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 in the Mezzanine. Table sponsors will be joined by one of the space pioneers for further conversation.
Please join us in cocktail attire.
Walter Cunningham is a retired American astronaut. In 1968, he was a Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission. He is also known for his work as a fighter pilot, physicist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author, lecturer, and host of the radio show Lift-off to Logic. Cunningham participated in the first television broadcast aired from space and his book, The All-American Boys, is available for purchase online.
Space Shuttle Astronauts
Robert L. Crippen is a retired American naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aerospace engineer, and former astronaut for the United States Department of Defense and for NASA. He was the Pilot of the first Space Shuttle flight and flew three more missions as a commander. Crippen also served as the director of the Space Shuttle program in the early 1990s and ended his career with NASA as the Director of the Kennedy Space Center.
Bonnie J. Dunbar retired from NASA in 2005 after a twenty-four year career as an astronaut. During her career, she participated in five space flights, logging more than 1,200 hours in space. Following her time with NASA, Dunbar served as president and CEO of the Museum of Flight. Dunbar currently works at Texas A&M University as a professor of aerospace engineering.
Michael E. Fossum was selected as an astronaut in 1998. He is a veteran of three space flights and has logged more than 194 days in space, including more than 48 hours in seven spacewalks. He was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University and Master of Science degrees from the Air Force Institute of Technology and the University of Houston - Clear Lake. After completing graduate work, he was detailed to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where he supported space shuttle flight operations, beginning with STS-3. Fossum left active duty in 1992, and retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserves in 2010. Michael Fossum retired from NASA January 2017.
Bernard A. Harris, Jr. is a former NASA astronaut, clinical scientist, and flight surgeon. On his second Space Shuttle flight, Harris became the first African American to perform a spacewalk. Currently, Harris is President and Chief Executive Officer of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital accelerator that invests in early-stage companies in Medical Informatics and Technology. His career also includes work as a professor at University of Texas and the Baylor College of Medicine.
Mission Control Engineers
Jerry Bostick’s NASA career began in 1962 as an aerospace engineer at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. That same year, he would transfer to Houston, Texas, where he worked in the Flight Dynamics branch. While in Houston, he had the opportunity to work in mission control and was part of the team that successfully resolved the Apollo 13 crisis. Following a brief stint at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., he returned to Houston to work in various management capacities until his departure from NASA in 1984.
During his twenty-four year career with NASA, Thomas Moser worked in a variety of management roles with the organization. Moser guided the engineering work for the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs during his tenure at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Also while in Houston, he led the initial failure investigation following the Challenger accident. During his final two years at NASA, he served as the program director for the International Space Station program.
Biography content courtesy of NASA, Texas A&M, and MIT.