Broadcast 3344 Michelle Evans

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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Michelle Evans;  Topics:  Apollo program & Moon landing memories, observations and lessons learned, our future space and Moon plans and our emerging private sector.


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We welcomed back Michell Evans for this two segment 1 hour 42 During the early part of the program, we explored the early space program and the Apollo 11 landing through the eyes and perspective of a much younger guest.  Following her sharing early experiences with her, I asked Michelle what she learned from Apollo that helped become the person she is today in the space, photography, and journalism career she has today. These are all interesting observations so don't miss what Michelle offered u to us. Michelle also talked about her being in the USAF, working on rockets, going to college and now writing and reporting on rockets. 


Michelle was asked if she felt she was robbed of what many of us expected to be an almost unlimited space future given no follow-up after Apollo.  I followed this up by referring to my recent Griffith Observatory panel discussion where Warren, one of those on the panel, said that the Apollo mission and goals were for Cold War victory, not to travel through and settle the solar system.  I noted the disconnect with the initial Apollo goals and success from what many of us were expecting and hoping for in our future.  This became a discussed topic throughout the program today, culminating in additional comments when Dr. Jurist called near the end of the program and said that the government also had as a goal to inspire the country.  The goal was accomplished but the space settlement and exploration vison referred to earlier was not part of the government plan for Apollo missions.  As part of this discussion, Michelle mentioned JFK records where he indicated support for the broader space view with comments such as it would be a waste to not continue going forward once we were on the Moon.  We would like to know your thoughts about this subject so please post them on our blog for this program. 

Michelle was asked for her most favorite moment of all of Apollo, then for her least favorite moment.  Listen to what she said in her response.    You might be surprised by her answers to these two questions.  Next up was a series of listener email questions asking Michelle why we should return to the Moon, then because of her answer, why we should go to Mars.  Once again, listen to her comments and be prepared to be surprised by what she said.  Listener Jordan then asked Michelle if she knew of anything that could be taken form Apollo 11 or the later missions to light a fire under the nation today to take us back to the Moon.  Near the end of the first segment, Michelle was asked if she was concerned by China.  She said she was not concerned but listen to what she had to say about competition, Sputnik, and motivation. 

Marshall called before the break.  He talked about connections with Star Trek, the need for hard core engineering work plus a little serendipity. He then brought up the need to have faith in engineering and that will pay off, even if at a later date.  Let us know if you agree with Marshall.  Once again, post your thoughts on the blog.

We started the second segment with a phone call from John Hunt.  He talked about Apollo being much less than we expected, cited the 2001 Moon base from the 2001 A Space Odyssey movie plus he said the human factors have turned out to be more complex and challenging than originally thought.  Before he signed off, I asked Michelle if she was following Tic Tac at all.  Michelle knew about it and made some interesting comments about advanced technology come from us here on Earth rather than from aliens or an advanced ET somewhere.  I then asked John Hunt to comment on that.  John made some interesting comments, especially when he compared government behavior around the UFO subject to that of government behavior around sasquatch stories.  Your comments are welcome on John Hunt's comparison.   John also suggested space propulsion had reached a stable point with chemical propulsion. 

Michelle described her recent trip to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS   ( .     She talked about how the museum is laid out, how the space race is portrayed and explained, the Apollo 13 capsule, the V2 rocket and their famous restoration work.  I did many early shows with the Kansas Cosmosphere so you might search for them.  While I have yet to visit it, it ranks high on my visit list and a walking show interview with the leaders of the museum.

Dr. Jurist called near the end of the program.  He did have phone line issues but we got through the majority of his call with OK audio. Toward the end of his call he commented on coms from the Moon and Mars back to Earth but no decent coms from Billings to Northern California.  I suggested he talk to Verizon about that since that is his cell service and I was on a land line .  For his call, John pointed that that the government also had an inspirational goal for Apollo, not just to defeat the Soviets in the Cold War.  He then asked Michelle how she thought that even a private sector effort to get back to the Moon could get past the current administration Moon/Mars regulatory and policy possible roadblocks.  Michelle did lay out a plan, starting small with the Moon first, small steps that could be accomplished during our short term presidential term and budget process.  Tell us what you think of Michelle's idea because it applies the idea of starting small to get to the Moon and eventually on to Mars.  Post your thoughts on the blog.  Before John concluded his call, he mentioned that he was unsure that Starship would accomplish generous goals with chemical propulsion. He mentioned the need for nuclear advanced propulsion. 

Before our discussion ended, Michelle talked about her upcoming future events, suggested to us how the X-15 impacted Apollo with the Q Ball nose for navigation.   We took a late call from Rick who had much to say about the early space industry continuity in the industry and the work force in S. California.  Rick and Michelle had interesting things to say about this, also Boeing early space industry legacy claims.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  You can reach Michelle through her website at  You can also reach Michelle through me.




A special Apollo 11 and related events report

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23 Jul 2019 Michelle Evans
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