AZ-based missile company that helped with Apollo 11 shows tech evolution


The 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon is this month on July 20. Back in 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts relied on technology from a company based in Arizona to make it happen.

Raytheon Missile Systems, based in Tucson, Ariz., provides missile systems to our government and creates technology to help fight against terror and cyber attacks.

For the Apollo 11 mission, Raytheon was tasked with navigating the astronauts to the moon and back.

“[It’s] pretty hard to hit a moving target in space, but that’s what our navigation computers enabled those astronauts to do,” John Patterson, Public Relations Director, Raytheon Missile Systems.

Raytheon also provided the technology that gave the world the iconic Neil Armstrong quote, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

“We all saw and heard that because of that because of that one component we built because of that communication system.,” said Patterson.

Today, the technology Raytheon uses is not unfamiliar.

“This is really Tony Stark meets defense weapons,” said Kendall Loomis, Center Manager, Immersive Design Center.

Using virtual reality that blows your roller coaster game out of the water Raytheon creates and designs missile systems down to the part before ever picking up a tool.

“The visual allows us to collaborate and communicate in ways that we just haven’t historically when we’re stuck in a 2D world.,” said Loomis.

Raytheon already uses Star Wars-eske technology in their warehouses and is always looking for the next great advancement in tech.

“We are leveraging equipment, technology, ideas that come from consumer electronics, from Hollywood, from gaming, and bring them in and apply them to this world of missiles,” said Loomis.

Back then when the sky was the limit it was a video message. Next, for this Arizona-based company, the limit is only the imagination.

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