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?

Passers-by gathered around my car to hear the news...

Laurie Bryant

I was 23 and packing up after sailing my little boat on Balboa Bay. Turned the radio on just in time to hear that Apollo 11 had landed safely. I'd parked on Marine Avenue near the Jolly Roger, so passers-by gathered around my car to hear the news and exclaim over this marvelous event.

I was lucky enough to meet Neil Armstrong - a humble man but an amazing pilot.

Fletcher Shives

I closely followed the space program and first efforts to get a satellite and then a man into orbit. By the time of the Apollo missions I was entering the Air Force and in July of 1969 I was earning my wings in pilot training.

We had a brief period of leave in mid-July and I traveled home where I was able to watch the moon landing along with my grandparents who had been around long enough to have witnessed the first automobiles and the Wright brothers first flight. The rapidity of advancements of the 20th century up to that point were staggering.

In June of 1973 I had the opportunity to travel on the "Voyage to Darkness" aboard the P&O Canberra along with about 2,800 other passengers and crew to view the longest solar eclipse of the century. The passengers included a who's who of science and space exploration: Neil Armstrong, Scott Carpenter, Isaac Asimov, J. Allen Hynek, et al. I was lucky enough to meet Neil Armstrong - a humble man but an amazing pilot. I have always wished I could have talked to him about his experiences in the X-15.

Our driving teacher had us pull into a parking lot and listen...

Kathy Stidham

I was living in Orange County, California. I turned 16 in July 1969. I was having to take driving lessons from my high school before I could get my driver’s license. We never were allowed to listen to the radio during our driving lesson.

However on that day in July 1969 the teacher had the radio on and when the announcer on the radio started describing the entire glorious event, our driving teacher had us pull into a parking lot and listen to the entire play by play of the moon landing. It was spectacular. Later I watched the landing many times on TV on the news that evening. I still remember how monumental the feeling was.

As soon as Sunday School was over I sprinted to the car so we could turn on the radio.

Dennis Tolman

July 20, 1969, was a Sunday, and being from a very religious family, we were all in church... off and on... throughout the day. We were living in Southern CA back then, and next door to a man that worked for North American Rockwell... one of the Apollo contractors.

He was my personal contact with the Space Race, and I was a very enthusiastic young boy... hanging on his every bit of info about Apollo 11. Thus, I was a bit put out when my dad resisted my suggestion that we ought to stay home from church... just this one time... as this was a REALLY big deal! No luck.

As soon as Sunday School was over I sprinted to the car so we could turn on the radio. That's where I was when we heard the words "The Eagle has Landed". We hurried home... got the old B&W TV warmed up and settled down to watch the Neil Armstrong come down the LEM ladder... as the words "Live from the Moon" flashed on the screen. I will never forget the feeling of awe and pride I felt. These feelings stayed with me through school - graduating with an Engineering degree, and eventually working for Thiokol / ATK on the Space Shuttle Program.

That night I got out my 200 power telescope and tried (in vain) to spot the Eagle on the surface...

So that his eyes would see that first step onto the moons surface...

Margaret Zeemer

We lived on Long Island, NY and we woke up our 5 month old baby boy just so that his eyes would see that first step onto the moons surface was planted into his memory.

"ABC, NBC and CBS had set up three big screens in Central Park to show the landing."

Mary Mallon

We were in New York City that day -- I was spending the month of July visiting my sister and her husband back East. Growing up in Seattle, this was my first trip to the east coast.

As a teenager, these are my recollections from that day: the three television networks, ABC, NBC and CBS (yes there were only three major networks back then) had set up three big screens in Central Park to show the landing. It was pouring rain and late at night but there was still a pretty good crowd.

To pass the time the networks would show the crowd itself in Central Park. The lights for the TV cameras however, were pretty bright and the marijuana smoking crowd in front wanted no part of it (marijuana of course, was illegal everywhere in the U.S. at that time). To express their displeasure the crowd raised a certain finger which of course the networks couldn't show and the lights would be turned out. Eventually, our astronauts did walk on the moon. We called home to Seattle later that night to talk to family about what we all had seen -- it just wasn't quite so late for them to watch the landing.

Pages

Dark Skies Stories from KUED

Commemorate the Moon Landing With Kids

Dark
#000000

Our Sponsor