Thursday, July 23, 2015

Man on the Moon on July 20, 1969 - Remembering the "Magnificent Seven" Serbs in the Apollo Space Program / By Tomislav S. Djurdjevich

Aleksandra's Note: Many thanks to Tom Djurdjevich for this essay and reminder about the Serbs who were directly involved with the American Apollo Space Program. This makes me very proud to be an American Serb and I'm honored to call one of these gentlemen, NASA Project Coordinator David Vuich, a friend.

David Vuich is one of our esteemed Serbian patriots here in America who was also very active in the "Mihailovich Monument in Washington, D.C. project" that was initiated in the mid 1970's.

So glad that David Vuich is still going strong today. The Serbian Diaspora is very fortunate to have men like him among us.

Aleksandra Rebic
July 2015


July 21, 2015

Man on the Moon on July 20, 1969 - Remembering the "Magnificent Seven" Serbs in the Apollo Program

“That’s one small step for man, One giant leap for mankind” Apollo 11 Commander Neil A. Armstrong said after landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969, at 4:17:40 P.M. EDT.

There were many hardworking scientists who made JFK's dream a reality. David Vuich​ and six of his friends and colleagues were the “Magnificient Seven” Serbs (AKA "Serbo 7 Team") who worked in the early space program.

All of these men were recipients of the “Apollo Achievement Award” from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The award came with an inscription:

“In appreciation of dedicated service to the nation as a member of the team which has advanced the nation’s capabilities in aeronautics and space and demonstrated them in many outstanding accomplishments culminating in Apollo 11’s successful achievement of man’s first landing on the moon, July 20, 1969.”

The following photo with the Apollo 11 Spacecraft in the background includes the original "Serbo 7 Team" as follows from left to right:

Slavoljub "Sam" Vuich, from Pancevo [Autonomous Province of Voyvodina, in the Republic of Serbia], Avionics Systems Engineer.
Paul Duich, from Centerville, Iowa, family from Lika [Serbian land in Croatia], Retired USAF Col., Logistics Manager.
Danilo Bojic, from Crna Gora [Montenegro], Mechanical Engineer, Designed Apollo emergency escape system.
Milojko "Mike" Vucelic, from Dreznica, Lika, Chief Engineer, Apollo Spacecraft Launch Director.
Milos Subatovich, from Beograd [Serbia], Structural Engineer, former Royal Yugoslavian Air Force Pilot.
Peter Galovich, from Hudson Wyoming, family from Lika, Electronics Engineer.
David Vuich, from Midland, PA, Father from Okucani, Slavonija, North American / Rockwell - NASA Project Coordinator.

The Magnificient 7 are the latest in the long list of Serb great scientists and inventors including Nikola Tesla and Michael Pupin.

This history-making event ranks among the greatest human accomplishments of all time as the world stood still and America stood tall and proud, for its technology triumphed by winning the space race over the former Soviet Union. Yes indeed, this momentous event was great for America, its space program, and the Apollo program in particular.


Here are just some of the items and technologies that have improved, evolved from, or are a direct result of the Apollo program and NASA related research.

* Kidney dialysis
* Fire resistant fabrics
* Water purification systems
* Sensors to test for hazard gas
* Energy-saving materials
* The LZR Racer swimsuit
* Battery-powered precision surgical instruments
* Algae-based nutritionally enriched infant formula

In addition to receiving the "Apollo Achievement Award", Mr. Vucelic also received the “Freedom Award” from President Lyndon B. Johnson for guiding Apollo 13 safely back to Earth. I was saddened when Mr. Vucelic passed in 2012 as I know his son. Vechnaya Pamyat! Memory Eternal!

Text and photos courtesy of AMERICAN SRBOBRAN on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, page 35. Mr. David Vuich provided titles and backgrounds.

Tomislav S. Djurdjevich on July 21, 2015


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at


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