While everyone knows the names of the three astronauts who flew the historic Apollo 11 mission to the moon, very few people are familiar with the extensive team laboring at Ground Control to make it all possible.
Their voices, together with those of NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, can now be heard in a vast collection of audio tapes that has just been released in digital format, reports NBC News.
Numbering 170 tapes that recorded 19,000 hours of audio data from the Apollo 11 — the first manned mission to land on the moon on July 20, 1969 — the collection echoes the camaraderie that brought the astronauts together and the incredible teamwork between them and their colleagues at Ground Control.
To Ben Feist, a software engineer who is organizing and processing the audio to make it more accessible to the public, the latter are the unsung heroes of the Apollo missions.
"The real story is the mission control side of things," Feist said in a statement. "How did they do it? How did they send everybody to the moon?"
Feist is also working on a website for the Apollo 11, which he hopes to have up and running by the mission's 50th anniversary next year. The engineer has already put together a portal for Apollo 17, which includes more than 300 hours of audio, 22 hours of video, and 4,200 photos from the 1972 mission.