China Lake Museum Foundation Lecture Series

China Lake Museum Foundation Lecture Series is pleased to sponsor several of our very talented Members and others for what they have done on the China Lake Base and what they have a passion in for helping folks learn more about.

Future Events

Elsa Hennings Presents - Navy/NASA Synergy in Parachute Development

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 - 6:30-7:30pm

Maturango Museum - Coso Room

100 East Las Flores Ave., Ridgecrest, CA 93555

“Hit the silk!” Parachutes have been a critical part of an aircrew’s lifesaving kit since the World War I and continue to save lives to this day. But not every parachute is designed to save lives, instead, some are designed to save equipment, help distribute lethal payloads, and even help explore other planets.

Come learn about parachute development for both Earth and Mars based systems when Elsa Hennings Presents: Navy/NASA Synergy in Parachute Development. This special presentation will delve into the career of a Senior Systems Engineer for parachute engineering. Now a Parachute Engineering Consultant, Elsa Hennings has worked with the Navy for 36 years and has designed components for Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover missions as well as supported programs of national significance such as NASA’s Orion spacecraft and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Mars 2020 spacecraft. Attendees will experience stories and video highlights of programs utilizing parachutes for micro-munitions, jet-powered targets, and bailout systems for Navy aircrew as well as Space Shuttle astronauts.

The China Lake Museum Foundation is proud to sponsor Elsa Hennings in this free event. Donations are greatly appreciated.                                     

Please RSVP by Monday, 25 March to: or

Walk-ins also welcome.

Past Events


America’s Flying Cruisers

Brian Siela Presents: Rigid Airships of the United States Navy

6:30-7:30pm October 18th, 2018

Maturango Museum, Coso Room, 100 East Las Flores Ave, Ridgecrest, CA, 93555 

            The German Zeppelins remain some of the largest and most infamous types of air vehicles ever made. Most commonly remembered for their bombing role in WWI or for the devastating Hindenburg disaster, Zeppelins and similar rigid airships had a big impact on history. Germany, however, was not the only nation to use these awe inspiring vehicles. The United States Navy operated its own rigid airships and, to much amazement, flying aircraft carriers.

            Come learn about one of the Navy’s least known and most astonishing endeavors as Brian Siela presents: Rigid Airships of the United States Navy. This special presentation will delve into the history of these gigantic airships with a focus on the science, engineering, and politics surrounding them. Tales of harrowing danger, amusing adventures, and tragic heroics will be told.

Brian Siela is an Aerospace Engineer with a passion for history and has been researching airships for over ten years. His historical area of expertise is in naval and air tactics for the period of history spanning WWI and WWII with an emphasis in Clemson- and Wickes-class destroyers and lighter-than-air ships. Brian is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle and has worked at China Lake for over 3 years. He has helped in establishing the Lecture Series for the China Lake Museum Foundation where he is currently a member of the Board of Directors.

            The China Lake Museum Foundation is proud to sponsor Brian Siela in this free to attend event, October 18th, 6:30-7:30pm, located in the Coso Room of the Maturango Museum.

            Please RSVP at: ( Walk-ins also welcome.