hosted the first space enterprise summit
and we are hosting here in washington are not tober, this year's international astronautical congress which is the premier meeting of government, industry and academic leaders and then also to support these objectives, secretary pompeo appointed charles bolden as our u.s. science envoy for space and you will see him a little later on. and charlie spent the last year traveling around the globe and i asked, what does he think about that and he says flying commercial is overrated, but anyway, i really thank you for refuse to. and, finally, i
would like to think our host the panelists you are about to see in the astronauts and anyone involved in the space industry and, many times there is a call to the country and it is now. so, when we look at the next 50 years, we will get to the moon again and we will stay we will go to mars and beyond. many small steps we will make and many more giant leaps we will take and as fellow human beings whose hopes are bound, not by gravity but only by our resolve, may god bless the legacy and the memory of the
apollo 11 astronauts and may god continue to bless the united states of america i thank you all. clap clap clap clap >> now i will share the role space exploration plays within project apollo. i'm thrilled to talk to about this today. this is a topic i have studied for many years and i feel like today my research is made fresh and i'm thrilled to share with you to give you more context. so, i will take you back to the spring of 1961 when kennedy became president of the future of space flight was uncertain
and if anything the moon took look too costly and ambitious and not the right hole for the united states space program but it would be a difficult thing for the new president with a host of foreign relation challenges. two of them are particular to our conversation today. april 12 the soviet union launched the first human into space and, the first artificial satellite that the soviet union launched in 1957, sputnik shock to the world public a more serious threat to the united states at that moment. then a few days later the news broke that fidel castro defeated the u.s. invasion of the bay of pigs. kennedy's trusted advisor called it the worst disaster of a disaster filled period. to give you a sense of what that was like, he then observed in evolution in kennedy's thinking after the invasion but, the bay
of pigs taught kennedy that military ventures were not necessarily going to succeed. instead, world problems required another approach. it was a one-two punch boosting soviet proceeds in quick succession with the bay of pigs invasion that reinforce the notion that there was a significant and necessary role to play in u.s. grand strategy at that moment. that same day, president kennedy asked the vice president, lyndon johnson that he wanted an accelerated review of the u.s. space program, filed shortly by a request to find a space program that promises dramatic results in which we could win. that program would be project apollo. a few weeks later in response, johnson responded to kennedy with these words, and i will read his words because i think they are very revealing. he said, other nations, regardless of the application and idealistic values will tend to align themselves with the country with which they believe will be the world leader.
dramatic accomplishments in space are being increasingly identified as a major indicator of world leadership. this is a simple formula and it makes the stakes very evident. these were not simply a sparring match above the earth's atmosphere, they signal leadership at a moment when the political landscape of the earth was shifting to new countries were being born in power would be one through political alignment not armed conflict. kennedy proposed project apollo to a joint session of congress in may 1961 and i will let him describe the need for this program in his own words . >> finally if we are to win the battle that's now going on around the world between freedom and journey, the dramatic achievements that occurred in recent weeks should've made clear to us all, as did the impact of this invention on the mind of men everywhere who are attempting
to make a determination of which road they should take . >> kennedy's argument for apollo becomes pretty clear when you read the words or you hear him speak it and the impact of the spaceflight on the minds of people around the world and the role within larger geopolitical alignments should motivate the country to invest in space exploration at this time . >> project apollo is extremely bold as an undertaking, the united states had a total of 15 minutes of human spaceflight experience at that point that required the development of brand-new technology and techniques, managerial practices and all sorts of things. it was sending humans 240,000 miles to the moon and would cost, at one point over 4% of the federal budget, it was a remarkable investment. it also initiated a very elaborate
public diplomacy campaign around the world, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, focused on spaceflight. here are examples you can see. so as engineers built new hardware and astronauts train staff created an extensive range of exhibits and radio broadcasts films pamphlets books and the list goes on and on. and then we come up to 50 years ago this week and, actually on saturday, the evening of july 20, 1969, you are buzz aldrin landed on the moon gathering at a hotel for elaborate gala. live news coverage played on a dozen set set up to the banquet hall. patrons dined on a space themed menu and danced the special
dance named after the lunar module. people also down in the streets of santiago in vienna to listen to radio coverage of the mission as they watched space films projected on large outdoor screens. hundreds of thousands more met in montrial and countless cities and towns throughout the world to witness the lunar landing with others. the venezuelan president had a u.s. diplomat screen space film and designated the day after the landing a national holiday. as did many leaders around the world. on the other side of the world both geographically and politically, romania's communist leader deviated from his prepared speech to praise the first lunar landing. he was interrupted periodically by applause from the audience. as neil armstrong and buzz aldrin took steps on the moon, power companies throughout the world log the record-breaking energy consumption brought on by the number of televisions and radios tuned to the broadcaster.
