Apollo Space Program
North American Aviation was the prime contractor for the Apollo Space Program.
Downey's Space & Information Systems Division was the "shop" and plant where Apollo was born.
Over 25,000 people worked in and around the Space Division at Downey, CA during the 1960's.
"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal,
before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning
him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be
more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range
exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to
John F. Kennedy
Message to the Congress on Urgent National Priorities
25 May 1961
"The Apollo program was designed to land humans on the Moon and bring them safely back to Earth. Six of the missions (Apollos 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17) achieved this goal. Apollos 7 and 9 were Earth orbiting missions to test the Command and Lunar Modules, and did not return lunar data. Apollos 8 and 10 tested various components while orbiting the Moon, and returned photography of the lunar surface. Apollo 13 did not land on the Moon due to a malfunction, but also returned photographs. The six missions that landed on the Moon returned a wealth of scientific data and almost 400 kilograms of lunar samples. Experiments included soil mechanics, meteoroids, seismic, heat flow, lunar ranging, magnetic fields, and solar wind experiments." Wiki
"More than 500 contractors worked on both large and small aspects of Apollo. For example, the Boeing Company was the prime contractor for the first stage of theSaturn rocket, North American Aviation for the second stage, and the Douglas Aircraft Corporation for the third stage. The Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation was responsible for the rocket engines and International Business Machines for the instruments. These prime contractors, with more than 250 subcontractors, provided millions of parts and components for use in the Saturn launch vehicle, all meeting exacting specifications for performance and reliability." NPS
Photograph taken from the Apollo 11 spacecraft during its translunar coast toward the moon.
Apollo 11 was already 98,000 nautical miles from Earth made on July 17th, 1969.
More Apollo Links in The Library
Apollo Space Program Downey, California
Southern California's Aviation and Aerospace History
America's Aviation and Aerospace History