Dr Rick Chappell treated Montgomery Capital Rotary members to a lively and interesting discussion of America’s space program, focusing on rapid technology advances and upcoming Mars missions.  Dr Chappell is a Research Professor of Physics at Vanderbilt University.  He has been involved in teaching and research and is active in science communication, outreach and education. His space research has focused on Solar-Terrestrial physics.

As Associated Director for Science at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center from 1987 – 1997, he served as the chief scientist of the center. In December 1985, he was selected to train as a backup payload specialist crew member for the space shuttle mission STS-45.

Dr Chappell graduated Magna Cum Laude in physics from Vanderbilt University and received a Ph. D. in Space Science from Rice University. He has authored more than 150 published scientific articles and has been a spokesman for the space program in the media and through a broad range of public talks.

Dr Chappell is a  member of the International Academy of Astronautics and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He has received the NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and Exceptional Service.

Thanks to fellow Rotarian Sandy Benkwith (pictured with Dr Chappell below) for sponsoring this most interesting speaker.

Dr Chappell with Montgomery Capital Rotarian and sponsor Sandy Benkwith