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ECE ILLINOIS alumnus played critical role on Apollo 11

7/16/2019

Joseph Park, ECE ILLINOIS

Roy Klein (Photo credit: Daily Herald)
Roy Klein (Photo credit: Daily Herald)
ECE ILLINOIS alumnus Roy Klein was among the team of engineers that helped land men on the moon in 1969. Klein worked on the central timing equipment in the early '60s. As a young engineer hired by General Time Corp., Klein led a team to design the central timing equipment, a ten-pound unit that coordinated all of the spacecraft's time-sensitive functions. 

"It had to be designed so that no one component could destroy the mission," said Klein, 79, living in Hoffman Estates and still doing freelance work as the principal of his Applied Engineering Technologies consulting firm according to an interview with the Daily Herald.

Due to early failures in programming the timing equipment, NASA contacted General Time to fix the problem. "I got hired there because of this problem," said Klein, who worked on the issue from 1963 to 1965. "I worked out all the math."

Photo Credit: NASA
Photo Credit: NASA
According to the Daily Herald, "Klein says his electrical engineering degree from the University of Illinois and his early work with Motorola and other local companies gave him confidence" to work out his equations and incorporate his engineering solutions which worked. 

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