as i mentioned, more people follow the moon landing then any previous event in history, over half the world population listen to the radio coverage, the television broadcast or read about it in the newspaper following the flight. the nations such as japan upward of 90% of the population watch coverage of the mission that truly captured the attention of the world at that moment. >> here are a few examples of people following the flight. so, when the apollo 11 cruise splashdown in the pacific ocean, nixon was there to meet them and from the aircraft carrier he then departed on his moonglow tour giving him the opportunity to meet with leaders throughout southeast asia as well as the romanian president to discuss u.s. foreign policy and also gave the opportunity to start improving relations with china
and north vietnam. then, when he was done with the tour, he asked the crew to travel the world as his ambassadors. i have a clip that will show you what the tour was like. first, sorry, i will give you a sense of the schedule because i really appreciate the kind of energy it must have taken to go on this grueling schedule. for 20 countries in just over a month. they went to every continent . >> the returning astronauts are treated as heroes for their goodwill tour takes them to 24 countries in 45 days. through it all, astronauts stretch but the achievement doesn't just belong to three men on a rocket. >> that is a clip from the smithsonian series moonshot. so when they returned from the
trip, nixon asked them to report on their ex variances and he thanked them and said his meeting was worth everything that which was perhaps an overstatement but it does give a sense of how the program was being evaluated and his important role within u.s. foreign relations at the time. shortly i will start a conversation with michael collins but before that i'd like to welcome the assistant secretary of state for global public affairs, shall. [ applause ] >> hello and good evening. i'm pleased to be with all of you here today. i have the distinct honor of officially welcoming major general michael collins to the george washington university. 50 years ago our nations and
people turned in to watch the first images of apollo 11 reaching the moon. michael collins was on that mission representing the best of the united states and of humanity. as much of foreign relations achievement as a technological marvel, apollo 11 was a historic soft power victory for the united states. the white house, the state department and nasa, they all worked closely light apollo 11 as the american-led global effort that united the world. they covered in 36 languages for an audience of roughly 150 million and another 650 million watched the lunar landing on television, the first live global broadcast in history. clearly, the space diplomacy mission have been successful.
when he she returned from the moon, major general collins and his crew embarked on a worldwide tour visiting more than 20 countries in 37 days as true ambassadors of goodwill. they built bridges with international partners that really do continue to this day. after the service with nasa, nixon appointed major general collins, assistant secretary of state for public affairs at the state department, to continue his outreach to the world, to strengthen our nation and relationships with local partners. that is left every assistant secretary who followed him, myself included, with big boots to fill. i am pleased to say i now hold the same position that major general collins held at the state department and i'm so honored and so humble to follow in his footsteps, albeit here on earth and not the moon. [ laughter ] >> there was no better spokesperson for our country than major general collins who really represented the best of what we strove for today, then and still do today, sorry.
leadership, innovation. international cooperation, technological and human advancement. each time i visit the state department on the second floor, we have a hallway with photographs of all of the previous spokespeople and assistant secretaries and whenever i see major general collins photo up there i stand a little bit taller. being able to meet him and shake his hand today has been one of the great opportunities of my life and my son will be very jealous. >> so, on behalf of secretary pompeo and the state department community, i say thank you to major general collins. were enormously proud of the legacy of left at the department of state on earth and on the moon. we thank you for your service to our country and our world. it is now my deep honor to welcome major general collins to the stage. thank you.
