Apollo Lunar Surface Journal Banner

Mark Trotter

My love of space exploration started in elementary school drawing sketches of John Glenn's Mercury capsule and dreaming of rockets.

I have an extensive background in museum and planetarium work that spans twenty-five years. At Louisiana Tech University in Ruston Louisiana USA, I was a Mechanical Engineering major and began my planetarium career as a student worker and later as director of the university's planetarium. From there I returned to my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana to direct the city's planetarium for ten years.

As the planetarium curator for the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center in New Orleans I was responsible for the programming and financial success of the planetarium as well as maintaining exhibits throughout the center.

Mark in Spring 1996

Mark with the New Orleans planetarium's star projector in spring 1996

During my 14 years at the New Orleans planetarium, I frequently had lunch next to the last Saturn V first stage assembled, S-IC-15. It is on display at the Michoud center, only a few miles from my old planetarium.

I have also worked as Operations Director for a major audio visual company where I was directly responsible for the daily operation and supervision of all technical staff, hotel audio/visual managers and scheduling for road shows. In addition to my planetarium career I have also worked on design and fabrication in the archery business including writing software for calculating energy storage efficiencies of various bow designs.

Recently I have moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where I am Senior Project Manager and Operations Director at Bowen Technovation. The company designs, sells and installs audio/visual equipment and systems around the world in planetariums, museums and science centers.

Mark in January 2004

Mark in his office in January 2004.

My love of space has not waned in the least over the years and the ALSJ has been a huge source of knowledge and pleasure for me. Watching the Spacecraft Films DVD's while following along with the ALSJ transcripts and notations have given me a greater appreciation of the people that made mankind's greatest adventure possible.

Space Exploration Day 1998

In the photo above, I'm wearing a mockup Apollo suit during 'Space Exploration Day', a special event held at the Louisiana Nature Center in New Orleans on the Saturday closest to July 20th every year. We had planetarium shows about space exploration (including one describing the differences between each Apollo landing and the landing sites), NASA exhibits, model rocket launches, telescope displays, guest speakers, etc. The picture was taken in 1998.

April 2005