Capt. Eugene Cernan joins a lineup of innovators, scientists and TV personalities who will present at DMACC "Celebrate! Innovation Week (ciWeek)," March 3–6, at the DMACC West Campus in West Des Moines. The event is free and open to the public.

Capt. Cernan was part of three historic space missions as pilot of Gemini IX, lunar module pilot of Apollo X and commander of Apollo XVII. During the 1972 Apollo XVII mission, he became the last person to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon. Cernan believes America must find a way to instill in its children the desire to launch expeditions into the unknown and to breach what today seems impractical or impossible.

"A half century ago, American astronauts were walking on the moon," said Capt. Cernan. "Today, we are limited to sending clean laundry to the Space Station. What’s wrong with that headline?"

Cernan will speak Thursday, March 6, at 1:30 p.m. on the main stage at the DMACC West Campus. His presentation is called "Apollo: Inspiring Future Minds."

Capt. Cernan has received many honors, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

"Capt. Cernan is part of one of the greatest things the U.S. has ever done," said CiWeek event organizer and DMACC West Campus Provost Tony Paustian. "Many innovations and products came from those trips to the moon. Capt. Cernan can give a firsthand account of why this kind of exploration needs to continue."

Cernan hope his presentation will connect with adults and the next generation of innovators, explorers and aviators.

"If you can get a youngster’s attention and make learning fun, you can teach him or her anything - and aviation and space are both fun and challenging, " said Cernan.

Also featured at ciWeek are two stars from the TV show CSI Las Vegas, a host of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters and multi-media artist Phil Hansen. For more on all of the speakers, plus dates and times, go to