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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Harrison Schmitt to Address Southwestern Virginia Technology Council Gala June 17

The only scientist-geologist to ever walk the surface of the Moon, Harrison "Jack" Schmitt will keynote the Thursday, June 17, 2010 Southwestern Virginia Technology Council Gala at the Southwestern Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va. Tickets are $90.

The former New Mexico United States Senator and Apollo 17 moonwalker, Schmitt was the last of 12 men to set foot on the surface of the Moon in 1972 as a member of the crew of Apollo 17. His three-day stint on the lunar surface included driving a moon-buggy through the dunes and craters of the lunar regolith (soil) as he sought the most unusual moon surface samples as a professional geologist.

Schmitt believes the lunar regolith (soil) has an abundance of varied resources to be mined and developed around the 250,000 mile distant glowing-orb that circles Earth. A strong advocate of mining the lunar helium-3, water-ice, and various other resources, Schmitt will enlighten and thrill the mountainous Virginia energy and technology communities and niche space advocates with his enthusiasm.

Moon mineral surveys have been underway by international lunar scientists and funded by the governments of China, Japan, India, Europe, Russia and America over the past few years detailing the wealth of mineral deposits, water ice, lava tubes and detailed topography in the most extensive mapping of the Moon in human history. The collective data of lunar remote sensing is yielding detailed knowledge never quantified before and there is much more to come.

NASA will launch the next lunar robotic mission to the moon from the eastern shore of Virginia at the commercial space launch pad of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island or 'Space Island' the NewSpacers are becoming prone to say. The LADEE spacecraft will be placed in orbit around the moon to explore the faint atmosphere aboard rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corporation - which Schmitt serves on the governing board of directors. Standby for lunar launch in 2012 - a first in Virginia!

In his November 2005 book, Return to the Moon, Schmitt touts the benefits of the helium 3 and the many benefits the fuel may serve to be as a driver for Earth's fusion energy industry. The former astronaut-geologist provides his listeners and readers a vision of the challenges and benefits of mankind's second return to the moon as well as the sound economic case to do so.

The technology council will also honor the first public school teachers in the region to fly zero gravity from southwestern Virginia and their subsequent work in STEM education. Spaceport readers should contact Jack Kennedy if interested in attending the reception and dinner event of Thursday, June 17, 2010 beginning at 5 pm.

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