Gladys Perkins: The Pioneer Who Took Us To New Heights

Command Line Heroes

Episode | Podcast

Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2021 05:30:00 +0000

<p>Is the moon made of cheese? Of course not. But can a person walk on the surface? Not too long ago, we couldn’t answer that question. But with the help of <a href="" target="_blank">Gladys Perkins</a>, we soon figured out that we could send a team to the moon and have them safely land on its surface. <br /><br />There was a time when the United States was behind the Soviets in the space race. Everyone had their sights set on the moon. <a href="" target="_blank">Andrew Chaikin</a> describes NASA’s disastrous Ranger missions. <a href="" target="_blank">Erik Conway</a> explains how complicated the trajectory calculations were—and to top it all off, why they often couldn’t be done in advance. To succeed, NASA’s new Surveyor program would need the capability to adjust trajectory mid-flight. Gladys Perkins made those calculations possible. But her part in this story hasn’t been well documented. Our editor Kim Huang recounts how difficult it was to get details of her story. And <a href="" target="_blank">Vahe Peroomian</a> explains how important it is to get these histories told to inspire the next generation to take on moonshot projects.</p><p>Finding information about Gladys Perkins was tough. We found some breadcrumbs to her story on <a href="" target="_blank">this Hughes Aircraft blog.</a></p><p>If you want to read up on some of our research on Gladys Perkins, you can check out all our bonus material over at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. </p><p>Follow along with <a href="" target="_blank">the episode transcript</a>.<br /> </p>