By Meredith McCulloch
After graduation from UMass Dartmouth, David DeMoura went to work on the Saturn V for Boeing. “It was a great job,” he said, “especially for the first job out of school.”
Saturn V was developed specifically for the Apollo project and was the rocket that took Apollo 11 to the moon. The first stage of the three-stage rocket had five engines; each outboard engine had two gimbaling actuators, that were essential to keeping the rocket on its launch trajectory course.
DeMoura commented that people watching the countdown see it as counting down from 1 to 10, the last ten seconds, whereas the countdown begins before some 90 seconds.
DeMoura went on to describe the awesome complexity of the project. “With so many vendors and so many manufacturers, everyone had to focus, that’s what Kennedy’s announcement [“We will send a man to the moon within the decade…”] brought…a focus to the task. It was a monumental job that required a monumental project management process to succeed.”
Editor’s Note: Meredith McCulloch has sought out individuals with Bedford connections who were part of NASA’s Apollo program – Click this link to learn more about her project – each of the interviews will appear separately, under the individual’s name, and will be collected in a single reference document once all are posted.