A Race to the Moon – Presented by former NASA Aerospace Engineering Manager, Tom Graves

Parker UMC will be hosting the presentation on July 17th at 10:30 a.m. A Race To The Moon, highlights the US/Soviet competition during the height of the Cold War. We will look briefly at the early beginnings of man’s entry into space and the intense challenges resulting from President Kennedy’s commitment to land on the Moon before the Russians.  I’ll focus on each of the 6 manned lunar landings – a time when our nation was bitterly divided over the Vietnam War but amazingly united in the exploration of space.

Biography: Tom Graves has enjoyed careers spanning 60 years and ranging from oceanographic research at Texas A&M to atomic weapons research at Los Alamos to engineering support at NASA during the Cold War.  Later careers included military weapons systems engineering, design and global deployment of high speed automated assembly systems, and the best job of all – substitute teaching at Legend High School!   My love for science and engineering began in a small, rural farm town in Louisiana due to the dedication and encouragement of a high school math teacher.  I was privileged during my 24 years at NASA to work on all of the US manned spacecraft programs except Mercury, retiring as an Aerospace Engineering Manager for explosive devices at the Manned Spacecraft Center. That special opportunity has allowed me to share some of the excitement (and heartbreak) with today’s students who are considering careers in technical fields.


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