Al with NASA Solar System Ambassador Mike Greene!

Mike Greene, Solar System Ambassador. Image courtesy of Mike Greene.
In September 2019, I attended a presentation at our local New Jersey library by Mike Greene, a NASA Ambassador. The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 was the featured story as part of a very complete presentation of the entire Apollo program. I had no idea that 1,000 NASA Ambassador volunteers were passionately giving these free history lectures around the country.
 
Of course, I couldn’t resist telling Mike about my connection to the program, and he enthusiastically accepted my request to contribute to his future presentations at libraries in northern New Jersey. After Mike delivers his presentation, he introduces me by explaining my relationship with the Apollo program.
 
Here are some relevant parts of my presentation:

Al’s Apollo Slides

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Touchscreen users can swipe through the slides and mouse uses can hover over and click the arrows.
 
After the presentation I want to give audience members a view of the Moon much as NASA Apollo astronauts saw it in the training simulator.  I do this by using a Tele Vue-60 and a special 3.7mm or 4.7mm Ethos-SX with a triangular “window” field stop installed.  I aim the scope at a closeup  image of the lunar surface with a starry background.  It’s so gratifying to see the smiles and laughs of everyone viewing the display.  You can see this setup at all recent NorthEast Astronomical Forum conferences. 
 
Al (on the right) showing the “simulated simulator” with the Tele Vue-60 equipped with Tele Vue Ethos-SX 4.7mm eyepiece and Lunar Module inspired triangle-shaped “window” at the field stop. Image by Michael Drazek.
After my November 13th presentation at the Pompton Lakes, NJ public library, I was able to add an additional demonstration:  after the slide show, and showing about 40 guests (including a dozen youngsters)  the “simulated simulator,” we were lucky enough to have clear skies to see the REAL moon.  I set up a Tele Vue-76 with the special 4.7mm Ethos-SX so as people were leaving the library, they could enjoy sharing the real experience of viewing the Moon going past their Lunar Module spacecraft window, as if it were just 2,400-miles away.
 
Outside the library with the Tele Vue-76 setup on the Moon. Al, Mike Greene, and Steve Edgeller, Library Event Coordinator. Image by Mike Drazek.
I’m pleased the library staff members took the pictures here for our shared memories of this special event.
 
The Library. Copyright The Free Public Library of the Borough Of Pompton Lakes.
Special thanks to Michael Drazek, Director, Pompton Lakes Public Library, for his images of the event.
 
Mike Greene and NASA’s Solar System Ambassador Program
A resident of Ringwood, NJ, Michael Greene is a 2019 Solar System Ambassador (SSA) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The SSA is a volunteer public engagement program managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Michael received his official credentials after completing Orientation and Ethics training earlier this year. Part of his responsibility is to conduct public events over the course of the year. As this year is the 60th anniversary of NASA and the 50th of the first Moon landing, Michael has been busy giving PowerPoint presentations to schools and libraries in the area. You can read Michael’s SSA profile on the SSA website.
 
Most SSAs are based in the continental US. You can consult the Directory and Event Calendar on the SSA website to find an ambassador or event near your location. 

 
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