Making the impossible happen – celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing

New AmbientFiber® sample as tribute to Apollo 11

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission inspired us to have built a special sample with our illuminating fiber AmbientFiber® as our tribute to 50 years of walking on the moon.

When in 1962 John F. Kennedy proclaimed that the United States will land on the moon in the same decade, even for the biggest optimist this goal seemed out of reach or even impossible to realize. However, on July 21, 1969 Neill Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin set foot on the moon. The Apollo projects have proven what humankind is able to achieve by its given means of imagination and ambition.

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

J.F.Kennedy at Rice Stadium on September 12, 1962. read full speech

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission inspired us to have built a special sample with our illuminating fiber AmbientFiber as our tribute to 50 years of walking on the moon. We at Leoni are fascinated by the spirit of that time and wish to congratulate NASA and all companies, institutes and people involved in this major success. We are impressed and motivated by the proven scale of devotion to innovation and the drive to overcome seemingly insurmountable frontiers.

It was the time of the Cold war. The United States and the Soviet Union were racing to win over the supremacy in outer space and show off technological dominance since the mid-50s. With President Kennedy supporting the Apollo missions, the development of NASA as the large engineering organization it is today began. In shortest time, numerous technologies had to be developed. For example, at the beginning of the 1960s, no space rocket existed that was able to start from the earth, all the way to the moon, land there and go back again. Adequate life support systems also did not exist. Billions of dollars were spent for research and development. This not only had an economical effect but also resulted in non-space applications later.

The lunar landing in 1969 was a worldwide event: half a billion people watched it on television. The Apollo program with the moon landing as its climax inspired a generation of technicians and researchers and remains one of the outstanding technological achievements of humankind. It reminds us of what can be accomplished by setting one's mind and energy on it.

Details on the sample

The sample consists of three AmbientFiber products with three laser sources in red, blue and green. The artist used several materials such as acrylic glass and foamboard to generate the 3D effect. Finest lines and small bending radii are possible with our radial-emitting illumination fiber.


How can product design be utilized as a differentiator in competitive markets? By using filigree lines of light in the final product, for example. To achieve this, BU Fiber Optics has developed an optical fiber in-house that emits light in all directions: this fiber creates an almost unlimited number of opportunities for ambient lighting and new approaches to product design.

AmbientFiber is characterized by its uniform emission of light at 360° across the entire length of the fiber – in contrast to a more punctiform LED illumination. The core of the optical fiber is Fused Silica, which works to prevent any discoloration effects or undesirable reactions to incident sunlight.

AmbientFiber can be used in a huge range of applications: in the automotive industry (interior and exterior lighting), in interior and emergency lighting applications for aircraft, ocean-going vessels and trains, in the field of automation and drives as a visual feedback system, and for building illumination in architecture and infrastructure. In the field of electrical appliances, AmbientFiber could be used to develop light-effect cables for electrical devices or illuminated charging cables. Interesting product developments are also possible in the wearables industry, which manufactures intelligent textiles and accessories that include illuminated hi-vis vests, footwear, and many more. When used with miniaturized sensors, AmbientFiber is also capable of indicating changes in temperature, pressure or humidity.

What is your AmbientFiber application?