“The Eagle Has Landed”                   

Just a few days ago, Intuitive Machines’ spacecraft Odysseus made a soft landing on the moon and began beaming back information.  Quite impressive, indeed. Several countries are now teaming up with private sector businesses to make soft landings on the Moon.  (The SOFT landing is the hard part… that didn’t happen at all between 1972 and 2013).  Of course, the last manned mission to the moon occurred in December of 1972 through the massive Apollo Program. 

If you are as old as me, you may recall hearing perhaps the most famous quote of our times: Neil Armstrong in July of 1969… “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.  (Didn’t even have to Google it!).  My parents let me stay up to watch it live on Television! (I was a young boy, but old enough to remember the event).  That was Apollo 11.

Fast forward to today… it’s interesting that, once again, the moon has become a target.  For many good reasons, of course, but it’s not as easy as breaking out the old drawings from the Apollo missions and building a bunch of rockets.  And while there may be more computing power in your I-phone than on the Command Module, it’s not the same thing!  There are far more complicated equations to solve and, even though your phone might survive being accidentally dropped, that does NOT qualify as hardening for space travel!

Take a look at the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module “Eagle”) … an interesting combination of materials that looks like nothing seen before.  Tens of thousands of manhours went into inventing it and then building it.  Many companies, large and small, were tasked with solving difficult problems and coming up with new materials that simply didn’t exist prior to the manned moon missions. (BLOG POST JUNE 6, 2023 Small Manufacturers….).

So, again, it’s not as easy as breaking out the drawings and making a few phone calls… lots of the talent that figured all of this out is not available for consultation (retired, let’s say….)  and some of the companies that made the components are long-gone or have been gobbled up by larger competitors.

From a materials standpoint today, each component part must be sourced from modern supply chains or designed and manufactured to new standards and specifications. (SUPPLY CHAIN UPDATE)  And everything must be made to withstand the incredibly difficult environment of outer space!

But wait!  Some materials are, thankfully, still readily available from the sources specified way back in the 60’s and 70’s (that’s NINETEEN-60 and NINETEEN-70!!).  It happens that W.F. Lake Corp. is one of them.  (TIME LINE….).

It’s not that this stodgy little company is sitting here waiting for a call from NASA.  No, in fact these materials have found their way into many other mission-critical and safety-critical applications over the years. We’ve also added an impressive number of products to meet the latest challenges our customers bring to us. (NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Feb. 11, 2021).

 And of course, many of our products still work as designed for the most difficult applications of all… space flight!  The Marshall Space Flight Center references our products on their specifications! The full list of specifications we meet is available here.

So, when wires need to be bundled together, just give us a call.  We still manufacture the PTFE coated fiberglass lacing tape and tie cord developed for the original space missions.  And our PTFE coated fiberglass sewing thread is still available for fabricating space suits!  Our PTFE coated fiberglass yarns are ready to insulate the wires and cables running throughout the spacecraft and form the harnesses keeping it together. 

Finally, many of us remember another famous quote from that Apollo 11 mission: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”!! Let’s rise to the challenge and go back again!

We here at W.F. Lake Corp. are ready and waiting with our tried-and-true PTFE Coated Fiberglass products!  Time tested and proven in the most demanding environments on earth… and “to infinity and beyond!” (Quoting Buzz Lightyear for the younger readers… couldn’t resist!).