First-Hand:Haywood Satz Lunar Module simulator

I was one among many to help achieve the Lunar landing, working at Grumman Aircraft in Bethpage, NY from 1963 – 1973. My work was to analyze rotational motion stability of the LM spacecraft in its various phases of translunar, lunar-descent and ascent-rendezvous flight. I wrote a short piece to the life membership (in the recent year or two) describing a comprehensive lunar landing simulator that was built at Grumman at that time.

The lunar touchdown simulator included an astronaut’s seat, translational/descending controls, digital computation of trajectory motion, analog computation of rotation dynamics, and a large landscape screen showing lunar surface craters and potentially suitable landing sites. We marked one of those surface points with an “X”, simply for simulator training of the visiting astronauts.

I took a measure of pride and satisfaction in my work and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to point out to my friends, family, and colleagues, that the placement of that lunar surface “X” was useful for simulator training, however, Armstrong and Aldrin clearly did not have that advantage when they touched down on the lunar surface in 1969.