Former Moonwalker Leads History Lesson in Blacksburg

Blacksburg, VA - A living legend touched down in Blacksburg Friday kicking off a multi-stop visit to the New River and Roanoke Valleys through Saturday.

Dr. Edgar Mitchell, one of just 12 men to walk on the moon, led a history lesson to a big crowd at the Lyric Theater.

The lesson focused on a time in our history that remains one of mankind's most remarkable achievements: Actually putting men on the moon.

Just 12 men got there, and only 8 survive today.

One of them is a very humble Dr. Edgar Mitchell, one of three crew members on Apollo 14 in 1971.

"That's what explorers do. Explorers go to where people have not been, look around, gather data, come back and tell people what you did. And that's what we did," said Mitchell.

Prepared for a number of different audiences, the former astronaut was ready for a packed theater full of students, mostly kids not born when these events unfolded.

Lessons important none-the-less for Blacksburg New School students, under teacher Jared Bond.

"It's very important to make a connection between not only the past involving our previous space exploits but also to try to inspire them to take a step to the future and think how we might get to the moon, or beyond, within their generation," said Bond.

Which is perfect for Dr. Mitchell who kept this lesson to the historical part; saving his other presentations for an already acquainted audience.

Lessons about this planet that, Dr. Mitchell says, must be adopted sooner than later before it's too late.

"We are not on a sustainable path at the moment. Too much population growth; too much destruction of resources and the likelihood is this civilization, as a world civilization, can't make another century if we don't do something differently," said Mitchell.

Dr. Mitchell will be presenting Friday night in Roanoke at 7 p.m., which required pre-registration. Then again Saturday at 11 a.m., which is open to the public with admission.

Both presentations by Dr. Mitchell are at the Science Museum of Western Virginia in downtown Roanoke.