[ applause ] [ cheering and applause ] >> thank you. >> thank you . >> thank you, i am so thrilled to be able to speak with you about this and also your role in u.s. foreign relations more generally. to start things off i love to hear whether or not when you became an astronaut that if you had an impression of international significance of the program and if you were aware of your role as an ambassador or diplomat for the united states? >> i was in an astronaut until late in life. i started out in rome, i was born in rome and i thought it
was a military attachi at the embassy. my mother was not employed but she had a mantra and it was diplomacy as the first line of defense and i don't hear that much anymore but the more i cogitate on it the truer and more important it is so it's an honor for me to be here at the state department to see old friends and many new friends doing this important work now, on to your question i'm sorry you wanted to know what i thought 50 years ago [ laughter ] and the answer is i've forgotten but, help me out a little bit . >> well, did you expect that you would be an ambassador and you would have a role in supporting american diplomacy as part of your role as an astronaut? >> when i was in active duty astronauts i was more worried about what would happen in the
next two days sometimes the next 15 minutes but mostly i pushed my horizon way out, perhaps for today's but they didn't have a concept of the entire procedure, the national effort, i was very busy with the day-to-day tasks trying to get down the production line, past all the hurdles, to have it come through flawlessly and those details. i really wasn't too cognizant of the world going on around me. later on as you pointed out, after the flight, they were privileged to make this around the world trip to 29 cities i
think we've got the number a little off but there were one or two that i wanted to forget. i didn't say that. [ laughter ] but it was an amazing trip and whatever we when i thought people would say, you americans finally did it good but instead people said we did it, we humans, humanity finally left the stinky planet and set foot elsewhere and i had the feeling it was genuine and you can see in upwelling and the more they thought about it the more they got into it, neil armstrong was our spokesperson and he was amazingly good at the job. he was a taciturn man who didn't want to be in the spotlight but if you put them in the spotlight, when it got on him he knew where he was and what he was doing and exactly
what to say. he had done his homework, well, to back up a tad, he was not just an astronaut, he had a breadth of knowledge and a whole panel of interest or way off from one corner to the other he was an amateur historian, primarily the history of science, but not entirely. when he got to a particular capital he had done his homework about that place and he knew some of the local rob williams had a feeling for local ambience and he would make a very short, impassioned but sure an effective speech for five or 10 minutes and those people felt they were ready to jump on board with us and going to space. he was remarkable that way and that was when i first became
aware that in a small way of some of the ramifications of this thing that we call the apollo 11 . >> once he told me a story about a toast that neil armstrong gave mentioning tesla in belgrade . >> you once told me a story . >> yes . >> i was wondering if you could share that with the audience . >> oh. of course, the man marshall kido ran yugoslavia with if not an iron hand, close to it. he hosted a formal dinner for us when i and his wife was, in her own way, and as the smalltalk got smaller and smaller, things kind of slowed down madame was totally frozen.
she had picked out a >> and she was looking at it with all the intensity i'm not quite sure what but of one of the monoliths in the south sea islands and she was doing a good duplication but things were not well at this formal dinner and, about that time i saw neil get up out of his chair and he went over, bent over and started chatting with her just about the distance from here to there and then all of the sudden with the big smile and that change the entire complexion that we were all big buddies and next day i cornered neil, what
the heck were you doing talking to her about it, i heard you were talking about electricity and the invention of the bulb and then he came right back and said, yes, well, her ancestor was one of the first tesla. and the reason i erased tesla from my memory is tesla is too much today. [ laughter ] so anyway but she is related to him but that is nothing it had been in our briefing and something neil had produced on his own. it was very well received and that was the way it was, all the way around we got a briefing that
said you must never turn your back on the queen of the prints, don't worry about it the very practice in this sort of arena and it won't make any awkward moments but we had to ascend the staircase and three steps in the they went the queen and there went the prints and loop, do not turn your back on somebody. but hey, i got over on the
princess side and god i really like him, i really admired him. with all the pomp and circumstance of england, great britain, london, the whole caboodle other, there he stood with great dignity and afraid collar. now that's my kind of person. i like him . >> it was perfect . >> so, i read that in your conversation with queen elizabeth, you mentioned to her that you wish that you could bring readers around the world into space to see the earth from that perspective to see that there aren't political boundaries and also get the sense that the earth should be protected. i was wondering if you have a sense of why was it so difficult for people to get that optic, to see the earth from space without actually going there. what needs to be
communicated about that experience and from that perspective? >> i think the thing that's impressive about flying from here to the moon, is the close- up look you get of the moon and the faraway view you get of the earth from the earth, the moon thing, on our way to the moon we had heat problems because of the constant sunlight upon us. we had to rotate our spacecraft to keep the heat evenly distributed and as a consequence, we didn't get to see the moon until we were practically at our trip to it and when we rolled out and look at it it was an awesome sphere and it almost look like look
