Hartselle Starfleet group to free host space symposium
On Jan. 28, the USS Dejah Thoris, which is the Hartselle-based chapter of Starfleet International, will hold a symposium on the history and experiences of members of the U.S. space program.
The symposium will be held at 3 p.m. in the Ministry Center of First United Methodist Church.
The symposium is entitled “Our Finest Hour” and will feature speakers who were an integral part of the space program, during its birth and its heyday. Speakers will include William Snoddy and Stephanie Osborn.
The Dejah Thoris is holding this symposium to give the public a chance to hear about being a part of America’s space program from people who were actually there, and to give the speakers a public forum to pass along their experiences and memories of the part they played in sending mankind into space. Other planned events include a tribute to fallen astronauts and a look at what the future of manned spaceflight may hold.
Snoddy was a senior in physics at the University of Alabama when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in October 1957. After graduating a few months later, he joined the von Braun team in Huntsville and remained a member until his retirement 37 years later. He will discuss, from a personal point of view, the excitement and national concern generated by the Soviet’s space accomplishments and the steps taken by the U.S. to respond to the challenges represented by these achievements.
Osborn is a former payload flight controller, a veteran of more than 20 years of working in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs. She has worked on numerous shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and counts the training of astronauts on her résumé. Of those astronauts she trained, one was Kalpana Chawla, a member of the crew lost in the Columbia disaster.
Stephanie is currently retired from space work. She now teaches math and science via numerous media including radio, podcasting, and public speaking, as well as working with SIGMA, the science fiction think tank.