AAPG 2011 conference takes geoscience from the subsurface to outer space
HOUSTON: Geologists meeting at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) conference are primarily concerned with the analysis of rock layers below the Earth’s surface. As a celebration of the 50th anniversary of US President John F. Kennedy’s famous speech about taking Man to the Moon, the AAPG conference underway here invited four American astronauts to speak at the inaugural luncheon session.
The special guests were Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter, Apollo astronaut Harrison H. “Jack” Schmitt, and space shuttle astronauts James F. Reilly II and Andrew J. Feustel. These scientists together represent the timeline of the NASA manned space program starting in 1962 with the Mercury orbital flight to the space shuttle mission scheduled for early 2011.
Each astronaut described his personal story of interest in science, astronaut selection and training, mission accomplishments, post-mission experiences and ventures, and the future of the space program. Dr. James F. Reilly ll was employed as a petroleum geologist for 17 years before his selection by NASA in 1994. Dr. Andrew J. Feustel was employed as a geophysicist for ExxonMobil Exploration before being accepted as a mission specialist for NASA in 2000.
The AAPG 2011 conference continues until Wednesday, April 13 and features both technical presentations and an exhibit at the George Brown Convention Center.