Tuesday, November 10, 2009
12:00 – 12:50 pm EST
Paul Ceruzzi, Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum
Michael Neufeld, Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum
How did engineers and scientists figure out how to travel safely to the Moon and back? The Apollo missions were a triumph of engineering, with thousands of individuals contributing to the effort. The public often refers to these individuals as “rocket scientists,” but in fact they were primarily engineers, technicians, and managers. Join two National Air and Space Museum experts as they unravel the technological challenges that NASA faced. Michael Neufeld and Paul Ceruzzi will explain the complexity behind the Saturn Rocket, the Command, Service, and Lunar Modules and the technique of Lunar-Orbital Rendezvous. Dr. Ceruzzi will also discuss the role of computers—a new technology in the 1960s—as well as the lowly slide rule, used by both engineers on the ground and astronauts in space to assist with their calculations.