Heroes come in all sizes – the story of a 10-year-old, Greg Force, who left his “grease” mark on the Apollo 11 mission with his heroics.
Kids saving an outer-space mission is what we see in movies and comics, well not in the case of 10-year-old Greg Force and Apollo 11.
- Greg Force was a regular 10-year-old kid who used to live in Guam, where his father, Charles Force worked as the director of a NASA tracking station.
- His father’s job was to help connect the capsule with NASA Mission Control for voice communication.
- During the departure of Apollo 11 from the moon, a bearing had broken in the dish antenna which was required to track the ship.
- This led to critical risk of losing the ability to communicate with the capsule as it approached Earth.
- This was the moment where little Greg arose as a hero, his father asked him to come to the tracking station and help him solve the problem.
- He was assigned to squeeze his small arms in antenna’s 21/2-inch diameter access hole and pack grease around the bearing.
“Now that I look back on it, I’m very proud, Not especially anything amazing that I did, but that I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I’m also proud that my dad trusted me enough … to do it.”Greg Force
- Greg, now 60 and the owner of a gymnastics studio, says he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and work for NASA, but his colourblindness prevented him from becoming an astronaut.
- His father, Charles continued to develop NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, and died in 2007 after 29 years of service to NASA