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The Apollo 11 lunar landing was a global event. Please share your thoughts with us regarding this remarkable event.
Excitement and pride going to work each day and arriving at 7AM Plant 5 in Bethpage, NY.
Realizing that good intension, the spirit to excel at your work, liking what you do and working together with thousands of others was a good thing for mankind. Grummanites engineered an created a perfectly safe dedicated for moon space ship to safely land on the moon, keep the explorers safe, provide environmental studies, and serve as a launch pad to rocket the men off the moon and on their way home to planet earth. Working with landing and rendezvous radar installation and testing, FEAT testing (Final Engineering & Acceptance Testing) and Ground Support in getting the vehicle into the Supper Guppy for its delivery to the Cape. all were part to making my day. Proud to be an American. Twelve men walked on the moon and all 21 men that were part of the flight crews returned safely back to planet earth. The lunar module far exceeded expectations when it in the time of need it became a "life boat" for 72 hours instead of landing on the moon. When the words Houston we have a problem indicated the command module was doomed and unable to support the crew it was shut down early in the flight in the hope it would be able to resume operation days later when needed.
From all the communities around Bethpage Grumman workers rushed onto the parkways to get back to the plant and intensify the activate LEM simulator vehicle in order to hands reconfigure and make the life boat a success.
Yes all was good.
I was 8 years old, living with my parents in Honolulu Hawaii. I loved science and science fiction. I was thrilled that we were going to the moon. I remember going to our neighbors apartment to watch as Neil and Buzz Landed on the moon. We all gathered around the little 13" Black and White TV and held our breath as he stepped form the lander to the surface of the moon.
Over the next few days I could always be found glued to the TV watching as the pictures and video showed the bouncy and glare fill shots of another place in the Universe that we were exploring. The small ness of the distant earth in the photos and the sense that this was the beginning exploration was everywhere and I loved it.
I was only ten years old when the Apollo crew circled the lunar surface, and then on July 20 1969 landed the Eagle lunar module onto the moon. I got to see this only because of my Dad telling me to wake up, and come to our living room to watch the landing. I'm so glad he thought enough to do this for me. I loved the space program, and at ten there were few greater fans than I was, of the landing. God bless America!
The week of the very first moon landing, I was attending a science camp for boys in Hawley Pennsylvania called Camp Watonka. The camp featured rocketry, chemistry, photography, science exploration within nature, as well as traditional summer camp activities such as swimming, canoeing, hiking etc..
I personally knew that on the second week that I was at the camp that the moon landing was to take place. There was no television what so ever at the camp, since its belief was a rigid schedule of "Early to bed early to rise" motto with recorded bugle revelry to get up and taps to go to bed.
I asked the camp director, Donald Wacker, "If"- he knew about the fact that man was to land on the moon this week!" And, he did say "Yes!" but I followed with the question - Aren't we going to watch this - since it will be a Sunday? His response was - WE don't have a TV! I suggested, well, what about renting one?
This was on the Saturday a day before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.
Since I sat at the mess hall table with the camp director, he shared with me that in FACT he did rent a TV
for the entire camp of 175 campers will in fact watch this historical day, thanks to my suggestion.
It turns out though that the only TV available to rent was a very small 15 inch TV.
It was set up on that historic Sunday, July 20th and there were only two chairs in the Ping Pong room. I stacked out my place the whole day - since it was a FREE day (Sunday) to watch the broadcasts from the various network stations.
I will never forget that evening of ALL 175 campers and me sitting in the chair watching this small B/W TV and watching Neil Armstrong coming out of the LEM in that very blurry image from the moon.
The room was in total AWE you could hear a pin drop. I will NEVER for get this day!
I remember being in my control room in CBS studio 41 "flying" the mission along with the astronauts. I was the CBS senior director directing our coverage of Apollo 11. There were also many other directors through out the united states and overseas providing coverage of this mission. I followed all the mission events, highlighted in the actual mission flight plan in front of me, making sure I created my engine burns on time with Apollo 11, rendezvous and docked on time with miniatures of the space craft and our full scale mock ups at a remote location, and eventual y starting the landing sequence for the millions of people watching CBS, holding their breaths and praying for a successful landing. Directors usualy are seated when they direct, sometimes standing when directing a kinetic squence in a live program. This was that moment in studio 41, overflowing with company executives, and extra production personel squeezed into the back of the control room. It was strangly quiet in my control room. All one heard were my commands to my technicians in the control room, studio, and remote locations all around the world. There was my boss, the program producer, leaning over my shoulder and whispering into my ear, when necessary. In a control room speaker, there the voices of mission control and the Apollo crew and the commentary of Walter & Wally. If there was a loud voice in the control room it was me. As I gave the command to start the De-orbit burn, I stood up excited knowing this part of the mission was the culmination of every thing NASA had done in the Mercury and Gemini missions. I had to raise my voice over all of the incoming audio feeds as I directed my luna landing sequence. On touchdown I still was calling shots, two of them that I'll never forget. One was Wally Shirra wiping away a tear, and Walter rubing his hands, not speaking a word, turns to Wally saying "Wally say something, I'm speechless. People in mission were whooping it up as well as everyone else in the control room. I wanted to do that , but had to just keep calling my shots. That's what I remember about July 19 1969.
I stayed up at age 13 to watch the landing, and astronaut Armstrong said "The Eagle has landed, That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." My parents could not understand why I was so fascinated with this milestone. I remembered President Kennedy talking about putting a man on the moon, and here it was actually happening! It was amazing.
I was the lead Bermuda tracking station (BDA) Computer engineer, a Bendix contractor to NASA, when we landed the first man on the moon. My family was with me at the time, wife Barbara, daughter Elizabeth and son Sean. It was the height of my career working for God and country in which I was given the Silver Snoopy award for my support. I had served two volunteer years in Vietnam and was extremely proud of my Naval service but this surpassed even that. My top Bendix supervisor in BDA was the best leader an engineer could have. The whole BDA NASA/Bendix team was the best! I went on to serve with various contractors to NASA on the Hubble Space Telescope and also the James Webb Space Telescope but nothing surpassed my work effort with the Apollo 11 endeavor team. I was forced into retirement at the age of 79 by cancer. Our great President Kennedy set a great goal for our country to put a man on the moon and I am humbled to have been part of that superior achievement. God Bless America...