Neosho business helped make moon landing possible

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NEOSHO, Mo. – Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of man walking on the moon, but Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin couldn’t have made it out of the Earth’s atmosphere if it wasn’t for a Neosho aerospace company.

This plant in the Neosho Industrial Park, not far from Crowder College, used to be called Rocketdyne. Employees at the company designed, built, and tested a variety of engines used in different rockets, including the Saturn 5, which took Apollo 11 to the moon. Glenn Kirby worked at the plant and says everything there came to a screeching halt every time a ship with an engine they built was launched.

“It would come over the P.A. system, I was in the test area and you could have heard a pin drop, just listening to the countdown and the lift off you know and it was a good shoot it was, just gives you goose bumps.”

Glenn Kirby, Rocketdyne Employee

Once the rockets would clear the launch pad, Kirby says employees would feel a tremendous sense of relief and pride knowing they were a part of history.

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