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Mercury Project Engineers Win Award

Brian Kelly
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-Just a few days after the 49th anniversary of its launch, the engineers who helped design and build John Glenn’s Mercury Capsule have received a prestigious honor.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers President Moshe Kam was at Boeing today, presenting them the organization’s “Milestone Award”, “They have spent a human into space and back, using automated computational powers that was orders of magnitude less than what we have now in the simplest electronic calculators.”

Retired McDonnell Douglas Communication Engineer Norman Beckle remembers those early days of space flight, “We look now and you have in your hand all sorts of calculating power, we didn’t have that. We were still using slide rules, believe it or not!”

Mechanic Phillip Kempland says the trailblazing done by local engineers and scientists then is still paying off today, “Start out with little computers we used for guidance on these things and going into what were huge computers, go into our pockets today.”

The award comes just five days after the 49th anniversary of John Glenn’s orbital flight in the St. Louis made Friendship 7 Mercury capsule.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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