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The development of NASA’s space exploration programs was the natural progression of the American pioneer spirit. Spurred by Soviet successes during the Cold War, advancements in U.S. space exploration proceeded at a rapid pace. Just a decade after its creation, NASA launched the first manned Apollo mission and sent the first reusable space shuttle into space thirteen years later.

You are invited to enjoy dinner and conversation with astronauts and engineers from NASA’s first sixty years: Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham, NASA engineers Jerry Bostick and Thomas Moser, and Space Shuttle astronauts Robert L. Crippen, Bonnie J. Dunbar, Michael E. Fossum, and Bernard A. Harris, Jr. Hear them relate fascinating stories about the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs and NASA’s mission control in a panel discussion moderated by Tim Taliaferro, Editor in Chief of Texas Monthly.

Please join us for this stellar Dine & Dialogue on August 19 at the Driskill Hotel in Austin.


5:00 pm - Reception
Enjoy a reception among the pillars of the historic Driskill Hotel with drinks, appetizers, and live music on the Mezzanine. VIP ticket holders progress directly to the Maximillian Room to meet and mingle with the event speakers.

6:00 pm -Panel Discussion
Hear first-hand accounts from NASA astronauts and engineers in a discussion moderated by Tim Taliaferro, Editor in Chief of Texas Monthly, in the Ballroom.

7:00 pm - Dinner
Enjoy a multi-course steak and lobster dinner on the Mezzanine. Table sponsors will be joined by one of the space pioneers for further conversation.

Please join us in cocktail attire.

Speakers Scheduled to Appear

Apollo Astronaut

Walter Cunningham
Walter Cunningham

  • Piloted the Apollo 7 mission, the first manned flight test of the Apollo spacecraft, and successfully tested a number of necessary flight maneuvers during the mission

  • Featured in the first live television broadcast from space on Apollo 7

  • Served as Chief of the Skylab branch of the Flight Crew Directorate and was responsible for 56 major onboard experiments conducted through the Skylab program

  • Accumulated 263 hours in space and flew 4.5 million miles during the Apollo 7 mission

Space Shuttle Astronauts

Robert L. Crippen
Robert L. Crippen

  • Piloted STS-1 (Space Transportation System-1), the first orbital test flight of the Shuttle Columbia, and was Spacecraft Commander on three additional missions

  • Served as Director, Space Shuttle, while at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., and as Director of the Kennedy Space Center before retiring from NASA

  • Accumulated 565 hours in space, orbited the earth 374 times, and traveled more than 9.4 million miles

  • A native Texan and graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering

Bonnie J. Dunbar
Bonnie J. Dunbar

  • Served as a Mission Specialist on three Space Shuttle missions, including the first mission to dock with the Russian Space Station Mir

  • Served as a Payload Commander on two Space Shuttle missions and finished her career having logged 1,208 hours in space

  • Conducted medical evaluations on Mir crew members to determine the effects of weightlessness on the human body

  • Received her doctorate from the University of Houston and currently works as a TEES Distinguished Research Professor at Texas A&M University   

Michael E. Fossum
Michael E. Fossum

  • Served as International Space Station (ISS) Commander during Expedition 28/29, a joint mission with Russia and Japan

  • Participated in two Space Shuttle missions, during which he performed vital maintenance to the ISS

  • Logged a total of 194 days in space, including more than 48 hours during 7 spacewalks

  • Grew up in McAllen, Texas, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University

Bernard A. Harris, Jr.
Bernard A. Harris, Jr.

  • Became the first African American to walk in space during his second space shuttle mission

  • Served as a mission specialist on STS-55 and logged a total of 438 hours in space over the course of his two shuttle missions

  • Conducted extensive research in physical and life sciences and also worked on clinical investigations of space adaptation while at NASA

  • A native Texan who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and his doctorate in medicine from Texas Tech University School of Medicine

Mission Control Engineers

Jerry Bostick
Jerry Bostick

  • Served as a Flight Dynamics Officer in mission control during the Apollo 13 crisis

  • Advised on two major Hollywood films: Apollo 13 and Armageddon

  • Part of the team that determined the new flight course needed to return the Apollo 13 crew home safely

  • Worked in a number of engineering and management positions over a twenty-two year career with NASA

Thomas Moser
Thomas Moser

  • Led the initial failure investigation following the Challenger accident

  • Managed the development phase of the International Space Station

  • Served in a management capacity on 18 successful Space Shuttle flights and 17 successful Apollo flights

  • Worked as an engineer or in a management position on the Apollo, Space Shuttle, and International Space Station programs over his twenty-four year career with NASA


Tim Taliaferro
Tim Taliaferro

Tim Taliaferro is the executive vice president and editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly. Prior to his time at the magazine, he was the vice president for communications and digital strategy for Texas Exes. Tim is a native of San Antonio.

Biography content courtesy of NASA, Texas A&M, and MIT.