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Ohio University announces International Space University astronaut panel, first participant

Space Studies Program event to feature Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator
Pete Shooner and Colleen Carow | Jan 9, 2015
Schmitt space walk
Apollo 17 Lunar Module Pilot Harrison “Jack” Schmitt walks on the moon as part of the final mission of the U.S. Apollo program. After the first night launch of a U.S. human space flight, the mission included a three-day lunar surface stay.

Ohio University announces International Space University astronaut panel, first participant

Pete Shooner and Colleen Carow | Jan 9, 2015
 Apollo 17 Lunar Module Pilot Harrison “Jack” Schmitt walks on the moon as part of the final mission of the U.S. Apollo program. After the first night launch of a U.S. human space flight, the mission included a three-day lunar surface stay.
Apollo 17 Lunar Module Pilot Harrison “Jack” Schmitt walks on the moon as part of the final mission of the U.S. Apollo program. After the first night launch of a U.S. human space flight, the mission included a three-day lunar surface stay.

The twelfth man to walk on the moon will travel to Athens in June as part of an elite astronaut panel for International Space University’s 2015 Space Studies Program (SSP15), which Ohio University will host.

Open to the public, the June 17 event will feature a panel of international astronauts as they share their experiences in space. The panel will feature Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, an Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator. A geologist, Schmitt was the first and only professional scientist to have flown beyond low Earth orbit and have walked on the Moon. After Apollo 17, he represented New Mexico in the U.S. Senate from 1977 to 1983 and has since stayed active in the space industry and as a NASA advisor.

“Jack Schmitt embodies the ‘right stuff’ of the Apollo lunar program and remains a strong proponent of human exploration of space,” said said SSP15 Director John Connolly, who most recently served as NASA's Chief Exploration Scientist.“He’s one of only twelve individuals in history to have looked back at Earth from the surface of the moon, and he relates his captivating experience with a combination of his scientist’s keen eye and his astronaut’s sense of wonder,” Connolly added.

The SSP15 astronaut panel is one of the highlights of the annual summer program. Past panels have included astronauts from Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States. This year’s panel will feature astronauts who possess spaceflight experience that spans four decades and multiple international spacecraft and space stations.

“Harrison Schmitt lived the dream of over two generations of engineers, scientists and space enthusiasts,” said Dennis Irwin, dean of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. “His presence in Athens and at Ohio University will be truly historic.”

The 28th annual Space Studies Program will be held at Ohio University June 7-August 8. Additional participants for the panel, as well as time and location, will be announced at a later date.