Apollo 11 launch: Meet the women behind NASA's historic mission to the moon
CBS News - Tue 16 Jul 21:22 GMT

Poppy Northcutt, Joann Morgan and Margaret Hamilton were critical to the success of the Apollo 11 mission

  As the astronauts of Apollo 11 headed to the moon, the women of NASA were blazing new trails on Earth.

  Poppy Northcutt, Joann Morgan and Margaret Hamilton were trailblazers, "hidden figures" critical to the success of the Apollo 11 mission.

  She was the one listening to communications for problems and the only woman inside the firing room for the launch of the Saturn V rocket.

  With the astronauts on the way to the moon, the task of alerting them to any problems fell to Hamilton at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her team.

  "It was the first time man walked on the moon and the first time software ran on the moon," Hamilton said.

  Northcutt, the only woman inside Mission Control, calculated the maneuvers that would bring those astronauts home.

  "I got letters from all over the world from little girls and boys saying, 'I didn't know women could do this,'" Northcutt said.