The Connecticut Science Center is celebrating 50 years since man first walked on the moon.
In addition to showing a film showcasing the accomplishments of NASA and the crew of Apollo 11, the Center also unveiled a new permanent exhibit.
On hand to be honored for his work on STEM education and volunteering at the center was Ed O’Connor, a former United Technologies Engineer who worked on equipment for the Apollo missions and other space missions including the shuttle.
“Looking back, you’ve got to recognize and look at what’s going on and you look at what history was and you look back 50 years and when I think of it, I think of the fifty years since and look what it’s done for us,” said O’Conner, who spent 48 years in aerospace engineering, with most of that time at Hamilton Standard.
O’Connor said when he was designing systems to go into space, he never thought about how critical every decision he made was, considering it had to work perfectly in space.
“No, you’ve got a job to do. You realize what it is, you realize the excitement of it, but you’ve got a job to do,” he said. “When it hits is when they’re coming down, when they’re landing.”
The “Exploring Space,” Gallery at the Connecticut Science Center will receive a new exhibit, as well. A Connecticut state flag that was flown aboard the Shuttle Atlantis will also be on display permanently. It was brought to the Shuttle by a pair of Connecticut-born astronauts, Ken Burbank from Tolland and Richard Mastracchio from Waterbury.