The Dairy Arts Center Boulder, CO


Dr. Russell "Rusty" Schweickart

Scientist; Apollo 9 Astronaut

Meteor— Science and Hollywood: Truth and Reconciliation

Former Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart gave a talk on asteroids.

The Dairy Arts Center Boulder, CO

Film Synopsis

After a collision with a comet, a piece of the asteroid, "Orpheus," is heading toward Earth. If it hits, it will cause an incredible catastrophe which will probably extinguish mankind.

In the midst of the Cold War, Americans and Soviets must put aside their differences to save civilization from a huge meteor bearing down on the planet. Paul Bradley (Sean Connery) enlists the expertise of fellow scientist Alexei Dubov (Brian Keith), who is joined by his beautiful assistant, Tatiana Donskaya (Natalie Wood). Although Paul and Tatiana are attracted to each other, they must put aside their feelings and race against time to prevent global disaster.

About the Speaker

Dr. Russell Louis "Rusty" Schweickart is an American aeronautical engineer, and a former NASA astronaut, research scientist, US Air Force fighter pilot, as well as a former business and government executive.

Selected in 1963 for NASA's third astronaut group, he is best known as the Lunar Module Pilot on the 1969 Apollo 9 mission, the first manned flight test of the Lunar Module, on which he performed the first in-space test of the Portable Life Support System used by the Apollo astronauts who walked on the Moon. As backup commander of the first manned Skylab mission in 1973, he was responsible for developing the hardware and procedures used by the first crew to perform critical in-flight repairs of the Skylab station. After Skylab, he served for a time as director of user affairs in NASA's Office of Applications.

Dr. Schweickart left NASA in 1977 to serve for two years as California governor Jerry Brown's assistant for science and technology, then was appointed by Brown to California's Energy Commission for five and a half years, serving as chairman for three.

In 1984–85 he co-founded the Association of Space Explorers, and, in 2002, co-founded the B612 Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending Earth from asteroid impacts, along with fellow former-astronaut Dr. Ed Lu and two planetary scientists. He served for a period as its chair before becoming its chair emeritus.