The pioneer who took us to new heights, Gladys Perkins

Saron Yitbarek

Saron Yitbarek

Command Line Heroes, an original podcast from Red Hat

Is the moon made of cheese? Of course not. But can a person walk on the surface? Not too long ago, we couldn’t answer that question. But with the help of Gladys Perkins, we soon figured out that we could send a team to the moon and have them safely land on its surface.

Moon landing – Photo by NASA on Unsplash

There was a time when the United States was behind the Soviets in the space race. Everyone had their sights set on the moon. Andrew Chaikin describes NASA’s disastrous Ranger missions. Erik Conway explains how complicated the trajectory calculations were—and to top it all off, why they often couldn’t be done in advance. To succeed, NASA’s new Surveyor program would need the capability to adjust trajectory mid-flight. Gladys Perkins made those calculations possible. But her part in this story hasn’t been well documented. Our editor Kim Huang recounts how difficult it was to get details of her story. And Vahe Peroomian explains how important it is to get these histories told to inspire the next generation to take on moonshot projects.

Listen to the podcast here

Presented by Red Hat
For 25 years, Red Hat has been bringing open source technologies to the enterprise. From the operating system to containers, we believe in building better technology together–and celebrating the unsung heroes who are remaking our world from the command line up.

Listen to more episodes of Command Line Heroes at to learn about other life changing technology developments and the inventors behind it.

Saron Yitbarek

Saron Yitbarek

Host of Command Line Heroes podcast, Red Hat

Red Hat

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Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver high-performing Linux, cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.

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