The Aerospace Industry's Contributions to Apollo

July 18, 2019 - 10:30 am

1030 15th St NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC

Please join the Atlantic Council on Thursday, July 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a conversation on "The Aerospace Industry's Contributions to Apollo", as part of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security's Captains of Industry Series. The event will take place at the Atlantic Council's Headquarters at 1030 15th St. NW, 12th Floor, in Washington, DC.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, this event will amplify the acclaimed achievements of NASA and the astronauts with a focus on the unremarked story of the aerospace industry's role in the Apollo program. Apollo holds a distinctive place in the heritage of technology, businesses, and people who make up the contemporary landscape of aerospace and defense. To help us bring that underappreciated story to life, the event will feature:

Keynote Remarks by:

Donald R. McMonagle

Former Astronaut Aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery,and Current Program Director for Space Launch Services at Raytheon

A Panel Comprising:

Jack Clemons

TRW's Former Lead Engineer Supporting Operations at NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center, Former Senior Vice President of Engineering at Lockheed Martin, and Author of Safely to Earth: The Men and Women Who Brought the Astronauts Home

David A. Mindell

Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CEO and Co-Founder of Humatics, and Author of Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in the First Six Lunar Landings

John Tylko

Chief Innovation Officer at Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, and Lecturer in MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Moderated by:

Teasel Muir-Harmony

Curator of Apollo Spacecraft at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and Author of Apollo to the Moon: A History in Fifty Objects

The Captains of Industry Series is a platform for senior defense executives to address the public interests their companies serve and the public policies that shape their markets.

On Twitter? Follow @AtlanticCouncil and @ACScowcroft and use #ACDefense to join the conversation.


Col. Donald R. McMonagle, USAF (Ret.) is the Program Manager for the USAF Launch and Test Range Systems Integrated Support Contract (LISC) within RGNext, the joint venture company between Raytheon and General Dynamics created to perform on this contract. Prior to award of the LISC contract, McMonagle served as Program Director of Space and Range Systems Solutions for Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems. In this role, he was responsible for providing engineering, logistics, and training support to NASA as well as operations, maintenance, and sustainment support for space launch, test, and training ranges for the Department of Defense. McMonagle is a retired USAF Colonel having served as a fighter pilot, test pilot, NASA astronaut, and Program Manager. He flew on three Space Shuttle missions culminating in STS-66 for which he was the crew commander. He completed his career in government service as a NASA senior executive managing the integration and launch of 10 Space Shuttle missions from the Kennedy Space Center. McMonagle has held industry functional positions as a Director of Strategy and Business Development, and Vice President of Quality and Mission Effectiveness. A native of Flint, Michigan, McMonagle has a Bachelor's degree in astronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, a Master's degree in mechanical engineering from California State University at Fresno and a Master's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.

Mr. Jack Clemons is an author, consultant and public speaker. He is also a "rocket scientist", with bachelor's and master's degrees in aerospace engineering, and is a former senior executive at Lockheed Martin. Mr. Clemons gives talks across the Mid-Atlantic region, including the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center and the Baltimore Book Festival, on the Apollo Moon Program, on the design and first flights of the NASA Space Shuttle, and on the untold stories behind each of the American Flags planted on the Moon by the Apollo Astronauts. He appeared in the "Command Module" segment of Moon Machines, the Discovery Science Channel's award-winning six-part documentary about the Apollo Program. During the Apollo Moon Program, Mr. Clemons was a TRW Space Systems lead engineer supporting operations at NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center (now the Johnson Space Center) in Houston, Texas. He developed procedures allowing astronauts to monitor and control the Apollo Command Module Onboard Guidance Computer during atmospheric reentry. He provided real-time support during missions Apollo 9 through Apollo 14, including Mission Control Center backroom support during Apollo 11 and the extended 5-minute reentry blackout period on Apollo 13. Following Apollo, he was the IBM senior program manager at the Johnson Space Center responsible for the design, development, and support of the onboard software for NASA's Space Shuttle. Later in his career, Mr. Clemons was a senior vice president of engineering at Lockheed Martin and led the organization that designed the modernization of the FAA's nationwide Air Traffic Control computer systems, the United Kingdom's London Area Air Traffic Control Centre, and Air Traffic Systems in Scotland, Eastern Europe, South America, and New Zealand. Mr. Clemons' award-winning book Safely to Earth: The Men and Women Who Brought the Astronauts Home, a memoir of his time on NASA's Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, was published by University Press of Florida in September 2018. It was awarded first place for autobiography or memoir by the the Delaware Press Association, and was named one of the top twelve books for Christmas 2018 by BBC Sky at Night Magazine. It is also the 2019 national recipient of first place award for memoir by the National Federation of Press Women. Mr. Clemons' published works of fiction earned him a 2018 Established Artist Fellowship Grant for Literary Fiction by the Delaware Division of the Arts, and active membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He writes a quarterly space ans science column for Amazing Stories Magazine. He was also awarded the Department of the Army Commander's Award for Public Service for his advisory work with the Department of Systems Engineering at the US Military Academy at West Point.

