December Dinner Meeting: Glynn Lunney – Apollo Flight Director

See the video from the event:

Join the AIAA Houston Section in the last dinner of 2014 with Mr. Glynn Lunney (See his biography)!  He will speak about his experience as a Flight Director during the Apollo missions.


Mr. Lunney has held a variety of positions within NASA during his exalted career such as Space Shuttle program director, Apollo-era Flight Director, Chief of the Flight Director’s office, Chief of the Flight Dynamic branch, and program manager for the Space Shuttle payload integration and development office. Mr. Lunney also worked for Rockwell and then the United Space Alliance.


The dinner will be at the NASA Gilruth Center in the Alamo ballroom and will be a buffet. Please reserve a plate (for a nominal fee) or one of the free seats below.

Social hour: 5:30pm
Dinner: 6:00pm
Program: 6:45pm


Book Signing after the Dinner Event

After the dinner event, Mr. Lunney will be signing copies of his book, Highways into Space, which can be either bought through our Eventbrite website when you register ($22 + online fee) or may be purchased at the event ($22). Either way you purchase it, your book will be waiting for you when you check in. You can also purchase it through, but you must bring the book with you to the event if you want it signed.



Special Collaboration Event: SWAPRA Luncheon Speaker: Gene Kranz, Former NASA Flight Director

AIAA Houston Section in collaboration with the South Western Aerospace Professional Representatives Association (SWAPRA) invites you to a luncheon with a special speaker, Mr. Gene Kranz, Former NASA Flight Director. His talk, “Failure is Not an Option” will be at Bay Oaks Country Club on January 29th, 2014 at 11:30am and will discuss the Apollo 13 crisis, the stresses and challenges, and how it was all overcome.

As this is a plated luncheon hosted by SWAPRA, RSVP and payment are required as described in the two steps below.

Step 1.) RSVP to Chris Elkins at or call at 281-276-2792

Step 2.) Non-Members must pay according to the following fee schedule at the PayPal link below:

Fee Schedule:

Free for SWAPRA Members (included in dues)

$25.00 for Non-members and pre-paid by 27 January 2014

$35.00 for Non-members at the door (IF seating is available)

PayPal™ Payment Link:


Speaker’s Biography:

Eugene F. Kranz was born in Toledo, Ohio, on August 17, 1933. He was schooled at Parks College of St. Louis, Missouri, in 1954 and received a BS in aeronautical engineering. Before his work with NASA, he was an Air Force captain (1955-1958), flight test loads engineer, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation (1954-1955), pilot in U.S. Air Force (1955-1958), and flight test engineer and supervisor of carrier and missile system flight test maintenance and checkout at the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico (1958-1960). He joined NASA in 1960 in the Flight Control Operations Branch, NASA Space Task Group, at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia (1960-1964). In time he rose to become chief of the Flight Control Operations Branch, Mercury assistant flight director, Gemini flight director (1964-1968), chief of the Flight Control Division, Apollo flight director, and Skylab flight operations director (1969-1974), deputy director of flight operations, Space Transportation System (STS) mission operations director (1974-1983), and finally eirector of mission operations of the STS (1983-1994).


Gene Kranz’s presentation will include:

As the leader of the “Tiger Team” of flight directors who brought the Apollo 13 spacecraft safely back to Earth on April 17, 1970, Gene Kranz demonstrated extraordinary courage and heroism. An extraordinarily gifted leader and motivator, Kranz inspired his Tiger Team to hold fast to the highest standards possible. Together, they struggled to devise the plan that would safely bring the ship and its crew of three astronauts home after its oxygen system failed.

“Failure is not an option,” the motto that carried him through the Apollo 13 crisis, is a major theme of his motivational speeches today. Kranz speaks with passion and pride about the NASA employees who formed his mission teams—teams that worked hard and made history in the 1960s and ‘70s. He explains that his flight directors were young engineers and scientists, most of them in their twenties, having come to NASA fresh out of school with little work experience, but with abundant energy, and the will to succeed at one of humankind’s most challenging endeavors: space exploration.

The Apollo 13 crisis pushed Kranz and his team to the brink of fear and doubt, but they refused to give in to these emotions or to succumb to panic. Instead, under his leadership, they worked together to save the imperiled spacecraft, and brought the ship and crew safely home. Kranz speaks with a raw brilliance about the challenges and problems that they successfully faced and overcame, giving his audiences the inspiration that they need to face down challenges and adversity in their own lives and careers.



11:30—12:00 Networking

12:00—1:00 Lunch and Program



Bay Oaks Country Club

14545 Bay Oaks Blvd.

Houston (Clear Lake City), TX 77059


Further information on South Western Aerospace Professional Representative Association (SWAPRA) –


Please send any questions or comments about the event to Chris Elkins at or call at 281-276-2792