WATCH: The Astronauts Memorial Foundation Inaugural Space Luncheon Series is Big Success
By Steve Wilson // November 19, 2023
Keynote Speaker Kennedy Space Center Chief of Staff Trey Carlson
WATCH: The Astronauts Memorial Foundation and National Space Society held the Inaugural Space Luncheon Series – 1 (SLS-1) at The Center for Space Education located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The Kennedy Space Center Chief of Staff, Trey Carlson, was the Keynote Speaker. This was the first of a series of monthly meetings to promote the space industry.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Recently, I attended The Astronauts Memorial Foundation Inaugural Space Luncheon Series -1 (SLS-1) at The Center for Space Education located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Kennedy Space Center Chief of Staff, Trey Carlson, was the Keynote Speaker. I spoke with multiple individuals after the program, and they were all in agreement that it was a resounding success!
Carlson’s message to those attending was inspiring. In his words, he wanted to talk about three things: “what NASA was thinking with our Moon to Mars program and what Artemis is doing; what’s going on, on the ground, at Kennedy; and how our programs on property are supporting that.” He did an excellent job speaking about all three phases.
The Master of Ceremonies was Julia Barney, Director of Fundraising and Events for The Astronauts Memorial Foundation, who did a great job keeping the program moving.
I had the opportunity to talk with the CEO of The Astronauts Memorial Foundation, Thad Altman. I asked Altman to speak a little about SLS-1 and the Foundation in general. He told me that the Foundations is all about “keeping the dream alive of those astronauts who have made the ultimate sacrifice, given their lives for human space flight.” He went on to say, “We are here to educate, to inspire, and to motivate our next generation for space flight.” This program certainly did that!
These gatherings are open to the public, aerospace industry, educators, and space enthusiasts. So, basically, anyone that would like to attend is welcome. As Julia Barney puts it, “Space is for everyone!”
The Astronauts Memorial Foundation has partnered with the National Space Society to hold these luncheons once a month. Former NASA Astronaut Chris Ferguson will be the Keynote Speaker for the next meeting, which will be held Thursday, December 14, 2023. Ferguson flew aboard STS-115 Atlantis (2006), STS-126 Endeavour (2008), and STS-135 Atlantis (2011).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Steve Wilson was born in DeRidder, Louisiana and grew up in both New Orleans and Macon, Georgia. He moved to Brevard County in 1984 and retired from local government as the Community Advocate/Assistant to the City Manager with the City of Rockledge in 2018.
Among the awards and accolades Steve has received over the years are 15 + year Rockledge Little League volunteer, Brevard Public School Jefferson Award Recipient, Rockledge High School Raider Booster Award 2001, 2006, City of Rockledge Employee of the Year 2006, Rockledge Kiwanian of the Year 2006-2007, City of Rockledge Quality Public Service Award 2008, 2012, 2017, Rockledge Kiwanis Citizen of the Year 2012-2013, Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame – Sportscasting 2015, Rockledge High School Leadership and Service Award 2016, Central Florida Humanitarian Award 2017, Space Coast Inspiration Award – 2018, Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame – Lifetime Achievement – 2020 and Ecofest Achievement Award – 2022.
Wilson is especially proud of is chairing two fundraisers in support of pediatric cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in honor of Merritt Island resident Julie Spurlock that raised over $25,000.00.
He has been a partner, along with Orville Susong, for the past 24 years with the Friday Night Locker Room, a broadcasting team that covers and reports on a wide variety of local events that are of significance to the residents of the Space Coast and beyond. Their mission is to promote youth sports, support first responders and law enforcement personnel, and showcase community and charitable events that are produced by our nonprofit partners in central Florida.
The Friday Night Locker Room has awarded hundreds of sports achievement plaques to Brevard County student-athletes over the years. They have also awarded more than $18,000 in academic scholarships to Brevard County high school seniors.