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Icons of Progress

The Apollo Missions

More than 4000 IBMers worked tirelessly to help humankind put a person on the Moon. Countless others from NASA, contracting companies, government and the international community provided the technological, monetary and political resources necessary to achieve this unprecedented accomplishment. Below are the main groups of IBMers involved.

Huntsville team members watch as the instruction unit is lowered


IBMers at the George Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, built the Saturn V instrument unit that launched the astronauts and put them on their course to the Moon.

Cape Kennedy team members at work

Cape Kennedy

IBMers at Cape Kennedy, now Cape Canaveral, Florida, performed final system tests and helped launch the 3000-ton rocket with its 40-ton payload.

Houston team member walking past the moon lander


At NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center—now the Johnson Space Center—in Houston, Texas, IBMers worked beside flight directors to analyze the data that would navigate the astronauts from Earth’s orbit into lunar orbit and back again.

Men walking into the Space Guidance Center


IBMers in Owego, New York, and other locations invented and built miniaturized integrated circuitry for the Saturn computer. They shrunk a computer the size of a restaurant refrigerator down to the size of an average briefcase—and made it rugged enough for space travel.

Goddard team members at their flight consoles


IBMers at the Goddard Space Flight Center near Washington, DC, developed the Goddard Real-Time Systems for the Apollo missions. Their computers processed data from radar stations, remote sites and tracking ships—a worldwide network to track the Apollo missions.