Alumnus shares NASA experiences
Alumnus James Hand ’60 returned to Washington College in March 2012 to talk about his decade of work with NASA’s Project Apollo.
Hand’s presentation addressed many aspects of the Apollo space missions, with a particular focus on the first manned lunar landing of July 1969. As a NASA scientist working first at Kollsman Instrument Corporation in New York, and then at the MIT/Instrumentation Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass., Hand helped develop guidance, navigation, and control systems for the Apollo Command and Lunar Modules. He participated in the first lunar landing mission as part of the engineering support center at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Along with discussing his own experiences and contributions to the Project, Hand spoke about President John F. Kennedy’s vision for America’s space program, the astronauts and other key contributors, technology, and the importance of that era’s legacy for today. The talk was accompanied by a slide show and video of the Apollo mission launch.
Before the talk, guests had the opportunity to look through a large collection of Hand’s Apollo memorabilia and chat with him about what was displayed. The items included documents containing the signatures of thousands of NASA employees, including Hand, that were carried to the moon on the first lunar landing mission.