One Giant Leap ~ Celebrating Apollo 11: Val Asbedian

July 18, 2019

By Meredith McCulloch

The late Val Asbedian earned a Master’s in Fluid Mechanics at MIT in 1964 and another Master’s in Math from Adelphi University. He and his wife Nancy moved to Houston in1966 where he worked for TRW on the Lunar Module. It was originally called the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), but then ultimately, there was no “excursion.”

In Houston, their motto was, “The last mile is on us,” which was posted on billboards in the area. Val’s team was responsible for the module’s descent to the moon. Nancy recalls, “It was intense and totally innovative since it obviously was a first for everyone.  Each brought skills from a variety of disciplines, and Val would say that it was a miracle that they pulled it off. “

She added, “It’s hard to believe that they did it without the computers and technology of today. Slide rules ruled.

“They spent so much time working at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) in Clear Lake City that they became family to each other. Needless to say, Val took great pride in contributing a small part to the success of Apollo 11.  It was an amazing experience for me as well.”

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.

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