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Image: NASA

While it’s astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins who are the celebrated heroes of the Apollo 11 moon landing, their mission may have not been possible without a brilliant NASA engineer named Judy Sullivan. As Good Morning American explained, after earning top grades as a biology major Sullivan became a biomedical engineer at NASA in 1969, and one of her most memorable experiences was working with Neil Armstrong in preparation for the historic Apollo 11 mission as lead engineer for the biomedical system. She studied the Apollo astronaut’s breathing rates and depths through sensors that were placed on their sides. When Armstrong was being taken away for his flight to the moon he thanked all the engineers but only Judy by name. 

Now 76, Sullivan feels “blessed” to be part of history and is also passionate about encouraging young women today to pursue careers in the math and science industries. “Be adventurous, don’t let anyone convince you, you can’t make your goals,” she said. “Talk to your guidance counselors and get to know your science teachers because they’re gonna make you believe in yourself.

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