Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin to give Tate Lecture Dec. 8

Buzz AldrinBuzz Aldrin, space tourism advocate and one of the first to set foot on the Moon, visits the Hilltop during the 40th-anniversary year of the Apollo 11 mission to speak in SMU’s 2009-10 Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. Aldrin will give the Oncor Electric Delivery Lecture at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 in McFarlin Auditorium.

Aldrin joined NASA in 1963 and is credited with devising docking and rendezvous techniques for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit that are still used today. He has received numerous honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In addition, he is the author of several books, including a 2009 memoir, Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home From the Moon.

Since retiring from NASA and the Air Force, Aldrin has continued his leadership in human space exploration. He devised a master plan for missions to Mars known as the Aldrin Mars Cycler – a spacecraft system with perpetual cycling orbits between Earth and Mars. He has received three U.S. patents for his schematics of a modular space station, Starbooster reusable rockets, and multi-crew modules for space flight. He is also the founder of Starcraft Boosters Inc., a rocket design company, and the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to advancing space education, exploration and affordable space flight experiences for all.

In honor of Aldrin’s visit, SMU will present a special showing of director Ron Howard’s documentary film In the Shadow of the Moon at 6 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. Attendees must have lecture tickets in order to be seated for the movie. The screening is made possible by a partnership between SMU and the Dallas Film Society.

The evening lecture is sold out. Aldrin will answer questions from SMU community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

Visit the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series homepage