like they were trying to climb in the cockpit with us. the sun was behind us so it was illuminated with the rim of gold which had the strangest of appearances of craters and greater pits, contrast between lighter than light and darker than dark so, as magnificent as that was and as impressive and is much as i remember that, that was nothing. nothing compared to this other window. and this little p the size of a thumbnail at arms length, shiny , blue ocean and the water with the streak we call continents. it was a beautiful, or just tiny thing nestled into this
black velvet of the rest of the universe and that to me was the whole show and what i will remember. i think the in terms of what other people may see, think or remember, there are different ways of looking at it but i remember one day i said to mission control, hey, houston, i've got the world in my window , i'd like to show him which way i was rented but at the same time i was mesmerized, i have the world in this great big window and i don't know why, i knew it was made of rock , third rock out, but beyond that it projected feeling of fragility, why, i don't know, i didn't know then and i don't know now but on the trip back i got thinking about that and, lo
and behold it's a very accurate word if you're limited to one word about what is the earth like the earth's fragile and i saw that, somehow the fragility got its way to the forefront and i remembered it more than some of the other beautiful aspects of it and, at you think about our planet here, the planet earth, fragility is paramount in many ways. it's a very important idea, that we are on a fragile surface doing things to the fragile surface. i was alone in my window but that was not an exclusive point of view, you all can have the world in your window if you want. look at what you see when you
think of the world and you think about putting your vision out through the pain of a spacecraft class. but, the point is that you see this little thing, you see it in its entirety and you understand, walking on a daily, is it fragile? oh, lordy lordy yes, some of those manifestations of fragility, could they be corrected ? yes they can if we put our mind to it. so, this is an important concept to me and i hope it can become one for you as well. thank you. [ applause ] >> so, you trained with neil armstrong and buzz aldrin for a number of years and you travel to the moon with them. was
there anything that you learned about your crewmates on the diplomatic tour that sort of surprised you or seemed new or did you already know them so well? >> on our around the world trip, buzz was good, he was okay, i was all right, neil was really good as i say, neil is very intelligent and he had the ability to see a situation, to understand, not the american point of view but the guatemalan point of view let's say for example. he had done his homework and he was the spokesperson and he will make a short speech and just have the local saying as we found everywhere, we did it, we humans finally left the planet . >> what is the significance of that sense of we or the sense around the world that humankind
did, in terms of u.s. foreign relations or the relationship between the united states and the world? >> i think the united states has to be a power in the world but a very friendly power, and not an overbearing power, not a power that tries to be dominant. i thought [ applause ] oh, the state department talking. [ laughter ] so, where was i power in the various aspects of that, i think that when i saw the united states they are the american flag plan on the moon
by neil and buzz, i was thrilled and very proud to be a citizen of the united states of america i continue to be very proud to be a citizen of the usa. on the other hand, the trip around the world kind of open my vista a little bit. yes, i wouldn't sweat the u.s. for any other place but i think when we are in the business of foreign-policy to the technology that goes into the foreign policy, the use of the technology, how it manifests itself and how it treats other countries but i think it's important that we try not to be, i don't mind being the leader but not the dominant leader and i think we ought to bend over backwards to have a unified worldwide approach to the things we are trying to do in space that may slow us down a
little bit in some cases back, i'm not sure speed is the paramount goal. i think getting the job done and getting it done by all inhabitants or all able inhabitants of the globe is more important. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> i have one more question and then we will invite the rest of the panel out. i would like you to say a little bit about why he decided to become the assistant secretary of state for public affairs after you were an astronaut and a bit about that decision and what you did at the state department . >> well, when i left nasa i wanted, and in my mind i wanted a clean break, i didn't want to stay within the space program because i felt like it would become an anticlimax or a
little bit of a demotion. so, i wanted to just have that be part of my past, maybe i go back to my heritage, my mother, my father, my father was not a professional diplomat but his touring rome is a defense attachi and carried things like that with me and i decided to do something totally different then. at that time, i was in and out of washington d.c. and one time, neil, buzz and i were fortunate enough to have speeches to the joint session of congress. phil rogers, william p rogers was secretary of state at the time and apparently liked the speech that i made and he started talking to people here and there including president nixon and,
the next thing i know i was offered this job as assistant secretary of public affairs which was really strange, i mean, my knowledge of public affairs was just about zilch. [ laughter ] but i liked the time i spent here. any of the departments and any of the other services whatever you have. the toughest one was the foreign service exam.
