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Jul 30, 2009

Hello Moon

By Doug Rock

It was my father who swept me from bed on the night of July 20, 1969, escorted me downstairs and invited me to camp in the glow of a black and white Zenith television set to witness Armstrong and Aldrin bounce on the moon. It was the first and last time my parents awakened me in the middle of the night to view a momentous occasion on our aging TV.

The Apollo 11 mission rocketed astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. into space, with Armstrong and Aldrin being the first humans to plant their boots in the moon’s grey ash. Command module pilot Michael Collins spun alone in the silver capsule above the flag-planting festivities, and the step for man and the leap for mankind, hoping for a safe reunion with his companions.

There were scores of people behind the scenes who helped that team of astronauts travel to the moon. One company that assisted in making the moon landing possible was IBM and its System/360s. IBM has a long history of helping man catapult into space. If you know of some interesting Apollo 11-related Web sites you believe others would be interested in visiting please share your URLs in the comments field. 

Natalie Boike, IBM Systems Magazine managing editor, has secured a few photos and provided some text that serves to celebrate the Apollo 11 mission and IBM’s participation in that remarkable event. You can view the slide show here.

Here’s to those rare moments when we were pulled dazed from our beds by our fathers to view history. Experiences warranting such an occasion happen far too infrequently in a lifetime.


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