JWB Students get a First-Hand Account of 1969 Lunar Launch!
Students in Mrs. Powers’ 5th grade classes at J. Watson Bailey Middle School were treated to first-hand knowledge of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. Mr. Louis Cariola Jr. was an engineer for Grumman Aerospace, the company that was hired as the chief contractor for the Apollo Lunar Module that landed on the moon. Mr. Cariola worked on quality control and was responsible for testing all the materials being used to build the lunar module that would land the men on the moon. His main task was to create material that was thin and light enough to get to the moon using the least amount of fuel possible, and still find a safe place to land. At the same time, the material needed to be able to withstand the extreme temperatures of -250 degrees to 250 degrees they would encounter on their journey to the moon. The temperature would vary depending on whether the module was facing the sun or in the moon’s shadow.
Since Mr. Cariola was there through the process of building and launching Apollo 11 and the Lunar Module, he was able to give personal accounts about the important work that was being done at that time. Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969 and landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. Next month marks the 50 year anniversary of that lunar landing.
Many of the materials the students were able to view and handle are on display in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.