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Apollo 11 flight director to visit Purdue just days before moon landing anniversary

The untold story of the Apollo 11 moon landing will be shared by its flight director, Gene Kranz, just days before the 50th anniversary.

Posted: Jun 3, 2019 10:29 AM
Updated: Jun 3, 2019 10:42 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — As the country prepares for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on July 20, Purdue is celebrating with the visitation of one of the minds behind the mission. 

Apollo 11's flight director, Gene Kranz, will speak on campus on July 18. According to a news release, his talk, titled “Go or No-Go: The Untold Story of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing," will answer questions like 'what was it like to work alongside Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins?' And, 'what are the best-kept secrets about the Apollo 11 mission?'

Kranz spent 37 years as NASA and was selected as division chief for Flight Control in 1968, which led to his role as flight director of Apollo 11, according to Purdue. 

Kranz received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1970 for his role in safely landing Apollo 13, known famously for the "Houston, we have a problem" line. Since retirement, Kranz has written a New York Times best-seller memoir on his experiences with the space program titled “Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond.”

July 20 marks the 50th anniversary in which Purdue alumnus Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. The talk will kick off Apollo 11-themed activities from July 18-20. The university said more details will be announced soon. At homecoming, the conclusion of the university's 150th anniversary celebration, Purdue will host an astronaut reunion.  

The event is free with a ticket and begins at 3 p.m in the Stewart Center. Tickets can be claimed here

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