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?

My dad recorded the ABC coverage on reel-to-reel tape (one of my most cherished possessions).

Michael Smith

In 1969 I was 8-years-old watching the landing on the Kansas City TV stations my dad recorded the ABC coverage on reel-to-reel tape (one of my most cherished possessions) I recall seeing Neil take those steps and even though I never understood what they were saying, it was, to say, a day I will never forget.

Around noon Apollo 11 landed; there were cheers all around the park.

Mike Deal

I was 10 years old living in Riverside, California at the time of the moon landing. My family had gone to Knott's Berry Farm on that Sunday, July 20, 1969. I took my small transistor radio with me and listened to the news and live broadcast most of the morning. People would stop me, and we'd all listen for a time to see what was happening.

I was pretty popular at the park. Around noon Apollo 11 landed; there were cheers all around the park. It was such a memorable experience. Arriving home late that night, I remember walking out into our back yard and looking up at the moon. I was just in awe realizing that these astronauts were actually there! For a 10-year-old who loved all things space at the time, this was quite the remarkable memory.

We were in a tent in Scotland by Loch Lochy in the pouring rain...

Sylvia Susan Ault

We were in a tent in Scotland by Loch Lochy in the pouring rain listening to the Astronauts landing on the Moon on a transistor radio. I ran down to the loch barefooted and found myself up to my knees in the mud with huge eels writhing around me.

The success made me immensely proud to be an American, an Air Force officer, and soon-to-be pilot.

Rocky Raab

I watched the Apollo 11 launch and landing from Bachelor Officers' Quarters at Laredo AFB, Texas where I was in pilot training. The success made me immensely proud to be an American, an Air Force officer, and soon-to-be pilot.

I knew I'd never be an astronaut because my math skills weren't good enough, but I had a pretty good voice and admired NASA launch commentator Jack King almost as much as I did the astronauts. The vagaries of life allowed me - just over 15 years later - to also be a NASA launch commentator for Delta and Atlas rockets as well as the Space Shuttle, for which I did the commentary for Missions 51-G and 51-B in 1985. Not many people have held that job, and I am very lucky to be one of them.

High on a mountain at a youth hostel called the Becker Alm, we watched the moon landing...

Judy Vander Heide

In the summer of 1969 I was with a group of American and international students in Bavaria, Germany. High on a mountain at a youth hostel called the Becker Alm, we watched the moon landing on a black and white grainy, flickering TV. Everyone was excited to be present at such an historic event.

We Americans were toasted, hugged and congratulated, a lasting memory of fellowship, pride and hope for a better world.

As a result of the "space race" initiated by President J F Kennedy, I became eligible for a National Science Foundation Fellowship.

Marlene Deal

I was from a lower middle class family from Montana. I was the first of my family to graduate from University. I studied microbiology and interned in Medical Technology. As a result of the "space race" initiated by President J F Kennedy, I became eligible for a National Science Foundation Fellowship. This fellowship paid my way to an M.S.

and Ph.D in Microbiology at Montana State University. They were training scientists to be able to study the specimens that were brought back from the moon and to develop portable microbiology identification systems for space travel. I never worked in this field but the project gave me the opportunity to educate myself way beyond anything that I would have been able to do without it and as a result, my life was forever changed and enriched. I remember looking at the moon one night during the space landing and thinking Thank you. The moon was full and bright that night. It was a perfect night for the moon landing!

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