Dr. Michael Schmidt, CEO and CSO of Sovaris Aerospace, was one of the speakers at the Apollopalooza event at the Denver Air & Space Museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The fireside chat format was led by Myrna James Yoo, publisher of Apogeo Spatial (http://apogeospatial.com).  The Apogeo Spatial mission is to communicate the power of geospatial tools and technologies in managing the world’s scarce resources and environment, so that the global population has security—of water, food and energy.

Also appearing at the event was Dr. Harrison Schmitt.  Dr. Schmitt is an Apollo 17 Astronaut, moonwalker, planetary geologist, aerospace and earth science consultant, and former United States Senator from New Mexico.  NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz also presented a keynote address.  Kranz is an aeronautical engineer, and he was the NASA Flight Director for all Project Gemini Missions and the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing. He is also famous for his leadership of the Apollo 13 “Tiger Team.”

Dr. Michael Schmidt discussed the ways in which the Apollo program informed human exploration today. Special attention was given to the effect of spaceflight on humans.  A specific discussion ensued about commercial spaceflight, and how the average person may one day soon be able to fly in space or stay in a private space habitat in low Earth orbit.  The role of personalized medicine in the optimization of human health and performance in space was explored.  Dr. Schmidt reviewed the effects of space radiation on the brain of humans that fly to Mars and examined how low levels of radiation might influence the brain, cognitive function, decision making, team cohesion, and other psychological aspects of traveling to Mars.  Dr. Schmidt also discussed his team’s analysis of the molecular data from the NASA Twins Study of One Year in Space.

Dr. Schmidt discussed some of his work at NASA Ames Research Center, exploring molecular networks in humans on NASA’s large radius 20G centrifuge.  While conducting his research at Ames, he was privileged to collaborate with Dee O’Hara,  who was the original nurse to the Apollo astronauts.  Dr. Schmidt suggested that, like the women in the movie “Hidden Figures,” Dee should be the subject of the next film about the Apollo years.