By Jaewon Jung, AsAmNews intern
When people think of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong is usually the first name that comes up. Yet, few recognize that some Chinese Americans were key pioneers for the moon landing. Saturday marks 50 years since the epic event and it is important to recognize the Chinese American community that was involved.
Gilroy Chow, William Moon, Peter Joe and Josephine Jue are just some of the Chinese Americans from the Mississippi Delta who made contributions to the space program. Their efforts made history.
“When we landed on the moon, no one had ever done that,” said Emily Jones, Delta State University archivist and curator for the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum.
Jones hopes this exhibition brings awareness to the Chinese Americans in the Delta who played crucial roles in Apollo 11 and other space projects. Although the exhibition features artifacts from all over the nation, it caters to local Delta residents, according to Jones.
Gilroy Chow, a Delta native, is one of the Chinese American veterans highlighted at the museum. He not only helped to design the lunar landing module but also trained the astronauts.
The exhibition also features the first Asian American woman to ever work for NASA, Josephine Jue.
“She held three different positions and worked [at NASA] for forty years,” said Kameron Chow, a summary intern for the museum.
Along with Jue, the contributions of many other Delta native Chinese Americans are displayed at the museum. The exhibition opened on July 7th and is free and open to the public.
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