Categories: Video Conferencing

Apollo 11. One giant leap for Webex collaboration

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. While the names of the three-person team – Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins continue to reverberate through all the discussions and remembrances of this mission, it took a team of 400,000 people to make it all happen.

On July 16th, 2019 – Cisco Webex Collaboration will have the extraordinary pleasure of bringing together amazing people who were part of the Apollo 11 Mission to the moon via Webex technology at the Apollo 50th Gala celebration. We will connect astronauts from the Apollo mission with satellite trackers in Australia and recovery personnel from the USS Hornet who, 50 years ago, collaborated against enormous odds to realize one of the greatest achievements in human history.

Can you imagine what they can do with the tools and digital networks of today? Effective communication and collaboration are mission critical in this era for every project, whether scientific or otherwise. With the right vision, determination and skills, anything is possible. With collaboration technology specifically, projects are completed faster, and they help people communicate quickly, ideate, work globally, and build stronger, better relationships. Exciting times are ahead for the next era of exploration and space travel.

Parkes: Collaboration on a Global Scale

President John F. Kennedy issued his challenge on September 12, 1962, stating “We choose to go to the moon in this decade…not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” In saying this, he kick-started a seven-year plan of inspiration, perseverance, and eventually, achievement. (You can read the transcript and more details about his speech at NASA’s archives here.) His speech launched a megaproject that demanded unprecedented technological innovation and interpersonal collaboration, all against a firm timeline. Keep in mind, this was the age of radio and land-line telephones. There was no internet, no mobile devices or personal computers to connect people.

The race to the moon took seven years, much of it in uncharted areas of engineering, physics and literally, space. Looking back, JFK’s speech may have seemed ambitious and seemingly impossible, but that was the point. We know the human spirit never settles for “impossible.”

Although the Apollo 11 mission was primarily a U.S. undertaking, it required the assistance and expertise of people all over the world. Apollo 11 was more than just a moon mission – it represented the ability of global collaboration in the pursuit of innovation and achievement.

One of the finest examples of this is the story of the Parkes Radio Telescope located in New South Wales, Australia, about 220 miles east of Sydney. To ensure consistent communication with the Apollo crew while the earth itself rotated, NASA needed three radio telescopes, globally distributed and equidistant. Parkes was assigned a vital role, supporting the primary receiver at Goldstone in California. You can read more here.

Parkes not only had to collaborate in real time with Mission Control, but it had to overcome extremely challenging local wind and storm conditions during the very moments of the moon landing. Despite these challenges, the Parkes team succeeded in bringing those images to the people of the world, and thus cemented its place as an exemplary collaborator in the already-inspiring history of the lunar mission.

Cisco Webex Collaboration proud to partner with NASA for the Next Space Era

Today, we are Webextremely proud that NASA is our customer. NASA and Cisco Webex are strong partners in achieving the impossible in space exploration. With Cisco’s IP phones, voicemail, and Jabber, NASA connects teams across multiple centers. Cisco Webex Meetings, Webex video devices, and Cisco UCCX help call centers communicate, both internally and externally, proving that boundaries don’t matter. NASA also uses Cisco VoIP and softphone technology at the International Space Station, with the Mars Rover team relying on Webex to coordinate its mission.

Cisco Webex collaboration and communication technologies are proud to play a role in this next wave of space exploration, by helping to erase distance and build stronger connections between human beings everywhere, from Mars to the Moon, to the Earth and beyond.

Come and see history live! Cisco will be broadcasting a live astronaut panel discussion on July 16that 6:00p PT.

Ready to Webexplore the future of possible? Visit to learn more on how we can help you reach your collaboration goals.

Webex, the leader in video conferencing. Start your 30-day trial for free.

Published by
Aruna Ravichandran

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