Summer of Space | KUED.org

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.

Credit: Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, November 16, 1963

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.

Earthrise - Image Credit: NASA

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.

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Moon Memory Highlights

Moon Memories

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

During the Apollo 11 mission, I set up my own version of the Command module.

Stephen Whitmore

In July 1969, I was an inspired 12 year old living in Appalachia.

During the Apollo 11 mission, I set up my own version of the Command module, fresh with supplies including food, water, reading material, and a transistor radio (actually an old overhead camper with the windows blacked out) and endured what Mike Collins must have experienced during the full day spent alone in the command module with the landing crew gone. I made it through with flying colors. I would later spend 25 years at NASA working as a flight test engineer, having the opportunity to fly on some really amazing and exotic NASA vehicles, but I'll always remember my first "flight" on that Apollo Mission. I now teach Aerospace Engineering at Utah State.

We saved for months to buy a television so we could watch

Pamela Carson

When the Apollo 11 left earth on July 16th, I went into labor with our first child, Nathaniel Carson. He was born July 17th. I was home from the hospital in time to see the moon landing on July 20th. We were married in October of 1968, both students at BYU.

We knew about the moon shot and the coming show, Sesame Street so we saved for months to buy a television so we could watch this. We bought an 8 inch black and white tv that cost us $90. But we were ready to watch.

My husband grew up in Salt Lake City reading and watching Buck Rogers. I grew up watching Twilight Zone and learning about the astronauts. We lived in Virginia and my best friend's father worked for NASA. She and I would hang out in the Mercury capsules yard sitting on the used capsules and thinking about space.

Our son turns 50 in July. His son is named after Kepler.

1968 and 1969 was a trying time. I was student teaching and then substitute teaching until our son was born. We worried about the war in Vietnam and the draft. We worked part time jobs because we were students. The moon landing was a thrilling moment in time.

We went over to Jackson Lake Lodge to watch it on the one TV set up for that purpose.

Linda Smith

I was 23. My husband & I were camping at the Colter Bay Village campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park. We went over to Jackson Lake Lodge to watch it on the one TV set up for that purpose (there wasn't any TV reception in the park at the time).

There were so many people there to watch it that the room was filled & they opened the window so people (including us) could sit on the grass outside & watch it. It was so special to watch it in such a spectacular setting with a bunch of "new friends" all holding our collective breath. I can still see it in my mind. What a memorable time.

Iron Butterfly concert, after which I got home in time to see the first steps on the lunar surface.

K."Squire" Steinau

I had graduated High school that spring, and on the day in question, my band played an afternoon gig at a nearby Army base, after which I went to an Iron Butterfly concert, after which I got home in time to see the first steps on the lunar surface. At least, that's how I remember it!

My Father worked for Lockheed Corporation and was working on the moon landing project.

Wendy Westerfeld

I was 9-years-old (almost 10) on July 20, 1969. I was attending Hidden Villa camp near Los Altos, California at the time, and we all crowded into the “dining hall,” a room in a rustic wooden building, and stared up at a TV in the corner of the room near the ceiling.

I’m pretty sure that’s the only time we viewed a television during my 2 to 3-week stay at camp. The TV wasn’t very big and it was difficult to tell what was going on. I remember feeling confused at what I was watching.

But what is more interesting is what was going on back home, in Webster, Texas. My Father worked for Lockheed Corporation and was working on the moon landing project. He, along with other computer programmers, designed and wrote the software to monitor the heartbeats of the astronauts.

I recently found a note card that I received from my mother during my stay at camp. Part of the letter described her day. Here is an excerpt:

“We did go to the Smith’s to watch when the lunar module landed on the moon and the two men walked on it. Lloyd (my dad) was working because he has extra work with all the tapes of their heartbeats to compute. Their daddy (the Smith’s dad) was also gone – he was in Los Angeles to do some work with the men who designed the lunar module.”

Thank you so much for creating your Summer of Space experience. I’m looking forward to it!

As we got closer we saw it was a black and white TV showing the men walking on the moon!

Marci Devilbiss

I had a friend who was living in Bangkok, Thailand in 1969. She put together a small group that she invited to come over and live there for several months in hopes of entertaining troops in Vietnam. I was lucky enough to be one of those invited. I was 18 years old and embarked on one of the great adventures of my life.

I loved everything about Thailand, most especially the people. They were quite curious about these fair, blonde haired girls walking among them.We loved to stroll down the streets and into the markets. The markets were full of color with the smell of exotic foods. So many things to see and experience.

One day we noticed a group of people huddled around something in a store front. As we got closer we saw it was a black and white TV showing the men walking on the moon! There was so much excitement and wonder that even though I didn't understand the language we were all sharing in that amazing moment. It was such an incredible experience.

Because my father worked in the space program as a cinema photographer I bought a newspaper showing the men on the moon and brought it home with me. I still have it today. It is in Thai but a picture is worth a thousand words, even if they are foreign.

My father ended up filming several launches and met some of the astronauts. The space program was an important part of our lives. Something my 18-year-old self had just witnessed the beginning of, so far away from home in another country. But at that moment it was something that was uniting the world with wonder.

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Moon-related Events

Moon Landing Anniversary Celebration

Saturday
Jul 20
2019
11:00am
to
3:00pm

Join KUED Kids for a full day of family-friendly activities, celebrating the Apollo 11 moon landing anniversary at Clark Planetarium! Families and space enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy moon-themed activities, try on a pair of virtual reality goggles to experience moon gravity, and more! The celebration starts with a free screening of Ready Jet Go!...

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Earthrise - Image Credit: NASA

Commemorate the Moon Landing With Kids

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