Swiss Touch: To the Moon and Beyond — 50th Anniversary of Humankind on the Moon

Join us to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of humankind on the moon.

Earthrise image courtesy NASA CC0

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


July 31, 2019 from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 touched down on the lunar surface, safely delivering Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin — the first humans to land on the moon. The Swiss Solar Wind Composition Experiment, of the University of Bern and the Swiss National Science Foundation, was the only non-American experiment to be part of the Apollo landings. Where do we stand after 50 years, and where are we headed? Gather with astronauts, scientists, and artists to discuss the past, the future, and our inspiration for the unknown space.

This event is a collaboration of the Consulate General of Switzerland’s Swiss Touch campaign with swissnex San Francisco and the Exploratorium, and presented as part of swissnex San Francisco’s SciComm Studio series. 


6:00pm — doors open
6:30pm — opening remarks & introduction of program
6:50pm — keynote by astronaut Claude Nicollier
7:10pm — panel on Future Space Research.
8:10pm — break
8:30pm — panel on Art & Space
9:00pm — reception
10:30pm — doors close

Video Recap


Claude Nicollier

Claude NicollierClaude Nicollier was born in Vevey, Switzerland. He became an astrophysicist after studies in physics in Lausanne and astrophysics in Geneva. He was selected among the first group of astronauts of the European Space Agency (ESA) and was detached to the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, for full training as Mission Specialist on the US Space Shuttle. He served as a crew member on four Shuttle missions, including two on-orbit interventions on the Hubble Space Telescope. During his last mission in December 1999, he performed a spacewalk of more than 8 hours, and has spent more than 1,000 hours in space. He is currently a member of the Swiss Space Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, and honorary professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He teaches a Masters level course, “Space Mission Design and Operations,” which is also accessible online on the edX platform.