people who came into the foreign service i thought were bright, motivated, hard- working. all the good words you want to pile on someone that you really admire. and i really did admire them. i left fairly quickly and it wasn't really that i was tired of my job. it was rather there were a couple of factors. one was that i was offered another job equally intriguing. and that was to be the director of the new air and space museum which did not exist. if he got the money appropriated we were going to dig a hole in the mall and fill it up with a beautiful museum which eventually did happen. and the other thing was i didn't feel i was really pulling my weight at the state department.
and the object diplomacy being the end result, i wasn't so good at things that i couldn't touch. how fast can diplomacy go? how high can it go? so, i thought it was perhaps time for me to move on when i was offered this other job. to be director of the national air and space museum as part of the smithsonian. another important factor was growing up here as a kid i loved the smithsonian. i used to spend hours watching nothing. watching seashells, big ones, slightly smaller ones. , little baby seashells. like 46 seashells. i would stand there as a 10- year-old and be mesmerized by how they look all the same. they all look different and so forth.
that took me away. so i left state and joined the smithsonian and i stayed at the smithsonian for longer than i work for nasa, about six years. our mantra at nasa when i was there was a man on the moon by the end of the decade. i had a similar mantra at the state department. it was museum on the mall by the bicentennial. that was our deadline. lo and behold we opened on july 1 of our 200th year. i enjoyed that time as well. >> wonderful. thank you. >> now i am going to welcome out the other panelists to join you. you can remain comfortable there.
and i will welcome them on stage. you can come and take your seats. >> hello john. good to see you. >> this conversation will be moderated by doctor john logsdon. he founded the space policy institute and is an emeritus professor at george washington university. joining him are major general charles bolden, u.s. science envoy for space and former nasa administrator. and space shuttle commander as well. as well as doctor ellen stofan director of the smithsonian national air and space museum.
[ applause ] >> mike i'm going to let you sit back and catch your breath a little bit and start with the other two here. first i'm going to show off my socks. i just got back from the celebration at the kennedy space center where this was one of the door prizes. who else has saturn five on their socks? probably up in the back you can't see. let me start with you charlie. you recently completed a term of duty as the state department science envoy for space. what does that mean? what did you do? >> i asked the same thing when i was invited to do that. in fact i want to thank ms.
farrell. she is a career professional state department person. she was my planner, my guide my everything. the two of us traipsed around the world. you will do realize i am not a scientist and they said yes. i said i'm not really an engineer and they said yes. i said why am i being asked to become the state department science envoy and they said we want to make you the envoy for space and you are the only guy we could find. all kidding aside i was actually brought aboard to spend a year along with several other people. i think there were six this year who went abroad to talk about our particular field of expertise. mine being space. we picked four regions of the world, eight different countries that we visited in 10 months. and i had a three prong message and it was the u.s. is still considered, we still consider ourselves to be the leader in science and technology and anything else you can imagine.
but, as mike alluded we need you. we really need partners. we are open for business and we want as many of you to become a part of what we are doing. we want you to be a family of space. and the other thing was if there are students who want to come to our country to see how we live that may change the way you think about government and governance, we really welcome not and we visited with students, national leaders, people in government. if they had a space agency that, and it was a tremendous time. i came away unbelievably inspired and motivated to be quite honest by the enthusiasm. >> is the program continuing? >> we hope it is continuing. it started in the obama administration and it continues. it is a tremendous program the state department runs. >> you are mike's successor
how many times removed? >> i am not sure how many were between uni. >> you are in the midst -- indeed. >> so, lots of the visitors here to the museum are not u.s. citizens. they come from all over the world. do you view the museum as an instrument of diplomacy and if so, how do you do it? >> i really do. as charlie and mike were saying, base is something that provides international inspiration. when i look out and think about the struggles we face as a global community, things like lime it can change, space is an inspiration for the next generation of innovators and explorers that crosses boundaries.
our visitors come from all over the world and we try to have exhibits that talk about the international cooperation of space like we do on the space station and we want to get that message across. we started this competition in apollo and we ended up being an international space community by how we do science and exploration and that is an important message to get across to our visitors. and to me it is about inspiring. we are going to have a gallery in the renovated museum called one world connected. on a different scene it talks about how observing our planet from base and the fact that we can travel with aircraft all around the planet has really changed our view. >> great. >> teasel muir-harmony in her introduction quoted a memo that went to john kennedy which led to the decision to go to the moon. i want to quote it also. the memo said it is men not merely machines, it is men not
merely machine that captures the imagination of the world. as we look toward space diplomacy now, is it still human spaceflight that has a special role? you have programs for a lot of the developing countries and programs like that that are built around robotic programs and their use. we have animated rovers on mars. does it have to be humans still to really have an impact? >> is a question for all of us? >> it does not have to be humans. humans are necessary because as i tell kids everywhere i go , machines are really good, computers are really good and robots are phenomenal. but today robots can't read and robots can't look at a piece of rock that we picked up to bring back.
