Cameron University to examine “Oklahoma and America’s Role in Space”

In conjunction with Cameron University‘s current academic festival “American Identities in the 21st Century”, the Department of Social Sciences will present “Oklahoma and America’s Role in Space Leadership” on Monday, March 26. Bill Khourie, Executive Director, Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA), will address the role that Oklahoma and America play in space development and leadership. The event, which will take place in the CETES Conference Center, will open with a reception at 5:30 p.m.; Khourie’s address will begin at 6 p.m.  There is no cost to attend.

“Oklahoma's role in the space program can be traced to Senator Robert S. Kerr, who served as chair of the Senate Space Committee with jurisdiction over NASA,” says Wendy Whitman Cobb, Assistant Professor of Political Science. “In that role, Senator Kerr assisted in securing valuable contracts for Oklahoma, including the establishment of a manufacturing plant in Tulsa which built part of the Saturn V rocket that took astronauts to the moon. Oklahoma has produced six astronauts, including Gordon Cooper, one of the original Mercury 7, and General Tom Stafford, a veteran of two Gemini flights and the commander of Apollo 10, the second manned mission to orbit the moon. As Oklahoma’s contributions to space exploration are significant. Mr. Khourie will have a depth of material to present.”

In his role executive director for OSIDA, Khourie coordinated and directed efforts that enabled the Oklahoma Spaceport to receive its Launch Site Operators License from the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation. He was also responsible for designing the first flight corridor to be approved for space operations in the national airspace system clear of military operating areas or restricted airspace.

Prior to joining OSIDA, Khourie played a leadership role for aerospace in Oklahoma, having served on the Governor's Aerospace and Education Taskforce, Oklahoma Aeronautics and Space Commission, Oklahoma Transonic Wind Tunnel Taskforce, and the Governor's Taskforce on Improved Airline Service for Oklahoma.

He was a program manager and crew member for the Delta Air Lines Historic Ship 41 DC-3 Restoration and Flight Operations Program, responsible for locating, acquiring, and directing restoration efforts to rebuild and fly Delta Air Lines first Douglas DC-3 to be put into passenger service on December 23rd, 1941.

During his flying career he served as a corporate and airline pilot. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Delta Airlines Air Transport Heritage Museum.

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March 14, 2018