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Northrop Grumman Celebrates Man on the Moon Anew With a New High

Stocks in this article: NOC

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Northrop Grumman (NOC) launched into a higher orbit setting an all-time intraday high this morning. The company reports quarterly earnings before the opening bell on Wednesday. Analysts expect the  aerospace and defense giant to report earnings per share at $2.20. The stock is up 42% over the last 12 months, has a 12 month trailing price to earnings ratio of 14.8 and a 2.2% dividend yield.

A little history lesson:

Last Sunday began the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that put man on the moon. As a Grummanite I can remember that five hour-plus silence as spacecraft disappeared behind the moon in preparation for orbiting the moon.

Upon landing on the Sea of Tranquility, the world applauded the words, "The Eagle has landed". The Eagle was the name given to the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) on the Apollo 11 mission. Astronaut Neil Armstrong made the first step on the moon and proclaimed, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". The successful mission ended with a splash in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969.

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I joined Grumman in Bethpage, Long Island shortly after graduating from Georgia Tech in June 1966. As an engineer in the Manufacturing Standards Department I occasionally supported the manufacturing of the Lunar Module. It was a joy whenever I was invited into a "clean room".

Grumman Aircraft Engineering won the contract to build 13 Lunar Excursion Modules in November 1962. The Lunar Module was a part of the Apollo Program carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The program was first conceived during the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, but it was President John F. Kennedy's goal to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade.

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