Summer of Space

TELL US YOUR STORY: What do you remember from the moon landing?

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, KUED is celebrating with the Summer of Space, a series of programs, events, and outreach initiatives designed to bring viewers back to that historic day in July 1969, when the first man walked on the moon, and anything seemed possible.

KUED’s Summer of Space is produced in conjunction with the launch of Chasing the Moon, a new three-part documentary series from American Experience that relives the history of the space race, from its earliest beginnings to the monumental achievement of the first lunar landing and beyond.

American Experience: Chasing The Moon

American Experience - Chasing The Moon - Premiering June 8

American Experience - Chasing The Moon

The series recasts the Space Age as a fascinating stew of scientific innovation, political calculation, media spectacle, visionary impulses and personal drama. Utilizing a visual feast of previously overlooked and lost archival material — much of which has never before been seen by the public — the film features a diverse cast of characters who played key roles in these historic events. Among those included are astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman and Bill Anders; Sergei Khrushchev, son of the former Soviet premier and a leading Soviet rocket engineer; Poppy Northcutt, a 25-year old “mathematics whiz” who gained worldwide attention as the first woman to serve in the all-male bastion of NASA’s Mission Control; and Ed Dwight, the Air Force pilot selected by the Kennedy administration to train as America’s first black astronaut.

Explore the early days of the space race, the struggle to catch up with the Soviet Union and the enormous stakes in the quest to reach the moon. This episode reveals both the breathtaking failures and successes of the developing U.S. space program.

Discover what it took to beat the Soviet Union to the moon in the space race. In the turbulent and troubled '60s, the U.S. space program faced tragedy with Apollo 1, but made a triumphant comeback with Apollo 8.

Experience the triumph of the first moon landing, witnessed by the largest TV audience in history. But dreams of space dramatically intersect with dreams of democracy, raising questions of national priorities and national identity.

Moon Memory Highlights

Moon Memories

TELL US YOUR STORY: What do you remember from the moon landing?

The news instructed viewers on how to record the event on their home 8mm movie camera

Bill Long

Our family watched the moon landing on our black & white TV. The news instructed viewers on how to record the event on their home 8mm movie camera. My Dad used his camera and made the recording. He still has the movie film.

Inspiration alone is worth the price of space exploration.

Kurt Fisher

If people ask me, "What do you remember most about day the Apollo 11 landed on the Moon?" My answer from my then 13 year-old memory is "I remember an overwhelming feeling of inspiration" and "the sense that we, as a global people, can came make it through difficult times." The Apollo 11 landing was the better reflective bookend to that other

1960s question, "Do you remember where you were the day Kennedy was shot?" My answer is "I remember an overwhelming feeling of tragedy and loss" and "the sense that we, as a global people, are not going to make it through difficult times."

Rather than focus on the many remembrance day activities that will flood the media with nostalgic images of Armstrong and Aldrin on the Moon, I want to turn to the future and why should we continue to spend money on space exploration. We should go back to the Moon, whether in person or by robotic rovers, to complete Apollo's unfinished geologic exploration of the Moon. There are plethora of debate websites that examine the competing factors in such decisions, Overwhelming, the American public supports the space program and support it far beyond what politicians want to spend on it. 72% of the public agrees that "It is essential U.S. continue to be a world leader in space exploration" and 80% agree that "It is essential that NASA continue to be involved in space exploration." In other words, do not turn space exploration over to private corporations.

We do not continue space exploration - which is a relatively inefficient and expensive way to gain advances in life changing benefits of consumer technology - as Kennedy put it, "because we choose to do it because it is hard." The motivation for space exploration does not flow from a genetic predisposition to explore the natural world.

Rather, we choose to do it because each generation needs something to inspire itself beyond its own personal boundaries - to be part of something that is greater than ourselves. We choose to do space exploration because it provides a glimpse of a higher purpose and better future than that provided by the hum-drum of the everyday life of a consumerist in a modern global economy. That was meaning of the two KUED remembrance interviews with Seth Jarvis (13 years old in 1969) and Stuart Becher, a solider fighting in the jungles of north-central Vietnam (in his 20s in 1969).

