News Release

‘Mission To Mars’ Luncheon Helps Inspire Future Explorers

HOUSTON, Sept. 15, 2016 – Space and education enthusiasts gathered at River Oaks Country Club today to support the nonprofit Space Center Houston’s inaugural fall luncheon: “Mission to Mars, What Will It Take?” The stellar day was led by co-chairs Janet and Harvin Moore and Keith and Alice Mosing and raised nearly $200,000 for Space Center Houston’s Youth STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Academies for underserved youth.

“Your generous support will make a difference in the lives of thousands of youth  who will be inspired to pursue careers using science and mathematics after studying at our science learning center,” Space Center Houston President and CEO William T. Harris told attendees. “Those students could be among the first humans to set foot on Mars. What will it take to make a journey to Mars possible? It takes a caring community committed to providing our youth with quality educational experiences.”

Master of Ceremonies Russ Lewis of KHOU Channel 11 highlighted that it has been 54 years since President John Kennedy made his historic speech announcing the goal of landing a man on the moon, so it was fitting that the event honored astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man on the moon.  Applause greeted a film showing some of Cernan’s many accomplishments.

Featured guests were Dr. Ellen Ochoa, astronaut and center director of NASA Johnson Space Center, and Kathy Lueders, program manager for the NASA Commercial Crew Program.  Topics ranged from the International Space Station to how humans will be able to stay longer in space to make possible missions to Mars. A lively game of “fact or myth” at the end of the event left guests with a greater knowledge of space exploration.

Seen in the crowd:  Betsy and Fred Griffin, Jeanne and Richard Filip, Cyndy Garza Roberts, Susan Sarofim, Carol Linn, Alecia and Larry Lawyer, Gwen Griffin Saylor and Al Saylor, Lori Bloomfield and Penny and Dennis Murphree.

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The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit science and space learning center with extensive educational programs. Space Center Houston is the cornerstone of its mission to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration. The center draws 1 million visitors annually, was called “The Big Draw” by USA Today and generates a $73 million annual economic impact in the greater Houston area.  Space Center Houston is Houston’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate and the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center.  More than 100,000 teachers and students annually from around the world visit the center to take part in extraordinary learning opportunities. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

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