Apollo Pioneers Share Lessons Learned
NASA is seeking the wisdom of its lunar pioneers as the United States works to return astronauts to the moon. A group of engineers who played critical roles in the success of the Apollo-era moon landings visited NASA Headquarters in Washington on the 38th anniversary of mankind's "giant leap," when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on the moon.
Image Left: Apollo engineers from left to right: Steve Rocamboli, Seymour Berg, Gerald Sandler, Bob Schwarz, Joe Mule. Credit: NASA
The job of the Grumman Corporation's Lunar Module Maintainability and Reliability Team was nothing short of making sure the moon landing went off as planned. The team of engineers, who worked primarily out of a Grumman facility in Bethpage, N.Y., performed testing and analysis to ensure the astronauts would not only land on the moon successfully, but be able to leave the moon safely.
The engineers held technical discussions Friday with the new NASA team charged with designing a lunar lander and spoke later to a gathering of NASA employees.
"Our goal was to design a test program in the blind," said Gerry Sandler, one of the retired engineers. "Remember, nobody had been to the moon. We didn't know the environment. We didn't know the profile. So we started from scratch and tried to grow a program, change it as we went along."
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