Joseph Becker photo by Michael Millman
Joseph Becker
Joseph Becker is the Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Since 2007, Joseph has contributed to over twenty exhibitions at SFMOMA. Joseph has also been responsible for the exhibition design and visual direction of the majority of SFMOMA’s A+D exhibitions during his twelve-year tenure. He has moderated and served on numerous art and design panels, been an invited juror at national architecture programs, led workshops on exhibition and experiential design, lectured internationally, and been an invited consultant to public art and design projects. He received his Bachelor of Architecture and his Master of Advanced Architectural Design in Design Theory and Critical Practice from the California College of the Arts, where he has taught interdisciplinary seminars on art and architecture.
Chloé Carrière
Chloé Carrière
Chloé Carrière, also known as “Galactic Chloé,” is a science communicator focusing on space and a fellow of swissnex San Francisco’s Pier 17 Science Studio program. Currently enrolled as a student at EPFL in Lausanne, she has been engaged in space science through her work for the Swiss Space Center. As the president of the association Space@yourService, she organizes outreach events in bars and provides scicomm productions to the general public. A space enthusiast, she shares her passion by speaking at various conferences, closing the gap between professional and the rest of world.
April Gage
April Gage is Senior Archivist and Center Artifacts Manager at NASA Ames Research Center, in charge of managing the center's History Archives, which includes a collection of astronomical and other artworks representing the center's pioneering research and development in aeronautics and exploration technology and science. Works from the collections, such as the conceptual paintings of fantastical orbital space colonies by Rick Guidice, have been exhibited internationally, helping to kindle our collective imagination of what living in space might look like. For the past 15 years, she has worked to build the archival and object collections and support their use by artists, academic and technical researchers, and the general public. She also supports archiving efforts related to the center's built environment and space biosciences research projects for the center’s Historic Preservation Office and the Ames node of NASA's Life Sciences Data Archive.
Rick Guidice
Rick Guidice
A native Californian, Rick Guidice attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. At the age of 25, he started freelancing as an illustrator, while still staying involved in architectural design. His work caught the attention of NASA, and he has produced many full-color paintings of various space missions. This work has been seen worldwide in print, and museum exhibits. Rick is the principal of his own architectural design firm and is now finding the time to continue his interest in fine art, with plein air oil painting and travel watercolors. Rick is married to Illustrator Susan Jaekel and they live and work in their home studios in Los Gatos, California.
Robyn Higdon
Robyn Higdon
Robyn Higdon has worked at the Exploratorium for over 20 years. She is currently the Director of Museum Experience, which includes the Public Space, Tactile Dome, Field Trip Program, High School Explainer Program, and Public Programs. Robyn has been a Co-Principal Investigator on NSF, NOAA, and NASA projects, including the Total Solar Eclipse: Stories from the Path of Totality, and NOAA’s Scientific Residency program. She has received several Webby and MUSE awards for her work.
Megan Prelinger
Megan Prelinger
Megan Prelinger is the author of Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race (Blast Books, 2010), and Inside the Machine: Art and Invention in the Electronic Age (W.W. Norton, 2015). She is co-founder and information designer of the Prelinger Library, a research library open to the public in San Francisco, as well as co-principal of the Prelinger Archives, an historical film archive. From 2009–2013 she was Artist in Residence at the Exploratorium’s Bay Observatory Gallery where she is the co-creator of the Observatory Library. She is also a naturalist.
Muriel Richard-Noca
Muriel Richard-Noca
Muriel Richard-Noca graduated in 1996 from the California Institute of Technology (USA) with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. She worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 12 years, within the Mars Program, the Advanced Propulsion Technology Group, and the Mission Architecture Group. In 2005, she was employed by the Space Center EPFL in Switzerland to manage the SwissCube satellite project, and later on to manage the “Clean-mE” research and technology development program on Active Debris Removal. Since January 2012, she is the Project Manager of the CleanSpace One mission.
Linda Shore
Linda Shore
Linda Shore has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) since 2014. Founded in San Francisco in 1889, the ASP recently celebrated its 130th birthday. Its primary mission is to increase public science literacy through the awe and wonder of astronomy. The ASP creates resources, develops activities, and offers training to anyone wanting to improve how they teach astronomy to others, including professional astronomers, amateurs, K-12 teachers, after-school youth leaders, and museum educators. Shore has authored numerous popular science articles and co-authored science activity books for children and families, including most recently, The Total Skywatchers Manual.   
Dr. Kimberly Ennico Smith
Kimberly Ennico Smith
Dr. Kimberly Ennico Smith is a research astrophysicist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. She is multidisciplinary in her approach to space instruments, telescopes, and mission concepts. She’s designed and built infrared airborne and space telescope cameras and spectrometers; tested detectors in laboratories and particle accelerators; designed low-cost suborbital instruments; built lunar payloads, and, most recently, served as deputy Project Scientist leading the calibration of the New Horizons Pluto fly-by mission and Project Scientist for NASA’s flying infrared observatory, known as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Asteroid 154587 Ennico is named for her.
Jill Tarter
Jill Tarter
Jill Tarter is the Emeritus Chair for SETI Research at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for that institution. Tarter received her Bachelor of Engineering Physics Degree with Distinction from Cornell University and her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. She has spent the majority of her professional career attempting to answer the old human question “Are we alone?” by searching for evidence of technological civilizations beyond Earth. She served as Project Scientist for NASA’s SETI program, the High Resolution Microwave Survey, and has conducted numerous observational programs at radio observatories worldwide. She is a Fellow of the AAAS, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Explorers Club. She was named one of the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2004 and one of the Time 25 in Space in 2012. She received a TED prize in 2009, two public service awards from NASA, multiple awards for communicating science to the public, and has been honored as a woman in technology.
Dr. Eugene Tu
Eugene Tu
Dr. Eugene L. Tu is the center director at NASA's Ames Research Center, where he leads a staff of civil servants and contractors in providing critical research and development support that makes NASA's and the nation’s aeronautics and space missions possible. He was most recently director of Exploration Technology at Ames, a position he held from November 2005 until his selection as Ames center director in May 2015. There he led four technology research and development divisions, including two of NASA's critical infrastructure assets: the consolidated arc jet testing complex and the agency's primary supercomputing facility.

Event Photos