“The Impossible Dream: How Apollo Flew to the Moon“ The Apollo Program to land men on the Moon and return them safely to Earth has been lauded as one of the great technical achievement of the 20th century. How this was done will be shown by stepping thru each of the critical maneuvers of the lunar landing mission. Fred Peters has spent the majority of his professional career in the field of manned spaceflight. He graduated from Parks College of Saint Louis University in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Columbia University. During his NASA career Fred was a frequent speaker and published several papers on “Managing Superprojects” and “Schedule Risk Assessment.” Since retirement, he often speaks on the manned space Programs to Technical Groups, Educational organizations and other organizations interested in manned space flight.
Using very little space jargon, this presentation will show how Apollo accomplished that “Impossible Dream.” To fully appreciate how it was done its necessary understand the Program’s origins as well as the political environment in which it took place, the late 1950’s and decade of the 1960’s. Events such as; the International Geophysical Year of[masked]; the USA/USSR Space Race; NASA’s origins; and significance of the Program commitment made by President Kennedy in May 1961 were only a few of the keys to success. Those few key personnel, of the 400,000 that worked on the program, and made the critical decisions effecting success will be identified. The Program’s space hardware was truly impressive. There were massive rocket boosters like the U.S.’s Saturn V and USSR’s R-7 and N-1, as well as different types of manned vehicles of both the U.S. and the USSR. While it looks easy on TV, accomplishing a lunar landing and returning safely to Earth in the hostile and extremely dangerous deep space environment was not a simple thing. It required launching from a moving, rotating Earth to accurately hit a moving target, the Moon. And then do the same thing in reverse to get back to a landing on Earth after a fiery 5000 degree reentry thru the Earth’s atmosphere. How this was done will be shown by stepping thru each of the critical maneuvers of the lunar landing mission. In conclusion an event unique to the interests of the HALV Group, that of the impact atheist Ms. Madalyn Murray O’Hare had on the Apollo Program will be presented.