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Burt Lecture

Burton L. (Burt) Sharpe

NJ native, boyhood favorites were Burroughs, Heinlein, Asimov & Bradbury.

Aeronautical Engineering graduate of University of Colorado, Boulder. Early employment by Convair (General Dynamics) Astronautics, in Atlas ICBM development test and operations in San Diego, then Vandenberg AFB, CA.   Later worked in Agena project engineering programs at Lockheed, Sunnyvale CA, then moved to NASA-Houston as a Mission Control rep on the Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle program.

Joined NASA Flight Control Division at Mission Control, Houston, and supervised the planning for, and day-to-day operations of, the six ALSEP stations deployed on the Moon by the Apollo Mission crews.  As that program ended, transferred to NASA-Langley in Hampton VA, to join the Project Management staff of the Viking (Mars Orbiter-Lander) Program.  In that program's operational phase at JPL, Pasadena, CA, generated the daily Orbiter command sequences that controlled the engineering housekeeping functions and science image acquisition.

When Viking ended, joined JPL and worked in Systems Engineering on a variety of projects.  Moved to St. Louis in 1982 as part of a JPL's effort to support the US Army's Project Management Office for the Aquila Remotely Piloted Vehicle.  Later served as Site Engineer on JPL's Command and Control Automation Project, which upgraded and redesigned the USTRANSCOM Command Center at Scott AFB, IL,
used during Operation Desert Storm.

Active since the mid-1990's with Dr. David Schrunk et al, proposing strategies for lunar development.  This activity has included numerous conference presentations as well as the book The Moon Resources, Future Development, and Colonization" published in 1999 by Wiley-Praxis.  Authored article "The Future of the Moon" published in Astronomy Now magazine in Feb, 2001.

Advocate of human colonization of space for reasons relating to both human destiny, and net environmental benefits to Planet Earth.  Believe the Moon is the only practical starting point, and that in the coming 100 years we will colonize it; moreover, most of the base- and city- building will be done remotely, from Earth.  This (Lunar Development) industry is at the same relative stage of evolution that todays global aviation/aerospace industry was at 100 years ago viz., some hot air balloons, a couple of bicycle mechanics with some ideas to try, and a fair lot of science fiction.