Spaceflight and Leadership
18 Oct 2012 Nuradmin 0
Dr. Edward G. Gibson, Former Astronaut, Sr. VP SAIC at EROS Data Center: Spaceflight and Leadership
Monday, July 18th saw Downtown Rotarians come together to hear from a speaker who was out of this world or at least has literally been so. Dr. Edward G. Gibson, former astronaut on SkyLab and current Sr. Vice President of SAIC at EROS in South Dakota was the esteemed speaker at Monday’s lunch meeting.
The hour started off with a mealtime prayer, honors being paid to the flag and all Rotarians that had birthdays for the month followed by a few rousing verses of the day’s song, Home on the Range.
Following introductions of visiting Rotarians, Mrs. Luba Silctiuk, a native of the Ukraine took to the microphone to speak briefly about her experiences moving from Eastern Europe and setting in Sioux Falls with her husband and four children. Luba currently works at the Multicultural Center in Sioux Falls and likes America very much.
Doug Hajek then introduced Dr. Gibson as the main speaker for the day. Dr. Gibson received the Distinguished Service Medal from President Nixon for various accomplishments including tying the record at the time for being the only human to spend the most consecutive time (over 84 days) in space on SkyLab.
Dr. Gibson presentation was entitled “Flying In Space” and featured numerous slides that gave us a taste of what it must be like to depart from, float above, and return to our planet after spending time in space. For instance, Dr. Gibson described riding the first stage of a Saturn V rocket as being a “fly glued to a paint shaker.” The second and third stages were much more comfortable as you became weightless after shaking the bonds of gravity. He also described taking a spacewalk as “walking out the window to the ledge on top of the tallest building and hanging upside down.” During the reentry phase, Dr. Gibson told of how his space capsule landed in the water upside down and how uncomfortable it was until a few large balloon devices could be inflated to right-size the vehicle.
Upon conclusion, Dr. Gibson said America’s space program has several things going for it which include the desire to explore, great facilities and technology and the youth of today coupled with the “greybeards” who have already made the voyage. His final thought was that going back to the moon and even the planet Mars is not a question but rather an inevitability.