Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Neil Armstrong's 'One Small Step' Required Thousands of People

After NASA Apollo 11's incredible feat of three men on the moon in June of 1969, astronaut Michael Collins said, "All this is possible only through the blood, sweat, and tears of thousands of people… All you see are the three of us, but underneath the surface are thousands and thousands of others." According to author Catherine Thimmesh there were about 400,000 others who helped with the Apollo 11 mission.

In her book Team Moon, Thimmesh shares stories of these hidden heroes—spacesuit seamstresses, radio telescope operators, parachute designers and others who made it possible to get men to the moon, get them home, and let the rest of the world watch while it happened. At Kennedy Space Center, some 17,000 engineers, mechanics, soldiers, contractors and other workers set up the enormous missile for the launch. Then there were the "Two Bobs"—the guys in Houston monitoring just how little fuel was left in the lunar module during its descent to the surface. Team Moon also included a 24-year-old "computer whiz kid Jack Garman" who helped work through worrisome computer glitches during the Eagle 's landing. The computer code that ran all the systems was developed by a team of software engineers at MIT' led by Margaret Hamilton. Roughly 500 people worked on the space suit, including one seamstress who commented, "We didn't worry too much until the guys on the moon started jumping up and down. And that gave us a little bit of an eyebrow twitch."

No wonder astronaut Neil Armstrong would later say that as he took his first step on the moon he immediately thought about all those 400,000 people who had given him the opportunity to make that first step.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Largest Lego Model Took Vision and Teamwork

The newest addition to the grand list of Coolest Things Ever was first unveiled in New York City in 2013: the Lego X-Wing, the largest Lego model ever built. The model of the classic ...

[Read More]

A Laser—the Power of Unified Light

In 1957 a graduate student at Columbia University named Gordon Gould had been working with "pumping" atoms to higher energy states so they would emit light. As Gould elaborated his ...

[Read More]