they didn't tell me to get that but i'm taking it back because it looks interesting. i point out to people that what has held the imagination of the world between the time we closed out the shuttle program, although humans have still been orbiting earth for 18 years now on the international space station, most people of importance don't realize that. everybody knows about curiosity. times square, you name it, everyone was there when curiosity landed. everyone was aware of new horizons going past pluto. robots have a very important role in capturing the imagination and helping young people mainly understand that they don't have to be an astronaut. they can contribute and bring the world together by working with robotics operations or airplanes or science. >> probably a lot of people in this audience don't know what survey is. that is where nasa partners
for international developers, there are offices around the world where we work with local communities to work on problems like climate resilience to say how can you in your country solve problems other it is agriculture, drought, too much rain, how can you use this abundance of data to address and make your country more resilient? it is an amazing program that i think is a huge demonstration of the importance of space diplomacy. >> mike, i know you were recently at the paris air show. >> i missed the paris air show. >> you didn't get to europe at all? >> no. i missed it. >> sorry about that. >> anytime you don't get to go to paris is a law. >> that's true. that is certainly true. but i like your question about people versus the robots. it will be really exciting when we can put some robots up
on mars, won't it? >> we have already done it. >> okay, when you put joe blow and jane doe up on mars, then i think you will see true excitement. [ applause ] that may not be the way the world should be, but charlie points out things that are more important. and whether it is a machine or human being, they each have their place. but the public i do think has a special little corner in the back of their brain reserved for people who go to these places. i don't think that will change. >> you see the reaction you still get 50 years later for
having been part of the grand adventure of apollo 11. in my feeling it is still something special. there are only 570 humans that have been in orbit so there is something there that maintains potency at sending a message. there is a panel on space diplomacy. have we defined space diplomacy? you just did it charlie. what would you say this? >> i think any kind of diplomacy is going out and trying to reach as many people as you can and give them a message of hope. to give them a message of importance. but to let them know what is available to inform them of what kind of things they can do. i find in working with kids you can inspire a kid but not if they are not informed. when i grew up in columbia
south carolina i told people thinking the only engineer i knew was the person in the front end of a train. that was my culture, my society. and i later learned what other engineers were that made things, that took science. >> i think diplomacy is helping to inform and then to inspire once we have done that. >> it is also advancing the interest of this country. >> how do you shave that message? you said it at the start kind of why. >> if you don't believe that your country is the leader, is the greatest country in the world than you probably shouldn't go out to try to be a diplomat. i happen to believe that. i spent 34 years of my life as an active duty marine and i tell people today i now understand the value of soft power. that is what institutions like
the department of defense, like the state department, like nasa, i tell people all the time i think nasa is probably this countries greatest soft power tool because we have a way in ways that attract the interest of the world and make them want to be like us. when i said i was inspired and motivated as i went through this ten-month tenure, i was inspired because in spite of everything that is going on here, the first thing people ask you is what are you doing? and then they say we want to be like you. how do we get to the u.s.? how do we get to be a part of nasa? and trying to explain to them that you don't have to be a part of nasa, you can have your own space program and you can collaborate with nasa and cooperate with nasa. the biggest thing is to tell them we are here to help. but we want you to do things on your own and we want you to join the family of race as
soon as you can. >> mike at the start to now, you ran an institution called national air and space museum. how do you put the national in the message in the design of the museum? or was it self-evident? >> we tried as hard as we could . i forgot how many square feet of floor space divided into so many galleries and almost all of them had some international importance as do the marines. i think the marines have done a big job and diplomacy more than the other services. they get out and around and about and they can do good work. >> my son is out there somewhere and he will agree with you. [ applause ] >> inputting the air and space
museum together, if i understood your question correctly, we try not to over emphasize but to emphasize certainly the international things. we had aircraft in their built by others. and we did the best we could to even it out. >> but you're still celebrating american accomplishments? >> it is a museum to honor with united states s-10. >> like the houston national air and space museum, not the world air and space museum. >> but with apollo we hold that collection but i don't think of it as holding it just for the nation, we hold the apollo collection for the world and we loan artifacts out to museums around the world. and to me a big part of it is this inspiration piece again. we are trying to inspire the next generation and we do through telling this american story of aviation and space. >> with the host of other countries that will be
