Fifty years ago, a dedicated team on Long Island accomplished the mission of a lifetime: To design, build and deliver the Apollo lunar module to NASA.
One of the thousands who worked at Grumman Corporation in Long Island and who helped make it all happen is Howard Frauenberger. He was nineteen when he first joined Grumman, working as an intern and then over the years on everything from the LEM landing gear, to the environmental systems which kept the astronauts alive from the descent to the moon to the return home.
"Well, I think the whole world was excited about the Apollo program at the time. I didn't know I would be working on the Apollo program so it was kind of a lucky break," Frauenberger said. "I was always interested in aerospace and aerospace was a love of mine even though I was a mechanical engineering major - and I wound up working at Grumman for 47 years and had a wonderful career in the aerospace field."
During the era when the Apollo mission was underway, tens of thousands of people were employed in this area at Grumman - a small city with its own police force. There were many seven day weeks and eighteen hour days getting the lunar module built.
Now, the company is Northrup Grumman- and although the presence here is smaller, the programs it develops remain cutting edge.
"Grumman, Northrup Grumman will always be a part of Long Island," Frauenberger says. "There's such a legacy on Long Island that even though our presence in terms of numbers of people is a lot reduced is a lot lower now than it was five or ten years ago, there's still several hundred people on Long Island and the legacy of Long Island (in the company) is something that won't change."
Moon Landing 50th: Meet one of the people on Long Island who got us to the moon
MOON LANDING 50TH
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