Millions of people tuned in to watch American astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin make a ground breaking journey to the moon. The spacecraft launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969 and landed on the moon on July 20, 1969.
Cindy Jory, a 3D printing hobbyist, was one of those millions of people who watched Armstrong on their television sets take the first human steps on the moon. Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Jory was 11 years old when she saw the takeoff and landing of Apollo 11 mission. It was amazing to watch the “three astronauts put their life and faith in the design of their spacecraft. There was a lot of stress of secrecy to make it happen before the Soviet Union could make it to the moon,” Jory said.
This competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for superiority in spaceflight capabilities became known to as “The Race to Space”.
In “honor of those who worked so hard to make it come true,” Jory created a 3D printed space race collection as a sentiment to her father and a remembrance of this historical moment.
What made the Apollo mission so special to Jory was that her “father was an aerospace engineer who designed parts for Apollo 11 and Skylab,” she said.
Although there were a team of scientists and engineers who worked on the Apollo spacecraft and Skylab, many of his “ideas were incorporated especially when it came to the craft’s strength and weight,” Jory said.
There wasn’t a “single role that he wasn’t involved in. It was important that he and the team knew the ins and outs of the craft”. If an issue had occurred, they would have to come up with a solution to the problem right then and there.
Like her father, Jory “has always been interested in space and astronomy”. She enjoys it so much that this has become the inspiration for many of her 3D printed models. As a child, her father would bring parts home in boxes that he’d allow her to “use to build spacecraft in the garage”.
They’d often discuss “about designs, what I thought, and what changes would make them better,” Jory said.
Perhaps this helped Jory’s father because “some of the ideas were used in the Apollo and Skylab spacecraft,” Jory expressed.
Jory wished that she had kept the models they made together. Her precious childhood memories of working with her father has influenced her creativity. Spyder 3D World believes that it is important that creativity flourishes in the lives of children so that when they grow up they are able to do amazing things.
Steven Dick, National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) chief historian in Washington D.C. said, “Putting a man on the moon not only inspired the nation, but also the world. The moon landing showed what could be accomplished at a time when much else was going wrong” (Roach, 2004).
As technology had progressed and the development of 3D printing had been created, it has made it possible for NASA to incorporate 3D printed parts for the machines they send into space. Astronauts no longer have to wait for a supply mission to launch from Earth because they could 3D print replacement parts, fabricated tools, and materials that they need. Even though 3D printing wasn’t available in the 60’s, it has become a necessary piece of equipment that could change how NASA does their missions traveling beyond the Earth’s orbit.
Apollo 11 influenced and inspired children to become astronauts in hopes of one day viewing the Earth from outer space. If we could teach children about 3D printing and how it could be used to benefit the world of science and technology, think of the kind of world that we could live in in the future.
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Roach, J. (2004, July 16). Apollo Anniversary: Moon Landing “Inspired World”. Retrieved July 12, 2017, from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0714_040714_moonlanding.html.1