impressed and want to join that leadership. >> it is inspiration. what more inspires a kid then meeting an astronaut, then thinking about i could invent something that would hang in this museum someday. i think it is that awe inspired laconic kids face when they walk into the museum and look up at the lunar module and think this is a story i want to be a part of and those kids come from all around the world. >> i think that is one of the great things about the museum is the icons of american achievement that all can see and share. i wrote an article recently about the skilled word crafting that neil and buzz left on the moon. we came in peace for all mankind. and i think that is still the message. what about explicitly stem related diplomacy? could this country be doing
more to stimulate science and technical engineering, mathematic education around the world or should we focus on our priorities at home first? >> in many ways i think we do better around the world than we are doing here at home and we need to focus more on getting our kids interested in steam related topics. science technology, engineering arts math and even design. i will give kudos to members of the state department. one of the things that impressed me in my travels was with things like the american corner and different ideas that state department employees have used to attract students who don't have computers and don't have access to the internet and make it possible for them to comment to a place like ethiopia where it is packed because they can now join the
rest of the nations of the world by using capabilities that are there in the american corner. i would love to see us emulate that here in the united states where we go into some areas that are less fortunate than others and may not have access . and people say everywhere in the world has the internet, that is not true. not even here in the u.s. we could do a much better job of getting our kids in less- developed parts of the world and the country informed and then engaged and inspired to do the kind of stuff, to be a buzz aldrin or a mike collins or neil armstrong. or an ellen stofan. [ applause ] >> i would just add that i traveled all around the world when i was at nasa. what struck me is inspiring kids in countries around the world to go into stem fields
is going to help those countries in the long run. it will help them build their economies and be more resilient to climate change. and stronger countries around the world make it easier for the united dates. to me it is a win-win. >> mike, as you look back at apollo 11 in 50 years, what do you think was the biggest international legacy of the mission? >> well, i would guess it is somewhere in the world of the vision. you want to get away from earth some just ends. the moon is 236,000 miles away. maybe 100,000 miles would be all right. >> if you could get the political leaders of the world out of that distance and let
them look back at their home, they can even find their country, there are no borders. if you have a border dispute you have to do something else about it. we can't fight about it. and the idea of this tiny fragile thing, and i'm hoping they will look at the world in my window and find that it is fragile. when you get these guys talking to each other i think you will come out with some very surprising conclusions about antipathies, particularly as manifested by borders and individual countries. i think those individual countries will become less important in the totality of however many there are, 139 or something. that is what i hope the legacy
of apollo is, the view from afar. [ applause ] thank you. >> closing remarks because we have one more piece of the program that wasn't announced yet. i will close with just one comment. >> using what mike just talked about, he is one of the few people who ever saw our planet from that vantage point where you see the blue marble. i was asked earlier about what i think is the most iconic image from the apollo program. i think they were expecting i would say something about buzz or neil coming down the ladder or something from apollo 11, and i said that's a no-brainer. it is earth from apollo 8. that to me is the most iconic photo for humanity. it shows our planet as one
with no borders and no boundaries. and it gives us the sense of responsibility for preserving that planet the way they thought back then. >> bill who took the photo said we came all the way to the moon to discover the years. >> i was capcom for apollo 8. and of course then flew on 11. i can recall this was the first flight to exceed escape velocity. it was the first time humans were leaving their planet and going elsewhere. apollo 8 in my mind was of extraordinary importance. it was about leaving. apollo 11 was about arriving. 100 years from now you put historians like john, he would have a symposium, a nine day symposium to figure out which
of those two is more important. leaving or arriving. the older i get the more i get tilted toward apollo 8 rather than apollo 11. i think the concept of outward bound, i think it was lord tennyson in poems he worked that phrase in and that has always rung a bell with me. outward bound. apollo 8 was the epitome of that. past escape velocity off you go. i hear what you are saying about it. >> i'm going to close with an advertisement. that was so beautiful. for some in this audience who were too young to be around for apollo, we are trying to re-create it for you on the national mall. if you haven't had a chance yet, please come out after 9:30 pm tonight through saturday night and take a look
at the saturn five rocket on the washington monument, it is beautiful and awe-inspiring. i cried when i first thought. >> that you cry all the time. >> i cry all the time. he knows me. >> we have two criers. >> me to a little bit. >> let me release the panel. >> we have a special guest, a surprise guest for all of you. i will let john release the panel. [ applause ] off we go. [ applause ] >> thank you.
