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April 2023 Parsec Monthly meeting

In April our guest is Robert E. Harpold.

Robert E. Harpold is an engineer working for ERC, Inc., a subcontractor for NASA, designing trajectories for the Artemis missions. His article “Flybys, Launch Windows, and Selfies with the Earth and Moon” appeared in the March issue of DreamForge Anvil.  

On November 16th, 2022, the uncrewed Artemis I mission was launched to the moon. As the first major spaceflight of NASA’s Artemis program, Artemis I marked the return of the agency to human lunar exploration originally begun with the Apollo program. Artemis I was the first integrated flight test of the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS).

Courtesy of NASA
Courtesy of NASA

Robert Harpold’s presentation this month takes us behind the scenes of the Artemis I flight and gives us an idea of the amount of work that went into the entire Artemis I mission by focusing on the work of one team: the trajectory design team, responsible for creating the path the spacecraft would take from the Earth to the Moon and back again. We get to go behind the scenes where, after so many years, we’ve sent a human-rated spacecraft back to the Moon!

Robert E. Harpold has operated a weather satellite and a space-weather spacecraft for NOAA and, for a different NASA project, has flown over Greenland and Antarctica to collect data on their elevation changes. He is married to his amazing and accomplished wife Julie and has a young and very smart daughter named Isabelle.

Courtesy of NASA

PARSEC, Pittsburgh’s premier Science Fiction & Fantasy Organization
Meeting Date: Saturday, April 15 via ZOOM.
Program begins: 1:00 pm.



We’re planning a return to Meeting Room B at the Squirrel Hill
Carnegie Library and joint ZOOM meeting.
Let’s take advantage of some in-person time to discuss and possibly trade
our favorite science fiction and fantasy books. Bring books you’re willing to
trade or give away and books you just want to enthusiastically promote.
(We’re thinking small quantities; we’re not setting up a flea market. And
we’d like you to share your personal history with one or more of your
favorite tomes.)

Did you miss the February Parsec Monthly meeting with Bruce Boston?
Catch the zoom recording on our YouTube channel!