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31st Annual Dr. Wernher von Braun Memorial Dinner

  • 09/12/2019
  • 17:30 - 21:00
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Davidson Center


31st Annual Dr. Wernher von Braun Memorial Dinner
Thursday, September 12, 2019
U.S Space & Rocket Center, Davidson Center
5:30pm Reception
7:00pm Dinner
Black Tie / Military Equivalent

Guest Speaker:

Leonard David is a space journalist, reporting on space activities for over 50 years. He recently completed a new book for National Geographic: Moon Rush: The New Space Race released in May 2019.

Mr. David is also author of Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet published by National Geographic in October 2016. The book is the companion volume to MARS – a National Geographic Channel television series from executive producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

Leonard is co-author with Apollo 11’s Buzz Aldrin of Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration released in 2013 and published by the National Geographic.

Leonard was the first recipient of the American Astronautical Society’s (AAS) “Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History” in the category of Journalism, which waspresented in 2015 at the 8th AAS Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium.

Currently, Leonard is’s Space Insider Columnist, as well as a correspondent for SpaceNews, and acontributing writer for a number of websites, newspapers, books and magazines, including Scientific American, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Aerospace America Magazine, Smithsonian’s Air & Space Magazine, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, as well as in supplemental writing for Aviation Week & Space Technology Magazine. He has been a consultant to NASA, other government agencies and the aerospace industry.

In the mid-1980's he served as Director of Research for the National Commission on Space, a U.S. Congress/White House study that appraised the next 50 to 100 years of space exploration.

Mr. David created his own website in 2014 dedicated to reporting on a variety of space topics that can be found at –

Leonard co-authored Space Careers with entrepreneur Scott Sacknoff. Published in 2015, the book is designed for high school, college, graduate students - and job seekers of all ages. It is an in-depth source for understanding and finding a career in the space and satellite industry. He alsowas co-author with Barbara David of Extreme Flight: Rocket Science, a middle school educational book published in 2006. As a Contributing Essayist, Mr. David's writings can be found in the National Geographic’s Encyclopedia of Space, published in 2004.

In past years, Mr. David has served as editor-in-chief of the National Space Society`s Ad Astraand Space Worldmagazines, as well as the newsstand publication, Final Frontier. For NASA, Leonard completed the task of writing a majority of the highly regarded Spinoff 1997, Spinoff 1998, and Spinoff 1999 publications. In the past, Leonard has assisted the audio/visual branch by interviewing and writing scripts for the monthly NASA radio program, "The Space Story".

Leonard served as research and technical advisor for the PBS-televised, Living and Working in Space - The Countdown Has Begun, an hour-long science fact/fiction look at careers in space that premiered on PBS in 1993. He served as a technical consultant to the widely acclaimed Bouncing to Mars: The Inside Story of the Mars Exploration Rover Missions, produced by Passport to Knowledge in 2003 and made possible, in part, by the National Science Foundation.

Leonard with his wife Barbara, are the founders and organizers of their local astronomical society started in 2015called Coal Creek Canyon Sky Watchers. They live in the mountains above Golden, Colorado where the clear, nighttime sky fuels the imagination about space travel to other worlds…as well as concern over lost luggage at the Moon and Mars.


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