NASA and Rice: from Houston to the Moon (and beyond)

Alan Bean and Suprathermal Ion Detector Experiment 1969-1971 on the Moon, Apollo 12 Mission


July 20th, 1969. “Houston.  Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Humanity’s first words from another world.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing this week , the Woodson Research Center is curating an exhibit in the Fondren Library Hobby Information Concourse.


The exhibit displays items in the Woodson Research Center which were donated by Rice scientists and astronauts during the long and productive partnership between Rice University and NASA. One of the highlights is the mechanical model of the Suprathermal Ion Detector which Apollo astronauts used to train from 1969-1971. The experiment was designed by John Freeman, former NASA scientist and a long time professor at Rice University in the Space Sciences Department. Also included is a flight jacket donated by Scientist/Astronaut Curtis Michel and other memorabilia from the Jack McCaine NASA papers and from former NASA employee Joe Hatfield.  Ray Viator’s book, Houston: Space City, USA, along with pictures of Mission Control and the Johnson Space Center make up the rest of the exhibit.

There is also a permanent exhibit in the alcove nearby with photos of the Rice University scientist/astronauts  who participated in many important missions for NASA, and the Lunar sample (moon rock) awarded to Rice University on the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s