From the moon to WUSTL

The University’s role in Apollo 11 is getting recognition this month in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the moon landing July 20, 1969. In this photo taken in 1969, the late Robert M. Walker, Ph.D., then the McDonnell Professor of Physics in Arts & Sciences, displays photos and lunar samples collected on the mission. Walker’s research team was a partner in the scientific planning and examination of lunar material brought back by the astronauts. Walker, who later became the first director of the University’s McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, was a member of NASA’s Lunar Sample Analysis Team that received the material in a Houston lab and allocated samples to 150 labs around the world, including WUSTL. Ghislaine Crozaz, Ph.D., professor of earth and planetary sciences emerita in Arts & Sciences, also was on the team and said the event is “as vivid in my mind as if it had happened yesterday.” She said the team received samples in early September then worked diligently throughout the fall to have a paper ready by the following January. “We arrived with our ‘Science’ paper after having worked ‘incommunicado’ for 4 months,” she said.