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First Geologist on the Moon

Moon PosterOn Friday 23 October 2015, in collaboration with the Royal Astronomical Society, the Library hosted a recreation of the 28th William Smith lecture, originally given by the US astronaut Harrison H Schmitt on 19 December 1973.

Dr Harrison Schmitt was part of the three man crew of Apollo 17 which launched on 7 December 1972, returning to Earth on 19 December.  Apollo 17 was the final of NASA’s manned lunar landing missions and therefore Schmitt remains the first and only geologist ever to walk on the Moon. 

The following year, Dr Schmitt delivered a lecture on his experiences before a packed audience in the newly refurbished lecture theatre at the Geological Society.  Indeed such was the demand for tickets that the lecture was relayed to the British Academy where extra seating had to be provided for another 130 attendees.

Demand for our event was equally high, with tickets selling out in record time.  Over 60 people were in attendance to watch the special remastered screening in the Upper Library where, through the wonders of 1970s video technology, Schmitt was beamed live from 1973 to once again present his lecture "Apollo and the geology of the Moon".  The evening concluded with an update of the lecture, kindly provided by Dr Schmitt himself, and read by Dr Natasha Stephens from Plymouth University who also delivered a presentation on developments in lunar exploration since the Apollo missions.

The Geological Society and Royal Astronomical Society Libraries would also like to thank Professor Ian Crawford, FRAS.

Watch the film

The 2015 remastered edit of Dr Harrison Schmitt’s lecture, ‘Apollo and the Geology of the Moon’, first delivered 19 December 1973.

Harrison Schmitt update - 19th October 2015

Read Harrison Schmitt's update on his William Smith lecture

Image Gallery

View a selection of images from the evening