Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke to talk about his ‘Journey to the Moon’

Charlie Duke, Apollo 16 astronaut and moonwalker, will discuss “A Journey to the Moon!” on Nov. 1 in Brookings Hall, Room 300, at Washington University in St. Louis.

His talk, which is free and open to the public, will immediately follow a public ceremony at 2:30 p.m. in which he will present WUSTL Arts & Sciences senior Lonia Friedlander with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF).

Friedlander, a native of Akron, Ohio, is one of 19 university students nationwide selected to receive this prestigious award by the more than 70 NASA astronauts in the ASF.

The scholarships are awarded to students who exhibit exceptional performance, initiative and creativity in the science or engineering field of their major. While scholarship recipients must display intellectual daring, the committee also looks for well-rounded students who are involved in campus and community activities.

“These scholarships are a way for me and my fellow astronauts to give back to a country that provided us with an extraordinary opportunity,” Duke said. “Lonia will be one of the many leaders who will keep the United States at the edge of breakthrough technology and I consider it an honor to be presenting her with this check.”

Majoring in both chemistry and earth and planetary sciences with an overall grade point average of 3.9, Friedlander is pursuing research in the areas of remote sensing and mineral spectroscopy.

Using methods developed to survey planets, she is exploring non-invasive means for locating and determining the value of natural resources. Eventually, she would like to help natural-resource companies develop environmentally sustainable practices for ground extraction.

A participant in the university’s Pathfinder Program in Environmental Sustainability, her concern for the environment also led her to become involved with the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic with the School of Law.

Friedlander taught a section of a chemistry laboratory to freshmen and she tutors students through an academic program.

Duke was among 19 new astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. After serving as a member of the astronaut support crew for Apollo 13, he was named Lunar Module pilot for Apollo 16, along with Commander John Young and Command Module Pilot T. K. (Ken) Mattingly.

They were launched April 16, 1972, and reached the moon three days later. While Mattingly orbited the moon in “Casper,” the command ship, Young and Duke landed their lunar ship “Orion” on the Cayley Plain in the Descartes Highlands.

During three outside excursions over three days, they drove a Lunar Rover 16 miles and collected 213 pounds of lunar rock and soil.

Duke, who retired from NASA in 1975, is a brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1997.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America’s original Mercury astronauts.

For more information on the talk, which is sponsored by Arts & Sciences, call 935-7003.