On May 4, 2020 at 3pm ET // 12pm PT, Iceland Naturally is teaming up with Orly Orlyson – a hotelier turned NASA astronaut expedition leader – to discuss Iceland’s role in NASA’s Apollo Program.
Did you know during the 1960s, NASA sent its Apollo astronauts to northern Iceland to train for their missions to the Moon? In 2009, Hotelier and former President of Húsavík town council, Orly Orlyson, became fascinated with this forgotten story, and in 2011, he founded the Exploration Museum to share this history with his fellow Icelanders and the world.
“I was proud to learn that my small country had played a role in getting the first humans to the Moon. I felt this story needed to be told to inspire a new generation of Icelanders. The museum now tells a variety of stories of explorers and adventurers from around the world, but the Apollo story is closest to my heart.”
Through his work at the Exploration Museum, Orly has become friends with many of the Apollo astronauts and some of the people involved in getting them to the Moon. In 2015, he led an expedition with Apollo astronauts Walt Cunningham, Rusty Schweickart and Harrison Schmitt, as well as the family of Neil Armstrong, to the new lava of Holuhraun, created by fissure eruptions in 2014 and 2015. He has led similar expeditions with Apollo astronauts Bill Anders and Charlie Duke.
“The men who walked on the Moon are now all in their 80s and have had the second half of their lives to reflect on their missions. I’ve had the great fortune to learn from their experience.” Orly’s work with the Apollo astronauts has been featured by the BBC, National Geographic and The Guardian.
Don’t miss this incredible story, told by Orly himself, live on our Facebook page on May 4, 2020 at 3pm ET // 12pm PT!