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Tech & Science Meet the women behind NASA's historic moon landing

08:17  17 july  2019
08:17  17 july  2019 Source:   cbsnews.com

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Tuesday marks 50 years since three men in space suits set off on the greatest scientific adventure of all-time. As the astronauts of Apollo 11 headed to the moon , the women of NASA were blazing new trails on Earth. Poppy Northcutt, Joann Morgan and Margaret Hamilton were trail blazers, "hidden

Meet the women behind Apollo 11. Tuesday marks 50 years since three men in space suits set off on the greatest scientific adventure of all time. As the astronauts of Apollo 11 headed to the moon , the women of NASA were blazing new trails on Earth. Poppy Northcutt, Joann Morgan and Margaret

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Meet the women behind NASA's historic moon landing
Meet the women behind NASA's historic moon landing
Meet the women behind NASA's historic moon landing
Meet the women behind NASA's historic moon landing

Tuesday marks 50 years since three men in space suits set off on the greatest scientific adventure of all time. As the astronauts of Apollo 11 headed to the moon, the women of NASA were blazing new trails on Earth.

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Tuesday marks 50 years since three men in space suits set off on the greatest scientific adventure of all time. As the astronauts of Apollo 11 headed to the moon , the women of NASA were blazing new trails on Earth. "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell has their story.

" Women could do these jobs": Meet the trail blazers behind the historic Apollo 11 launch. Tuesday marks 50 years since three men in space suits set off on the greatest scientific adventure of all-time. As the astronauts of Apollo 11 headed to the moon , the women of NASA were blazing new trails on Earth.

Poppy Northcutt, Joann Morgan and Margaret Hamilton were trailblazers, "hidden figures" critical to the success of the Apollo 11 mission. Morgan said it was life-changing. "What it said to me and what meant so much to me is, 'Hey, I am really now part of this team,'" she said. "I was accepted. And that meant a lot."

She was accepted in a profession not used to women.

"They did not have women in there at liftoff. And my director said, 'I want Joann at the console. She's my best communicator. She's the one,'" Morgan said. She was the one listening to communications for problems and the only woman inside the firing room for the launch of the Saturn V rocket.

"It's still the most powerful rocket that's ever left any place on Earth. My husband looked at me and he said, 'Honey, you're gonna be in the history books," Morgan said.

Fifty years after Moon mission, Apollo astronauts meet at historic launchpad

Fifty years after Moon mission, Apollo astronauts meet at historic launchpad Fifty years ago on Tuesday, three American astronauts set off from Florida for the Moon on a mission that would change the way we see humanity's place in the universe. - Uncertain future - Despite the festivities, neither the US nor any other country has managed to return a human to the Moon since 1972, the year of the final Apollo mission. President George Bush promised to do so in 1989, as did his son president George W Bush in 2004, while pledging to also march forward to Mars. But they both ran up against a Congress that wasn't inclined to fund the adventures, with public opinion markedly changed since the height of the Cold War.

American woman killed after shark attack in the Bahamas. Tuesday marks 50 years since three men in space suits set off on the greatest scientific adventure of all time. As the astronauts of Apollo 11 headed to the moon , the women of NASA were blazing new trails on Earth.

In a meeting with NASA ' s administrator in September 1963, the president "worried that it's going to become a political liability for him for the '64 re-election Meet the women behind NASA ' s historic moon landing . Poppy Northcutt, Joann Morgan and Margaret Hamilton were critical to the success of

She credits the mission and the "rocket fuel" in her blood for her decades-long career at NASA that took her from the firing room to the board room.

"They didn't really seem to have the awareness that a woman could have the same amount, if not a greater passion for exploration than men," she said.

With the astronauts on the way to the moon, the task of alerting them to any problems fell to Hamilton at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her team. "You had to solve things that had never been solved before," Hamilton said. Her group wrote the lunar lander's guidance software and they had to plan for every contingency.

"You had to say, 'Well, what if the astronaut put in this keystroke? What do we do to recover from it?'" she said. Something unexpected did happen as Eagle was approaching the moon's surface that could have jeopardized the mission. "My first thought was, 'How can this be happening now and at this point in this mission?' I personally remember it as sheer terror," Hamilton said. There was no need to abort, her software was fine. "It was the first time man walked on the moon and the first time software ran on the moon," Hamilton said.

Fifty years after Moon mission, Apollo astronauts meet at historic launchpad

Fifty years after Moon mission, Apollo astronauts meet at historic launchpad Fifty years ago on Tuesday, three American astronauts set off from Florida for the Moon on a mission that would change the way we see humanity's place in the universe. The crew's surviving members, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, are set to reunite at the same launchpad on Tuesday, the start of a week-long series of events commemorating Apollo 11. Their commander and the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, passed away in 2012. But Aldrin and Collins, 89 and 88 respectively, will meet Tuesday at precisely 9:32 am (1332 GMT) at the Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A to kick off the festivities.

BRIDENSTINE: So what NASA ' s job is, is to study the earth and every part of the electromagnetic spectrum. And we have been doing that, we continue to do that, and we share that data with the entire world and we do it for free to the entire Meet the women behind NASA ' s historic moon landing .

Moon . nasa .gov is NASA ' s deep dive resource for lunar exploration from astronauts to robots. NASA Helps Bring Story of Historic Moon Landing , Neil Armstrong to Younger Generations. The Next Full Moon , on Nov.

But the most critical phase of the mission had yet to come. Northcutt, the only woman inside Mission Control, calculated the maneuvers that would bring those astronauts home.  "It's very nerve-wracking. It doesn't matter how successful any other stage has been if you don't get them back safe and sound," Northcutt said.

The world celebrated the mission's resounding success. But Morgan and Northcutt said they endured other challenges that were not as public: sexism, obscene phone calls, nasty remarks, even cameras positioned on them.

"I found out there was a camera that was just pointed at me in one of the back rooms," Northcutt said. "I was a novelty, I suppose. I discovered that by chance. But it was also an opportunity I felt to encourage other women to go into science and technology and understand that women could do these jobs."

It's a role she realized was important. "I got letters from all over the world from little girls and boys saying, 'I didn't know women could do this,'" Northcutt said. "So I was very aware of it."

Pictures: Moonshot memories: the 50-year legacy of Apollo 11

Meet the women behind NASA's historic moon landing

Apollo 11 moon-landing tapes sell at Sotheby's for $1.8m.
Apollo 11 moon-landing tapes sell at Sotheby's for $1.8m

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