The Tools of Apollo

Speaker: Mark Yates
Date: 22nd January 2019
Start Time: 19:00
End Time: 20:30
Venue: BIS, 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ

Few artefacts that travelled to the Moon in the Lunar Module (LM) were returned to Earth. It has been said that if you gathered them all from the six lunar landings, excluding spacesuits and the ever-precious rocks, they would fit into a small suitcase.  So tight were the payload constraints on what could be safely returned that the mission planners went to great lengths to identify lists of items to be left behind on the Moon’s surface. These artefacts are totally unique when you consider that some of them were carefully selected and retained by the Astronauts who actually used them.

In 2012, President Barrack Obama signed a bill into law granting the Apollo Astronauts who recovered items, the legal entitlement to own them. There are now calls to protect those artefacts left on the moon – where some 190 tonnes of material has accumulated from over 40 landings dating back to 1959.

Mark’s talk will look at three artefacts from the Apollo programme; one used in training, one used and subsequently recovered from the lunar surface and one jettisoned before the ascent.  Reaching into the mission and debriefing transcripts, audio files, some unique reference material and by physically examining these artefacts, they can be viewed in their full context. They have a fascinating story to tell.

 

About the Speaker:

Mark Yates

Mark Yates

Mark Yates, a Physicist, has worked for twenty years in the Offshore sector of the Oil and Gas Industry in the field of Process Safety Management – the management of high consequence – low probability events.

Since the age of 6, he has had a passion for space research and exploration, with a particular emphasis on the Apollo Moon Landings of the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Born 6 months after the famous mission of Apollo 11 – it was only by reference to books and television programmes that Mark was able retrospectively to learn about, and identify with, these great achievements. This has changed more recently as he has acquired a small collection of Apollo-era artefacts, a couple of which have made the 240,000-mile journey to the moon and back. Some 40 years later they still have a fascinating story to tell.

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