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The Essential Component: Your Role in the Saturn-Apollo Program

Hardin-Simmons University Library

Sound | 1960s

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  •  Dr. Wernher von Braun answers why men go into space. Von Braun developed rocket technology for Nazi Germany before moving to the United States as part of Operation Paperclip. Under NASA, he served as director of the Marshall Space Flight Center and the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle.  
  •  The overlooked role of designers, welders, clerks, and test engineers 
  •  Example of simple scenarios with far-reaching implications 
  •  NASA Astronaut Gordon Cooper, one of the Mercury Seven. Cooper piloted the final Mercury mission, Mercury-Atlas 7 (Faith 7), and served as Command Pilot of Gemini 5.  
 
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Produced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, this 1960s government film emphasizes the critical importance of every individual who contributes to the Apollo program. For, as the film argues, man possesses vital observational and judgmental skills that technology cannot match. Speaking directly to employees and laborers, the film highlights the significance of their awareness and responsibility to both the success of an Apollo mission and the very lives of its flight crew. It sadly also reflects the pervasive discrimination against women at the time, only depicting female employees as either clerks and secretaries or a distraction to male coworkers. While NASA deliberately prevented women from being astronauts, the agency actually employed a number of women mathematicians and engineers.