50 years ago yesterday (July 16th, 1969), Apollo 11 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It would be the first time that the US would land men on the surface of the moon. It was a defining moment in NASA.

But did you know that two Western New York companies helped Apollo 11?

According to WKBW, Bell Aerospace in Wheatfield and Moog in Elma developed "key technology" for the mission that was crucial for the arrival to the moon and back again.

Bell developed the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, that allowed the astronauts (Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin) to practice moon landing techniques on earth.

They also built the ascent engine, that was used to lift the lunar excursion module from the moon, so they could get back to their command module and return to earth.

Moog built the actuators on the rocket's engine (Saturn V), so that it could fly straight and allowed it to reach the moon.

But that's not all. Other Buffalo companies, such as Calspan also helped with the moon landing mission.

My dad works for Moog out in Elma and is around this super important stuff on a daily basis, so I've heard all about it growing up. It's pretty incredible that local companies here have played such a huge role with NASA and space missions.

Read the full story at WKBW.

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