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Remembering the Apollo LEM Moon landing

It was July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on an extraterrestrial body—our Moon. Today is the 49th anniversary of that momentous event and we celebrate it in anticipation of next year’s 50th anniversary celebration.

I know of two significant such celebrations that will take place next year on this date; one at NASA facilities and one at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, NY at the very airfield that Charles Lindbergh flew from on his famous flight.

Here is what I love about the Cradle of Aviation: An authentic Grumman Lunar module (LM 13 was scheduled to fly on Apollo 18, but Apollo 17 was the last Moon mission) in an amazing Lunar landscape replica of that historic event. Note the children in the lower right of this image though----that's where the event becomes real in a young person's imagination and may inspire the next, EE, astronaut, mathematician, etc. (Image courtesy of Loretta Taranovich at the Cradle of Aviation)

Here is what I love about the Cradle of Aviation: An authentic Grumman Lunar module (LM 13 was scheduled to fly on Apollo 18, but Apollo 17 was the last Moon mission) in an amazing Lunar landscape replica of that historic event. Note the children in the lower right of this image though—-that’s where the event becomes real in a young person’s imagination and may inspire the next, EE, astronaut, mathematician, etc. (Image courtesy of Loretta Taranovich at the Cradle of Aviation)

I am visiting Long Island for two reasons right now: Grumman Corporation (Now Northrop Grumman) was born here and designed aircraft and electronics for aircraft starting in the 1930s and developed the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) that safely landed astronauts on the Moon and then returned those astronauts to the orbiting Command Module for their safe return to Earth and I also attended the Final Formula E international race in Brooklyn, on Long Island as well, while witnessing fully electric racing cars on a race track in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

I will be writing about both events in the coming weeks on EDN and Planet Analog with many images, interviews and video experiences from this amazing and exciting trip.

I had a Paddock Tour of the Venturi Formula E Team and met the drivers and technical personnel, and also filmed parts of the two-day race for you, my audience, to hear how an all-electric race car sounds—you will be amazed.

Venturi Race Team driver, Tom Dillmann, in one of the two Venturi electric race cars two days before the race. As can be seen in this image, the car is only partially assembled at this point in the Paddock. It only takes two hours to fully assemble the car for the race after removing from the transport vehicle. (Image courtesy of Loretta Taranovich)

Venturi Race Team driver, Tom Dillmann, in one of the two Venturi electric race cars two days before the race. As can be seen in this image, the car is only partially assembled at this point in the Paddock. It only takes two hours to fully assemble the car for the race after removing from the transport vehicle. (Image courtesy of Loretta Taranovich)

I also visited the Grumman Corp. archive and museum as well as visiting with five Grumman men from various disciplines who helped design and test the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) in the early 60s. What an amazing interview and discussion! I will share with you the amazing stories that these pioneering men revealed to me. Most of these stories have never been published, but you will experience them here on Planet Analog and on EDN with images and artifacts from back in the 60s when the LEM was being developed.

My interview with these amazing Grumman engineers took place at the Cradle of Aviation. Standing with suit and tie is the Cradle of Aviation Executive Director, Andrew Parton. (Image courtesy of Loretta Taranovich)

My interview with these amazing Grumman engineers took place at the Cradle of Aviation. Standing with suit and tie is the Cradle of Aviation Executive Director, Andrew Parton. (Image courtesy of Loretta Taranovich)

Stay tuned for my series of intriguing and educational articles on these events which will be publishing shortly on EDN and Planet Analog.

3 comments on “Remembering the Apollo LEM Moon landing

  1. jonharris0
    July 25, 2018

    Nice job on this one Steve.  I enjoyed reading this and look forward to your upcoming blog talking more about what you learned.  It is truly something to think it has nearly been 50 years since we first stepped foot on the moon.  Your post reminded me of a neat little 'what-if' type of article I read a while back on one of the Auburn blogs I follow.  There was an Auburn grad (one of many in the space program actually) that was in line for Apollo 11 and “War Eagle” could have been the first words on the moon.  The article can be found here:

    https://www.thewareaglereader.com/2012/07/au-grad-in-line-for-apollo-11-flight-wanted-war-eagle-to-be-first-words-on-the-moon/.

    Thanks again for the great blog here Steve!

  2. Hooey0
    July 25, 2018

    Steve – This is a great post and I'll be looking forward to your future missives on the subject.

    I currently work for Northrop Grumman in San Jose, CA, but I don't know if any of my co-workers were involved with the Apollo program. Most of the people I work with weren't even born in 1969…

    The moon landing took place soon after the Chief (my wife, of course) and i were married. We had just moved into an apartment in Mt. Kisco, NY and had to go to a neighbor's apartment to watch the moon landing since we didn't have a TV. That prompted the Chief to declare that we needed to get a TV immediately . So, off to Heathkit and after construction, we soon had our very own 21 inch color TV (all tubes). I still have the TV, but it's been gathering dust in the garage for 25+ years.

  3. Steve Taranovich
    July 25, 2018

    @Hooey0—-Awesome! A Heathkit color TV—with tubes no less!—-that must have been fun—nice job

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