For those in the Washington, D.C., area on March 30, 2015, we will be holding our next Space Policy and History Forum where we will feature Teasel Muir-Harmony of the American Institute of Physics presenting “Astronaut Ambassadors: The Apollo 11 Diplomatic Tour and the Role of Spaceflight in Public Diplomacy.” The event will be held at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. Details are below. We hope to see you there.
Astronaut Ambassadors: The Apollo 11 Diplomatic Tour and the Role of Spaceflight in Public Diplomacy
Space Policy and History Forum #15
by Teasel Muir-Harmony
Center for History of Physics
American Institute of Physics
Beginning in the mid-1960s, at the request of President Lyndon Johnson, astronauts traveled the world to enhance the prestige of American science and technology, foster political alliances, and garner support for U.S. foreign policies. After the first lunar landing in the summer of 1969, President Richard Nixon asked the Apollo 11 crew to serve as his personal representatives on a thirty-eight day tour that took the astronauts to cities in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, who oversaw the tour, argued that the “visit of our astronauts abroad constitutes one of the effective policy vehicles available to us.” This presentation examines the Apollo 11 diplomatic tour in detail to assess the role that spaceflight played in American foreign relations and national image making in the Cold War contest for geopolitical influence.
Teasel Muir-Harmony is an associate historian in the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics. She received a PhD in the History of Science and Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MA in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Notre Dame. Her research focuses on the history of science, technology and U.S. foreign relations, with an emphasis on the use of the American space program in public diplomacy during the Cold War.
Date and Time
March 30, 2015 (Monday), 4:00-5:00 P.M.
Location, Parking, and Access
The forum will be held at the National Air and Space Museum, 600 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C., 4:00-5:00 p.m. Space is limited to 50 attendees, so please RSVP to Roger Launius, email@example.com, or Nathan Bridges, Nathan.Bridges@jhuapl.edu to get your name on the list. This will be for for access to the 3rd floor of the Museum, where we will be meeting in the Director’s Conference Room. You may check in and obtain a badge for access to the building at the guard desk just to the right as you enter the Independence Ave. doors. If you have any questions regarding access, please contact Roger Launius. Parking is not available in NASM, and is limited elsewhere; we recommend using the Metro system for travel to the National Air and Space Museum—the Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza stops are close by.