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Starting Apollo 11: Discover the women behind the historic NASA mission of the moon



Tuesday marks 50 years since three men in space suits went to the greatest scientific adventure of all time. When the astronauts from Apollo 11 headed for the moon, NASA's women blazed new paths on Earth.

Poppy Northcut, John Morgan and Margaret Hamilton were traces of blazers, "hidden figures" crucial to the success of Apollo 11's mission. Morgan said this changed life.

"What you said to me and what's so much to me is," Hey, I'm really part of this team, "she said.

She was accepted into a profession that was not used to 1

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Joann Morgan

CBS News


"My director said," I want John on the console. She is my best communicator. It's this one, "said Morgan.

She was the one who was listening to reports of problems and the only woman in the room to launch the rocket Saturn V.

With astronauts on the way to the Moon, the task of warning them of any problems fell Hamilton at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her team

"You had to solve things that were never resolved before," Hamilton said,

Her group wrote the moon landing software and they had to plan any extraordinary circumstance.

  d2-nod-women-of-apollo-0715-frame-2076.jpg Margaret Hamilton

Draper & wehackthemoon.com


"You had to say," What if the astronaut pushed that blow. What do we do to recover from it, "she said.

Something unexpected happened when Eagle approached the surface of the moon that could threaten the mission

" My first thought was, "How can to do this now. "I personally remember it as a pure horror," Hamilton said.

There was no need to quit, her software was fine.

"This is the first time a person went to the moon and the software first worked on the Moon," Hamilton said.

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Nora O'Donnell with Poppy Northcutt.

CBS [2] [2] [2] [2] News


But the most critical phase of the mission is yet to come. Northcutt, the only woman in mission control, calculated maneuvers that would have brought these astronauts home.

"It's very nervous destruction, no matter how successful someone else was, if you did not return them safely and safely," said Norwatch. "This was also an opportunity I felt to encourage other women to go into science and technology and to understand that women could do this job."

This is an important role she realizes.

"I received letters from all over the world, from little girls and boys who said," I did not know that women could do that, "said Norwatch," So I was very aware of him. "


CBS News "an hour special" Moon Man, "hosted by O'Donnell, broadcast Tuesday, July 16, beginning at 10 o'clock. ET / PT.

Preview: Moon Man – Special CBS News

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