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Kraut, Val

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In 1969 Val was a 25 year old engineer employed by Grumman and worked on the lunar landing vehicle that took the astronauts to the moon that year and in the early 1970s.

In the late '60s Val was on an assembly and test team of engineers and technicians who inspected parts of the lunar lander for reliability and safety. As the time approached to launch Apollo II, the first spacecraft to go to the moon, the work intensified. With people working 12 hour days, seven days a week, and no vacation. A time when people were very motivated to beat the Russians to the moon.

In 2009 Val is still on the job at the age of 65. He is one of 80 people, many of them engineers, working on the space project in Bethpage for Northrop Grumman Corp. He is at work on Altair, NASA's name for the new lunar lander that is expected to take people to the moon again by 2020.

Now Val is helping as they are trying to recreate data bases and old microfilms that contain information on how the lander was built and tested. Valuable date has been stored at the Grumman History Center.

Val is confident that in the vastness of space there is some type of life. Perhaps not in our solar system, but with the numbers of galaxies it makes the odds overwhelming.

Information from Newsday - July 6, 2009

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