Connections Spotlight: Flagstaff Festival of Science (Sept. 20-29) kicks off with overflow space for Live-Streaming of Apollo Astronaut Talk on Sept. 20

| September 16, 2019

Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth’s Early Childhood Fair on Sept. 28 is included in festival’s passport. Free tickets also available for NAU’s Kitt Recital Hall

FLAGSTAFF — As the Flagstaff Festival of Science prepares to go To the Moon and Beyond during its 30th anniversary season, the W. L. Gore & Associates Keynote Presentation featuring Apollo 16 astronaut General Charlie Duke at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, is sold out for seating in Northern Arizona University’s Ardrey Auditorium. In an effort to make Duke’s talk as accessible as possible, the Festival is live-streaming the keynote for the first time ever on YouTube and creating overflow space in NAU’s nearby Kitt Recital Hall, where the presentation can be viewed on two screens.

Free tickets for the overflow space are available at the NAU Central Ticket Office, or 928-523-5661. The presentation also may be viewed live at

General Duke is the 10thand youngest person to ever walk on the Moon. Like all of the Moon-walking astronauts, Duke trained in Flagstaff first before taking steps in the lunar environment. “I found Flagstaff to be one of the most interesting places that we visited to study geology. I loved the people, the San Francisco Peaks and the beauty of the area,” he said.

In preparation for his historic 1972 space flight, Duke practiced maneuvering a lunar rover prototype over rough volcanic terrain and in and out of a simulated crater field north of town. He also visited Meteor Crater and hiked the Grand Canyon as part of his training. As a tribute to Flagstaff and the support the astronauts received, he and Apollo 16 Commander John Young named a Moon crater near their Lunar Highlands landing spot, “Flag Crater,” a name that remains today.

Duke will share his experiences on the Moon and provide insight into the future of space travel. “I see us back in space with a permanent Moon base. There we can develop systems and the confidence in repairing those systems, and eventually launch to Mars. We’ll learn how to live in deep space like we do in Antarctica and cycle in crews every couple of months,” he said. “We are going to want to see people going into space more. The human heart is meant to explore.”

The Flagstaff Festival of Science, Sept. 20 – 29, provides more than 100 FREE public science education activities, connecting young people and lifelong learners with scientists and creating interactive experiences for all ages at observatories, research stations, national parks and forests, field sites and laboratories. Signature events include Science in the Park, NAU Science and Engineering Day, Lowell Observatory Open House and SCI Talks. The Coconino High School CocoNuts FIRST Robotics Team members will demonstrate the Moon buggy replica robot they built. And, the Flagstaff Star Party will join the Festival, September 26 – 28, at Buffalo Park. For a complete calendar of events and more information, visit

Throughout the year, the Lunar Legacy Lecture Series offers presentations featuring Flagstaff scientists and historians,

6 – 7:30 p.m., on the second Wednesday of each month at the Coconino Community College Lone Tree Campus,

“The Flagstaff Festival of Science is a gift the community gives itself,” said Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans. “I am so grateful to live in a place where science discovery and innovation are embraced and put on center stage so that we can all be more informed citizens prepared to make complex decisions. It’s comforting to know our future will be in good hands as our children are raised in this powerful learning environment created in our community. Bravo to the Festival volunteers who have steadfastly taken a leadership role in science education and mentored other communities to do the same.”

The award-winning Festival is made possible through the generous support of businesses, organizations, foundations and individuals. Major sponsors include W. L. Gore & Associates, the City of Flagstaff/BBB Revenues, Flagstaff Arts Council, Northern Arizona University, Wells Fargo, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Arizona Community Foundation of Flagstaff, Lowell Observatory, Science Sandbox, Science Festival Alliance, Barringer Crater Company, Meteor Crater, Peaks Audio Productions and Suddenlink.



Category: Education, Educational Opportunities, Events, Programs

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