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Lunar Lion Lands at The Explorers Club

Two of our students, Kara Morgan and JP Muncks, got the opportunity to go to a very special event in New York City earlier this month. The prestigious Explorer’s Club held its 110th Annual Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. This club has an incredible membership that includes Robert Peary (the first person to the North Pole), Sir Edmund Hillary (the first person to the summit of Mount Everest), Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, and Neil Armstrong. Kara and JP were at the event representing Lunar Lion, and got the opportunity to explain the project to several members of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (of which Penn State is now a member) that were in attendance.

Two of the honorees were very familiar to the space community. Jeff Bezos, along with his team, was honored for his recovery of the Saturn V F1 engines used to send the Apollo 11 astronauts to the Moon. The engines had been on the bottom of the ocean for the last 40 years, and many assumed they’d never be found, but Bezos was able to mount his own expedition found them after two years of searching. The coolest part was that the injector plate and heat exchanger from the engine were on display at the event, much to Kara and JP’s excitement! The heat exchanger was fairly disfigured, but the injector plate was in remarkably good shape.

Elon Musk was also honored for his work on SpaceX and Tesla Motors. Being one of Kara and JP’s idols, they were looking forward to meeting him as soon as they heard he’d be attending the dinner. As soon as the dinner was over, they worked their way onto the stage and got a chance to meet him.

Overall, it was an absolutely incredible event, and something Kara and JP will never forget.

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