On July 20, 1969, millions watched in awe as American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon. The moon landing expanded mankind’s horizons and seemed to prove that anything was possible. It also inspired a new generation of scientists and engineers to consider the future of space research.
As the world marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Apollo 11 mission, it is a good time to remember that NC State was a key contributor to the success of the moon landing. More than two dozen NC State graduates were involved in the “giant leap for mankind.”
The following is an article first published in the July/August 1969, issue of NC State’s Alumni News:
NCSU Men Help Put Man On The Moon
Key roles were played by 26 NC State University graduates in the successful voyage of man to the moon.
All employees of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the space workers hold positions at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas, and the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
The huge Saturn V rocket that lifted Apollo 11 from Earth was developed under the direction of the Marshall Flight Center. The Goddard Center operates the world-wide network that provided continuous and instantaneous two-way communications between the astronauts and Mission Control in Houston.
A variety of tasks were performed by the NC State graduates in contributing to this historic event – checking out the readiness of the spacecraft, scheduling astronaut activities during the flight, helping to plot the navigational course for the space flight – and a myriad of other important duties.
Of the 26, 21 are native North Carolinians.
Those working at the Kennedy Space Center are: E. Darrell Haynie, Swannanoa, aerospace technologist, class of 1952; Farley W. Stallard, Coeburn, Va., spacecraft operations engineer, class of 1968; Homer S. Brown, Rt. 3, Selma, aerospace technologist, class of 1959.
Located at the Manned Space Center in Houston are: William R. Bromby, Roselle Park, N.Y., aerospace engineer, class of 1964; William E. Powell, Greensboro, aerospace technologist, class of 1965; Edgar C. Lineberry Jr., Rt. 5, Lenoir, class of 1959; Thomas N. McPherson, Rt. 8, Durham, aerospace engineer, class of 1960; Harold M. Draughton, Zebulon, assistant flight director, class of 1963; Major Richard E. Moser, Asheville, development engineer, class of 1957; Capt. George M. Colton, West Palm Beach, Fla., astronautical engineer, class of 1958; Lt. William J. Rose, Littleton, astronautical engineer, class of 1966; Charles W. Arvey, Laurel, Del., aerospace engineer, class of 1967; Roderick S. Bass, Rt. 2, Nashville, senior project engineer, class of 1960; Robert E. Ernull, New Bern, assistant chief, lunar mission analysis branch, class of 1959; James M. Satterfield, Charlotte, chief, systems engineering branch, class of 1949; James A. York, Hoffman, aerospace engineer, class of 1958; James D. Moffitt, Staley, aerospace engineer, class of 1960.
Working at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville are: Roy H. Martin Jr., Hendersonville, aerospace technologist, class of 1961; Donald D. Tomlin, Chattanooga, Tenn., aerospace engineer, class of 1959; Clynton T. Ratliff, Morven, senior staff engineer, class of 1951; Nick D. Foster, Wilkesboro, aerospace engineer, class of 1960; William V. Smoot, Winston-Salem, aerospace engineer, class of 1958; Everette E. Beam, Shelby, deputy chief, dynamics analysis branch, class of 1956; Robert G. Eudy, Rt. 2, Albemarle, assistant chief, engineering division astronautical laboratory, class of 1959.
Employed at the Goddard Space Flight Center are Carl O. Roberts Jr., Concord, chief, systems operations branch, class of 1955, and H. William Wood, Hamptonville, chief, manned flight operations division, class of 1955.