Dr. David A. Mindell is Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Mindell has spent twenty-five years researching the myriad relationships between people and machines. He served as an MIT department head for five years, and has led or contributed to more than 25 oceanographic expeditions. Dr. Mindell has developed and commercially licensed spread-spectrum sonar technologies for undersea navigation. He is the author of five books, including Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy (2015), Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in the First Six Lunar Landings (2008), and Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computing Before Cybernetics (2000). Dr. Mindell is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Senior Member of the IEEE. He is Co-founder and CEO of Humatics Corporation, which is pioneering microlocation technologies to revolutionize how people and machines locate, navigate, and collaborate.

Mr. John Tylko is the Chief Innovation Officer at Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation. He was a founding member of Aurora's Board of Directors and has been continuously involved with the company since its inception in 1989. Mr. Tylko was an Advanced Manufacturing Engineer at General Electric's Aircraft Engine Group from 1979 to 1981 where he was responsible for development of composite material on the F-404 and T-700 military aircraft engines. He co-founded General Computer Company ('GCC') in 1981 and served as its Chief Operating Officer from 1987 to 2003. GCC developed a variety of innovative products int eh consumer electronics and personal computer markets, ranging from video games to laser printers. Mr. Tylko was responsible for all aspects of operational management necessary to grow the company from startup to over $50 million in revenue. He also co-founded VideoGuide in 1993 and was instrumental in its sale to Gemstar TV Guide International. VideoGuide develops interactive electronic program guides for television. Mr. Tylko served as Vice president of Aurora since May, 2003. He led Aurora's Aerostructures business sector through May, 2006 and played a major role in managing Aurora's Global Hawk manufacturing program. he led the transition of Aurora's West Virginia manufacturing plant to a state-of-the-art composite structures manufacturing center. In May, 2006 he assumed overall responsibility for Aurora's business development and strategic planning. Mr. Tylko holds a BS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a lecturer in MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a recipient of MIT's Founders Award which recognizes entrepreneurship.

Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony is the Curator of Apollo Spacecraft at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. She earned a Ph.D. in history of science and technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an M.A. in history and philosophy of science from the University of Notre Dame, and a B.A. from the Great Books Program at St. John's College. Before coming to the Smithsonian, she held positions at the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics and the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum. Dr. Muir-Harmony has written on the history of science diplomacy, international science exhibitions, and the politics of spaceflight. Her book, Apollo to the Moon: A History in Fifty Objects (National Geographic, 2018), highlighting the Apollo Collection at the Smithsonian Institution will be released in October. Dr. Muir-Harmony's current research project explores the complex relationship between diplomacy and space exploration during the space race. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she was a member of MIT's Space Policy & Society Research Group, which produced the white paper, The Future of Human Spaceflight (2009). Dr. Muir-Harmony's research and writing have been supported by the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, the MIT Presidential Fellowship, the Smithsonian Institution Graduate Fellowship, NASA's Science Mission Directorate, and the National Science Foundation. She serves on the exhibit committees for Destination Moon and One World Connected, and is an advisor for a six-part television series under production at the Smithsonian Channel. In addition, Dr. Muir-Harmony co-organizes the Space Policy & History Forum and teaches in Georgetown University's Science, Technology and International Affairs program.

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