This post was written by Sadina Shawver, student at Simmons College and intern at the AAPB.
Juno’s recent arrival at the planet Jupiter is just one more stop upon a decades long mission to understand our expanding universe by first understanding our own solar system. In the Spring of 1962, Seattle, Washington’s World’s Fair hosted a conference on space research. Experts from varied and interdisciplinary sciences were present to discuss the achievements of NASA in their time and the scientific and fiscal future of space exploration. The University of Maryland has provided a 13 part series containing highlights on the 2nd National Conference on Peaceful Uses of Space, which you can listen to in the AAPB Online Reading Room!
General Chairman William P. Woods started off the conference by paralleling the potential impact of 20th century space research to that of the original Age of Exploration of the 15th century. Seattle Governor Albert Rosellini then stressed the need to strengthen a partnership between the scientists undertaking space research, the politicians providing fiscal support, and the laymen whose taxes ultimately funded such missions. As Chairman of the Commerce Committee, a member of both the Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences and the Senate Appropriations Committee, Washington Senator Warren Magnuson placed his weighted support into the future of space research.
A queue of scientists followed the opening speakers with lists of accomplishments, theories, and future missions to present to the conference. Homer E. Newell, the Director of NASA’s Offices of Space Sciences, advocated a strong national space program as a means to take up a position as world leaders in the space sciences. The Offices of Space Sciences Deputy Director, Edgar M. Cartwright, reminded the conference that the contemporary understanding of our own solar system was but a drop in the potential well of knowledge.
Milton B. Ames, Jr., Director of Space Vehicles for NASA’s Offices of Advanced Research and Technology, and Harold Finger, Director of Nuclear Systems in the Offices of Advanced Research and Technology as well as the Manager of the Joint Atomic Energy Committee in NASA’s Space Nuclear Propulsion Office, spoke of furthering scientific understanding in vehicular space travel as a means of preparing for long-distance human exploration.
Over the length of the series, scientists and advocates continued to present to the attendees of the Conference a plethora of potential social and economic benefits to furthering space exploration. Juno’s mission continues this tradition of peaceful and scientific space exploration.
Sadina Shawver is a graduate student at Simmons SLIS and a cataloging intern at the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.