One of the pioneers of space exploration lives right here in Lynwood. Longtime resident Percy Brown was one of the engineers who worked on Apollo 11, the spaceflight that was “one small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.”
Mr. Brown was recruited by Rocketdyne (now Aerojet Rocketdyne) out of Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana and he wasted no time getting to work in Southern California, “I graduated on a Monday and was on Rocketdyne’s payroll the next Monday,” he recalled.
He worked on the Apollo 11’s Lunar Module Descent Engine as well as the F-1, a gas generator-cycle rocket engine that served as the main launch vehicle of the Apollo program, and the J-2, a liquid-fuel cryogenic rocket engine used on NASA’s Saturn IB and Saturn V launch vehicles.
Mr. Brown moved to Lynwood in 1973, where he and his wife raised their three children. Since he retired, he has kept active. You can catch him at the Lynwood Senior Citizens Center, where he often volunteers by calling Bingo games or as a Lynwood Block Watch Captain. You might even see him walking (his goal is to walk 7,000 steps a day) or riding his bike around town.
As part of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Mr. Brown and his colleagues were honored in 2019 by the Los Angeles City Council for their work on this historic mission and their contributions to the space program.
Thank you, Mr. Brown, for your contribution to getting us to the moon. We are proud you are a Lynwood resident!