A Triumph of American Technology: Remembering the 1969 Apollo Moon Landing on its Fiftieth Anniversary

People attending the presentation.Faculty and students met on April 10 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. “A Triumph of American Technology: Remembering the 1969  Apollo  Moon  Landing on its 50th Anniversary” was hosted in Gorgas Library and had a very successful turn out. The discussed topics ranging from the dynamics of rocketry, the race to space between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, putting the first object into orbit, missile design, and the evolution of the process to achieve the moon landing.

John Baker, from the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, presented “How We Got There: The Technology of Rocketry and Space Flight.” Margaret Peacock, from the Department of History, presented “The Space Race: Beating the Ruskies to the Moon.” The event wrapped up with the Department of History’s Harold Selesky, who spoke on “Climbing the Mountain: From Flopnik to a Giant Leap for Mankind.”

This was a time for faculty and students to remember the progression of technology and honor those who made history in this process. They honored Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee, who lost their lives in the tragedy of the Apollo 1 launch pad fire. The second crew of the Apollo mission included Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, who were the first to successfully make it into lunar orbit in the Apollo 8 mission. Lastly, they honored the Apollo 11 mission, the successful trip that put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin onto the moon. Armstrong famously took his first steps on the moon on July 20, 1969, symbolizing, “…one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”