Chris Boar, Nanaimo Astronomy Society president, will take a look back at the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon and a look forward at plans to for mankind to return to the moon by 2024. (Photo submitted)

Nanaimo Astronomy Society already anticipating next moon mission

Society’s next meeting is on Thursday, April 25, at Beban Park social centre

Presenters at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s upcoming meeting will be insiders on the local astronomy scene.

Key speakers for the meeting April 25 will be society members Janeane McGillivray and Chris Boar, who is society president.

McGillivray recently returned from Hawaii where she volunteered as an ambassador for Journey Through the Universe Week, assisting astronomy educators who shared their passion for exploring the cosmos with more than 8,000 students in all grades. McGillivray will share her experiences participating as a volunteer.

“I’ve assisted outstanding astronomy educators to teach pre-kindergarten special needs students how to make pop bottle rockets, Grade 4 students how to roll out toilet paper to understand Solar System distances, and Grade 5 students how to construct and test their own spectrographs and more,” McGillivray said, in an e-mail. “I’ve been welcomed to teacher education workshops, including Polynesian wayfinding by a Hawaiian navigator, and the lunar and meteorite sample program by NASA. All of these experiences inform my volunteer work for the Nanaimo Astronomy Society and the Royal Astronomical Society here in Canada.”

Boar will bring his personal Apollo 11 memorabilia, including photographs autographed by astronauts including Buzz Aldrin, and a pen containing a film negative shot on the lunar surface, as part of his look back at July 1969, when the Apollo 11 moon landing made “one giant leap for mankind.”

Boar’s talk will highlight some of the mission’s unsung heroes and little-known facts and what the future holds, including some of the technical and political hurdles that must be cleared, especially if NASA is to return to the moon by 2024, which was announced by U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence earlier this year.

“2024, I think, is somewhat optimistic, but I think it’s really designed to put the boot into Boeing to get a move on with their currently contracted space launch system and also to open up the avenues for other commercial launch companies to bid on the projects,” Boar said.

The meeting happens at the Beban Park social centre on April 25 from 7-9 p.m. To learn more, visit
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Nanaimo Astronomy Society member Janeane MacGillivray helps deliver a Hawaiian astronomer’s spectrograph lesson in a Grade 5 classroom. (Photo submitted)

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