Barry Nobles and His Backyard Lunar Lander

Maker News
Barry Nobles and His Backyard Lunar Lander

How did you get started making?

I grew up in a household with extremely crafty parents they were always making things and fixing things. So I’ve always been making things since I was a child. Adding a sail to a gocart.  A mechanical arm. And building a motorhome with my father. I think in some ways I developed electrical skills because it was not one of my father’s skills.

What inspired you to build the Backyard Lunar Lander?

I was inspired to build a lunar lander after looking back at a favorite sticker that my third-grade teacher gave me. Her father worked at Grumman at the time as part of the Apollo program. It has always been a bucket list thing for me to build something like this, and now with the anniversary, I thought the time was right.


What have been the public’s reactions to the Backyard Lunar Lander?

Everyone’s reaction to the lunar lander has been very positive. They appreciate my work and really like to think back to the Apollo missions. The impact it was for us landing a man on the moon and return them see him safely to earth. Many have shared their stories where they were and what they thought at the time. I feel my half-size Lander has promoted people of my generation to tell their stories to the next generation and explain what an exciting time it was.


What are some other projects you’ve worked on?

I have always worked on projects. Woodworking, home remodeling, large scale architectural turnings, and small jobs for others. Recently, I built a horse bicycle with elliptical wheels with moving legs in the center. It rolled like a bicycle, and more importantly, it looks like a horse. It was a fun project and got a lot of attention. I wanted a project for myself that would just be a lot of fun and something that would make people think.

After the horse bike project, I started the tagline “Think it, Make it” to help encourage people to come up with ideas, take action, and make something. I really believe that making and fixing things promotes a can-do attitude, creates skills, and is just a lot of fun. I always giveaway stickers similar to the one that my third-grade teacher gave me and tell the person they got to make something, anything, big or small, and just make something. It has worked for me and I believe it will work for them.

What’s something you’d like to make next?

What is next? I have no idea but when it pops up, I know it’ll be fun.

Any advice for people reading this?

Think It, Make It.

More information on the Backyard Lunar Lander can be found on our site

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Dan is the Community Manager at Make: Community. He is also a space enthusiast, event organizer, and co-chair of Maker Faire Rochester. Dan can often be found developing hands-on activities for maker events through Rochester and New York State.

View more articles by Daniel Schneiderman


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