What Apollo Means to People


It was on Long Island that Northrup Grumman engineers designed and built the Lunar Module, which safely landed 12 men on the moon and got them off it again. In all, six Lunar Modules were built by Grumman, three of which were used in the ascent and descent stages of missions. The three remaining original Lunar Modules still in existence today are housed at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C., the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Cradle of Aviation. 

Long Islanders involvement with spaceflight can be traced back to Robert Goddard’s earliest, pioneering experiments in rocketry, and it continues through the development of the lunar module, the international space station and beyond.

Long Island’s role in Apollo’s success cannot be denied and must be underscored to our children. We invite the community to come and celebrate the amazing work accomplished right here on Long Island to make space travel possible.

JULY 20, 1069

  • 600 mm people around the world watched moon landing
  • 94% of US televisions were tuned into the broadcast
  • Greatest human & technological achievement of our time
  • Universal feeling of pride and sense of accomplishment
  • Created optimism and hope for the future
  • Shared experience that people remember vividly & with great passion

“There was a dedication & a drive on the Lunar Module program that I haven’t seen equaled since. We’re talking about thousands of people here that were swept up in the enthusiasm and the historic importance of this endeavor. People who were doing some pretty routine and mundane jobs were doing it with great pride and great enthusiasm.. Remember, there are six descent stages today sitting on the moon…with a “Made in Bethpage, New York” nameplate on them. And that’s something that thousands of Grummanites take great pride in.” – Tom Kelly (Father of the Lunar Module 1929-2002)

“Nobody at Grumman who worked on the LM will ever forget it. Even the 12-and 14-hour weekdays, the frustrating paperwork & the sheer complexity of designing, building & testing the module could not dim our dedication. From the sweeper to the chief engineer, we all knew that we were part of a majestic endeavor, that we were making history happen. Several times I saw work crews in the assembly areas continue with their tasks long after the overtime pay that had been budgeted for them was exhausted. No one cared; the focus was exclusively on getting the job done, and doing it right.” – Tom Kelly

“It’s hard for me to explain the enormous pride we had in being Americans without my eyes welling up with tears. There was no one individual or group taking the credit. It was always “We. We made it! We did it.”. Even kids just learning the alphabet and how to count felt that they contributed, because they could kneel next to their beds at night and pray for the astronauts, and that was just as important as designing rockets and computing space vehicle trajectories.”

 Paul H.

“I’ve seen lots of great events since Apollo 11, but none as significant or impressive as America’s landing on the moon and returning home safely. I feel so lucky to be alive during this time in history, getting to see so many wonders and achievements. I wonder if I’ll ever get to see such an incredible accomplishment as Apollo 11.”

– Steven C.

“The collective effort of those involved, the sense of intelligent, motivated, people pulling together for a common difficult purpose has remained with me ever since, as as source of inspiration for pretty much everything that is important to me.”

– Andrew J.

“As a lifelong science buff, I can truly say that this was one of the most memorable occasions in my life, and I am extremely glad that there was somewhere I could go to be able to watch it. “

– Candace U.