Bruce McCandless II

Whenever possible Space Lectures takes their astronaut guests to local schools: to inspire the children as we all have been inspired. On Friday morning Oyster Park Primary School in Castleford rolled out the red carpet for the McCandless’s and they could not have been more welcoming.

Al Worden has been quoted as saying that Ellen Shields McCandless… “Is the nicest person you could ever hope to meet” and he was right. Throughout the visit, nothing was too much trouble. Ellen even insisted on serving each of the Space Lectures team a side portion of Thornton’s chocolates
with their eggs, bacon and black pudding at breakfast. It made a nice change from Ketchup!

Saturday’s lecture was a treat. Bruce covered a myriad of topics and dealt with his own career for only a portion of the lecture. From selection as an astronaut and developing the Manned Manoeuvring Unit (that had had such a bad press following early Gemini incarnations) to the Apollo moon landings, the achievements of the Shuttle program, the Hubble Space Telescope, Doppler shift, infrared astronomy, Space X and even unmanned probes. NASA’s job today Bruce insisted was to manage risk, take on research and deep space exploration leaving much of the near earth space program to the private sector: and to do so in the true Kennedy spirit, “not because it is easy but because it is hard”.

View Bruce’s lecture below.



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