>> we made this program a little flexible at the end. there's a gentleman here who has some ideas about the next depth in space diplomacy. let me bring him on stage. he is back there schmoozing. sir? i don't think he needs an introduction. [ applause ] >> you were working on some ideas for the next stage in space diplomacy.
we thought it was an appropriate way to end the program for you to present those ideas in a few minutes. we have to be out of here at 6:30. my job is to get you out of here. >> i missed of the plane in huntsville coming up here. we had to get a private jet. i was a little late. when i am drawn to the stars. i will find any way to get there. i haven't seen mike in a long time. >> you have this idea for a strategic space alliance. >> well, yes. two way back, and i'm sure mike talked a little bit about this. meals words of a small step, a giant leap.
i think a number of us are still waiting for that giant leap. but when we were out of quarantine after we came back air force one, at least we called it that picked us up and we flew from new york, a parade to chicago. mayor daley a parade in century plaza in la. stay there and make keeps asking me what this is and i have to tell him because he has one, too. it is a presidential metal of freedom. very top door. [ applause ] >> what happened after that? well, we changed clothes, air force one picked us up again.
now we went around the world. houston to bogota, colombia. argentina. >> if you name every stop we won't make it. >> i want. >> brazil, madrid, london, paris. india. thailand. tokyo. seoul korea. australia, and then back. and i thought when we came back we had clippings in a big, fat, notebook and it was called giant step. we all thought that was pretty appropriate. coming back from doing things way out there we felt that our trip throughout the world was logically a giant step.
well, you know, we went through the apollo skylab, the shuttle, the station and international ventures like that. then it was constellation, go back to the moon. journey to mars. neither of them quite gelled. they didn't quite make it. so now, i think and i think the public would like to know what is the next step for space?
a space alliance. this is not just nasa, the u.s. we have an alliance of nations that need to venture out on this next step space. they are not just space agencies. but if nasa were to try to bring together the guys who love government money it would have to be with maybe the aerospace corporation as an overall advisor to nasa. you remember bell calm? there is nobody right now. except congress. so, if nasa and russia, china, united launch a alliance.
these are all capable agencies and entities that can carry out future space. and to that list we may add india, a combination of saudi emirates maybe. australia. possibly the koreas. so, this next step space alliance can be a rallying point to not just return to the moon or reestablishing a presence, but a permanent presence on the moon in a way that logically builds forward to mars because we make it
happen that way. we look at what we might want to do it mars and then i think we will do that at the moon. a little detail is that there are ice crystals that the moon. and with a little power, a nuclear reactor may be we get water and with water we can separate it into oxygen and hydrogen fuel. why is everybody focused at mars on methane? just because they are a bunch of global warming guys that want to use up the atmosphere on mars? you think that's amazing? the best fuel, oxygen and
hydrogen high-performance works of the moon we should work that at mars. i analyze things too deeply. >> i know you do. >> you also where a lot of watches. so i can see what time it is. and we are supposed to be done in two minutes. >> oh. >> they are the first three elements of the gateway. if we got those as a team and then picked a team, we could use those at lower orbit or they could become a part of an adaptation of gateway trans way. it goes from lower orbit to lunar orbit and back again.
nothing stays in lunar orbit. and nothing stays in this orbit. sure there is a space station, one that is getting older and older and costs a lot. what we need to do is to form iss laboratories and lower its orbit. with the elements of the gateway. now here's where diplomacy comes in. what is china going to do about this? >> that is a subject for the next discussion. >> thanks buzz for the efforts you made to get here. but let's honor our sponsors and stick to the timeline and
lets us exit stage left. thank you. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you all. that concludes our program. thank you so much for coming. i would like to take some last moments to think my co- organizers. they have been extraordinary partners in this process. the smithsonian teamed up with u.s. state department and especially the u.s. diplomacy center as well as george washington university space policy institute. so i would like to thank all my colleagues. they are too numerous to name but thank you for your
contributions. and i would like to reiterate that we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of apollo 11 over the next few days. please join us on the mall. there are events inside and out on the mall. hopefully you will get to participate in them as well. thank you so much for coming and enjoy your evening. [ applause ] american history tv products are now available at the new c-span online store. go to www.c-span.org to see what is new for american history tv and check out all of the c-span products. all week we are featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what is
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