On July 21, 2012, Dynavac co-sponsored The First Light Gala, where the DCT was formally commissioned and the first images from the telescopes were unveiled to over 700 attendees. The Lowell Observatory described the gala as an historic event. It was also the last public appearance of Neil Armstrong, who gave the keynote presentation, including a video of camera footage from the moon landing on July 20, 1969. It was a rare public appearance for Armstrong, whose history with the Lowell Observatory goes back to the days of the Apollo program when the observatory was instrumental in helping NASA scientists draw maps of the moon.
“It was a great honor to be associated with the First Light Gala for so many reasons, not the least of which is that it will be forever linked to the memory of Neil Armstrong,” says Thomas Foley, CEO of Dynavac. “Neil Armstrong had an unshakable vision in the value of looking deeper into space for answers to questions that can help us improve life on Planet Earth. These programs also require the development of a skilled technical workforce and large-scale manufacturing, both of which are vital to prosperity here in the U.S. We are honored to participate in landmark programs like the DCT.”