In the nineteenth century, that inspirational project was the recently celebrated transcontinental railroad - that ended in and if not caused largest historical collapse of the U.S. economy in 1873. But the railroad also inspired a nation to be better and larger than itself. In the early 20th century, several nations took up building the Panama Canal. In the mid-twentieth century, it was Armstrong on the Moon.

It would a sign of the better side of our humanity if what inspired our culture to act were the nobler Earth-based objectives like ending world hunger, providing an adequate education to all children, solving climate change, reducing excessive economic inequality, or providing health care as a basic human right. What actually does inspire us to come together are the politically easier common goals like exploration.

Each generation alone chooses its own grand inspirational act. Space exploration is just one choice among many. Today, the memory of Apollo - like the memory of World War II - is fading. In 1969, there were about 202M Americans alive, and 99% of them remain alive today. But in 2019, the 202M persons alive in 1969 comprise only 60% of America's current 329M population. That 40% of Americans were not alive in 1969 is enough reason alone to celebrate and remember the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing, so the next generation will learn the important social lesson of pursuing a national or global dream.

Inspiration alone is worth the price of space exploration. In echoing Kennedy, I say we go not because it is hard, but because it inspires all of us to be better people.

"Mom wants you home, they are going to walk on the Moon."

Steve Mulqueen

I was born in Pasadena, CA during June 1954. During the Apollo 11 Moon landing I was 15 years old and did odd jobs for people on my street during the Summer. On July 20, I was across the street helping some elderly people with the task of picking apricots on a tree in their backyard.

I used a wooden ladder to access the fruit in the upper half of the tree.

My little brother came into the backyard to tell me, "Mom wants you home, they are going to walk on the Moon." So I took a "giant leap" from the ladder, told the homeowners that I was heading home, and proceeded to watch the Neil and Buzz take their own "Giant Leaps" onto the Lunar Surface.

It is still the most historic event that I ever watched live on TV. The main mission of the Apollo Program was collecting rocks on the Moon. I studied geology in college and graduated with a degree Geology During 1978. That event may have resulted in my interest and career in science. Thanks Neil and Buzz for being a positive influence throughout my life.

It was one of the most special times of my life and changed my life in many ways.

Bear Backer

I was on a road trip to the Boy Scout National Jamboree to Farragut State Park and while there, a member of our troop, threw lighter fluid across the campfire and onto my leg. 2nd to 3rd burns on my leg. Got a cane so I could walk and still have, and used many times since .

So I got to watch the landing on a big screen at the Jamboree up close to the screen with several other handicapped individuals. It was one of the most special times of my life and changed my life in many ways.

My KGB minder was outraged that I would show this film and they protested to the U.S. Embassy.

Deon Greer

My Name is Dr. Deon C. Greer, a retired professor of Geography from Weber State University. I was granted a U.S.-U.S.S.R. exchange professor award to spend a 12 month period in the Soviet Union for the 1977-78 school year at the Water Problems Institute.

While there, I was asked by my Russian colleagues to show the U.S. Moon Landing video as well as the U.S. Soviet space coupling and the 45-Star promotional video (about the State of Utah). The Soviet government refused to allow the showing of the Moon Landing, but I was able to get a copy from the U.S. Embassy, which I presented to a standing-room only audience at the Water Problems Institute. The members of the institute were very excited to see what very few of their fellow Russians were able to experience and they expressed their gratitude profusely to me.

My KGB minder was outraged that I would show this film and they protested to the U.S. Embassy. A meeting was held by the embassy in which the vote was almost unanimous that I should be sent home. However, the American Ambassador stood up for me, but I was told not to do anything which might threaten the Exchange Program we had with the Soviets. I tried to live up to this requirement, but I did check out some books for friends written by Americans among other other things which displeased my KGB minder. Nevertheless, I was happy to do what I did and felt that I accomplished something that furthered an understanding between our two countries.

We had a portable radio broadcasting the moon landing live.

Dave Schoenfeld

I was a sixteen year old high school student working at Lagoon resort for the summer season. I was working on the miniature car Speedway ride. This ride had a public address system, complete with microphones to exhort the riders to keep the cars moving because they would constantly stop and bump into each other.

We had a portable radio broadcasting the moon landing live. When Armstrong was officially out of the LEM and made his historic statement, I was able to tell everyone within hearing distance that 'man' had landed on the moon.

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