The Backyard lander started with a sticker my third grade teacher gave me back in 1969. Mrs. Anderson's father was a project manager with Grumman. As students we all received a sticker as the lunar landing approached that summer. It sparked my interest and imagination!
Years later, after many years in the technology field as a engineering specialist with Harris Corp. I recalled the sticker and the story behind it. I recall how my imagination was sparked at that time, I feel it was that sticker that helped grow my interest in how things work, how people can work together to grow a concept into a great piece of engineering technology. What a time to be an observer into what the efforts of more than 400,000 people can do, safely landing a man on the moon!
So that is the background into what made my desire to create a backyard lander. Now flash ahead to the current time. I am involved still in the technology field for work, I am involved for the last 8 years with FIRST robotics team 340 out of Churchville NY. I have a great interest in fostering the love of design and creating in the high school and college students on the team. This combined with the approaching 50th anniversary of the lunar landing and my dream of building a half scale lunar lander was born!
I see the lander as a tool to teach young and old that as we work together we can build great things, do great things. I hope that it will spark a dream to dare to think it and to make it. Great things can come from giving a young boy sticker, what can I hope to spark with a shiny half scale lunar lander!
My Backyard lander will tour local and regional events to help mark the 50th anniversary of the landing, this is why I have elected to do the half scale design, it will still be more than 12 feet high but fit on a 20 foot equipment trailer. I think it will be Awesome! Bringing a smile to young and old alike...
Funded by Rochester, NY (October 2018)