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Apollo 50th Anniversary Program on Apr. 24, 2019

ASME and AIAA will hold the 23rd Annual History & Heritage and Awards Banquet/Distinguished Lecture on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at the Ohio Aerospace Institute. This year we have a special program in recognition of the 50th anniversary of man landing on the Moon, with a presentation by two local authors.


Featured Presentation: The Final Journey of the Saturn V

The Saturn V can be considered one of humankind’s greatest achievements. The outcome of President Kennedy’s 1961 call to put a man on the Moon, the Saturn V is a technological marvel that stood more than 36 stories tall. An enormous workforce of engineers, scientists, welders, barge captains, and computer programmers spent an untold number of hours on design, logistics, manufacturing, quality control, and more to launch the Saturn V. Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind was the culmination of a focused effort to beat the Soviets and prove American ingenuity and productivity was beyond doubt.

Unfortunately, the demise of the Apollo program was just as shattering as the force it took to launch the rocket into orbit. A few years after the Eagle had landed, the unused Saturn launch vehicles were left outside to rot.

Like the space program itself, the rocket was forgotten and its carcass soon became home to flora and fauna. In hopes not only to resurrect the physical rocket, but also to bring the complete Moon adventure back to life, the Smithsonian Institute and other prominent partners laid out plans to create a total mission experience destination at Kennedy Space Center. A key component of the plan was the complete restoration and the preservation of the Saturn V, which was done by Paul Thomarios of Akron, Ohio.

This presentation is a brief history of the development of the Saturn V launch vehicle; and, the unique story of the restoration and preservation of the Saturn V rocket that is on display today at Kennedy Space Center.


About the speakers:

Paul Thomarios and Andrew R. Thomas are co-authors, along with the late Gene Cernan, Commander of Apollo 17 and the Last Man on the Moon, of the book The Final Journey of the Saturn V (University of Akron Press, 2012)

Paul Thomarios is President of Thomarios, an Akron-based diverse corporation, with comprehensive services in Construction Management, Design Build, General Construction, Commercial and Industrial Painting and Coatings, Powder Coating, Historic Spacecraft, Aircraft, and Building Restoration. Paul took over the family business from his father, a first-generation Greek immigrant.

In 1996, Thomarios conducted the restoration and preservation of the Saturn V Rocket, which is currently on display at Kennedy Space Center. Since then, Thomarios has restored and preserved other space and aviation artifacts such as Neil Armstrong’s FD5 “Skylancer” airplane, Titan and Atlas rockets, and Gemini, Apollo, and Mercury capsules.

Dr. Andrew R. Thomas is an Associate Professor of International Business at the University of Akron. He is a New York Times bestselling author / editor of 23 books, including: Soft Landing: Airline Industry Strategy, Service, and Safety, Aviation Insecurity: The New Challenges of Air Travel, Air Rage: Crisis in the Skies, and Aviation Security Management.



We will also have on display artifacts from the Apollo era, including artifacts from a local Cleveland company that was involved in that first landing on the Moon, put together by someone who worked for that company!


Program Details:

When: Wednesday, April 24

Where: Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI), 22800 Cedar Point Rd, Cleveland, OH 44142


Meet & Greet – 5:45 PM
Dinner – 6:30 PM
Dinner menu: Tossed salad, lemon chicken, vegetable lasagna, red skin potatoes, green and yellow beans and carrots, rolls, coffee, tea, desserts
Awards – 7:00 PM
Presentation – 7:30 PM


Cost: Dinner: $20; $10 for students

Please RSVP no later than April 19th to:

Paul Penko: 440-243-7321; pfpenko@yahoo.com (email preferred)


Make check payable to: ASME Cleveland Section.

Mail to:

Paul Penko
22 Third Ave
Berea, OH 44017-1263


Questions? Contact Ed Lewandowski at Edward.J.Lewandowski@nasa.gov; 216.408.3817