E4.3 A Girl in the Man-on-the-Moon Program: Camaraderie and Discrimination in the Apollo Era

Session: 3 – “Can you believe they put a man on the moon?” The Apollo Program
Room: 147B
Time: 14:45

The author reported for duty 51 years ago to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. As an entry level Aerospace Technologist, her role in Apollo 11 was to operate the Goddard Real Time System to record radar data from the tracking sites and use this data to update the orbit and send out acquisition messages.
The author’s fondest memory of the Apollo program, especially Apollo 11, was that, with less than one year of Government service, she had the opportunity to work among the “giants” of NASA and experience firsthand the “Apollo Mentality” that guided her through 46 years at NASA.
She also experienced the highs of camaraderie and the lows of discrimination. The camaraderie lasted one year until a manager asked why she was not pregnant. Thus began the discrimination, more specifically gender harassment.This paper addresses how the “girl” accommodated both behaviors through the lens of the “Apollo Mentality” during her NASA career.

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