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?

I remember telling her she wouldn't remember it, but I was not going to have her miss witnessing this historic event.

Peggy Childs

The following message is found in my daughter's baby book. The paper it was written on is aging; now looking wrinkled and discolored around the edges. I wrote it after she sat on my lap in front of the television. I remember telling her she wouldn't remember it, but I was not going to have her miss witnessing this historic event.

July 21, 1969
I think a special page should be added for special events in my daughter's life.

At exactly 7 1/2 months old, she watched with us the first moon landing and moon walk. This is a very exciting day in the world and ushers in a new era for mankind. I am a bit envious when I think of all the things she will get to see and do in her lifetime.

Some doubt it, but she always tells people she watched the moon landing.

At the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July of 1969 I was working for the Nixon Administration at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Richard Matson

At the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July of 1969 I was working for the Nixon Administration at the White House in Washington, D.C. I was a CIA Intelligence Officer who had recently been selected to work in the White House Situation Room.


I was on duty at the time the astronauts landed on the moon, and was still on duty about six hours later when Neil Armstrong followed by Buzz Aldrin took their first steps on the lunar surface. Like millions of people around the world I watched the television coverage of this monumental event as it occurred. For me it had special significance because President Nixon addressed the nation and world and spoke to the astronauts on the moon from his Oval Office, which was only about 200 feet from where I was working. One of my responsibilities at the time was to monitor press reports of significant events as they were printed out on dedicated newswire teletype machines (Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, etc.), and then inform senior White House officials of important developments. In this instance there was nothing I could add to what an estimated 650 million people around the world watched on live television originating from the White House and the moon.

For about one week following the successful splashdown in the Pacific Ocean and the completion of the Apollo 11 mission I was assigned to assist a White House historian process the large influx of congratulatory letters from many of the world's most prominent leaders. These letters eventually went to the Nixon Presidential Library. But that was not the end of my Apollo 11 story. On July 20, 1979 Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were invited to the White House by President Jimmy Carter to participate in a Rose Garden ceremony in observance of the tenth anniversary of the first moon landing. Prior to their meeting with the President and the press I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and speak with each one of them and to also get their autographs. This brief encounter at the White House with the Apollo 11 astronauts was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Our problem was that we only owned an old black and white TV and as yet hadn’t been able to afford to buy an outside antenna for the roof.

Judith Lovett

In 1969 at the time of the moon landing, I was newly married and living in the United Kingdom. I now live in St. George, Utah.


I remember feeling very excited about the whole space program and had followed prior missions in the news, but the moon landing really caught our imagination and my husband and I really wanted to be sure to see the TV broadcast. Our problem was that we only owned an old black and white TV and as yet hadn’t been able to afford to buy an outside antenna for the roof. Undaunted, my husband found an old metal fire guard which he positioned in the loft. I would stand at the bottom of the stairs checking the TV picture while he found the optimal position for the fire guard. Communication between us was quite noisy as you can imagine. I guess we were very low tech in those days, but come the day of the broadcast our makeshift system worked well for us and we were able to share this wonderful historic event along with the rest of the world. I’ve often reflected on this improbable situation many times since. Congratulations to the astronauts and technicians for their courage and achievements.

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.

Pages

Dark Skies Stories from KUED

Commemorate the Moon Landing With Kids

Dark
#000000

Our Sponsor