50 years ago today, man set foot on the moon. It was a monumental time for people all over the world and one Acadiana man helped make it happen.
“I was very fortunate to be able to work on the two most complex engineering designs in the history of mankind,” said Harvey LeBlanc.
In 1962 he had just graduated from UL, back then known as USL, when he got a call that changed his life, “I was interviewed by a company from California called North American Aviation. They were just staring the design phase of the Saturn program. Our company had the contract to build the second stage of the Saturn Rocket as well as the Apollo capsule itself.”
LeBlanc says he’s thankful he was able to partake in such a historic project, “It was an experience because we were designing a vehicle, a rocket, that had never been designed before. We were pushing the state of the art in everything we did. There were no experts to go ask. We had to invent the wheel ourselves basically.”
It’s a feat that now, 50 years later, people are still amazed at, “It still impresses the modern-day young engineers that are still in that field. That we were able to do it in such a short period of time and it worked.”
He adds, that thinking back on it now, he’s impressed with the work himself.