Watch our exclusive interview with Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke

After appearing – courtesy of Harmonic’s rail team – as one of the keynote speakers at the Railway Industry Association’s Innovation Conference, Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke sat down with one of our colleagues for a more in-depth and personal chat.

The conversation ranges from the beginnings of Charlie’s career as a pilot based in Germany during the Cold War, to the moment Neil Armstrong asked him to act as Capsule Communicator for Apollo 11. Charlie shares how Mission Control dealt with the nail-biting technical difficulties on Apollo 11’s descent, gives his opinion on the accuracy of the Apollo 13 film, and describes what the Earth looks like from space.

Many of the innovations developed at the time of Charlie’s work at NASA during the Space Race still shape industries such as aerospace, defence and rail today. These include technology readiness levels, systems engineering and programme management.

In his appearance at the RIA Innovation Conference, Charlie drew parallels between his experience and the current demands for complex, integrated systems that will shape the future of rail.

Harmonic’s own Arvinder Sangha then appeared at a subsequent RIA event, Unlocking Innovation, where he shared the benefits of applying a model-based systems engineering approach to the integration of new technology.

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