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NASA Chief Administrator talks Tulsa ties to Apollo 11

Posted at 8:36 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 21:36:06-04

Former Oklahoma Representative turned Chief Administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine sat down with 2 Works for You's Erin Conrad from Washington D.C. Wednesday to talk about Tulsa's ties to the Apollo 11 launch.

"As the former Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, I imagine that this anniversary is something very special for you. Can you tell me what that's like being a part of this?" asked Conrad.

"It really is amazing and the reason it's important to remember the history here is that it helps us keep an eye on the future. What is the stunning achievement that we are going to accomplish in this era in my lifetime? What is that stunning achievement that people will remember and celebrate 50 years from now?" Bridenstine said.

"Mr. Bridenstine, you're an Oklahoman yourself and of course you know Oklahoma has a rich aerospace history. We know Tulsans played a role in that Apollo mission, so, what can you tell us about how Tulsa contributed to our race to the moon?" asked Conrad.

" So Tulsa built most of the external components on the Saturn rockets that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon and of course those same Saturn rockets really took 6 missions to the moon and we had 12 men walk on the moon in that era," Bridenstine tells 2 Works for You.

Tulsa's contributions didn't stop there, Tulsa aerospace manufacturers contributed to the shuttle program, and made components for the International Space Station, among other things.

Those accomplishments laid out at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum that Bridenstine used to oversee.

So, what's next as NASA gears up to head back to the moon?

"The President has said, go sustainably, he has said go with commercial partners, go with international partners, utilize the resources of the moon, but here's the key. He's said he wants to plant an American flag on Mars so ultimately that is the objective," said Bridenstine.

Bridenstine says the timeline for going back to the Moon is 2024. The future trip to Mars is set for sometime in the mid-2030s.

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