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?

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.

"Even at that young age I must have realized what a very big deal it was."

Annabelle Corbridge

The moon landing is my earliest memory. I was 2.5 years old that July. It must have made a very big impact on me because I have never forgotten standing in front of the tv and watching Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the moon. Even at that young age I must have realized what a very big deal it was.

There was a lot of excitement in the house and I remember that the next door neighbors came over to watch it with us. I still get goosebumps when I watch it.

"I had managed to survive long enough to hear a live broadcast from the Sea Of Tranquility."

Stuart Becher

If my memory serves me correctly, it was two or three in the morning when the live broadcast of the moon landing occurred. Most of those who I have talked to remember that "one small step" as a mid day event. There were many others of us who were on the other side of the globe in S.E. Asia.

I, for one, was manning mortar pit Cobra, an 81mm mortar emplacement on the Central Coast air base at Phan Rang. Things were quiet that night, and I remember thinking that for what it was worth, I had managed to survive long enough to hear a live broadcast from the Sea Of Tranquility. I didn't get to see the video of the landing until I rotated stateside some nine months later. TV in Vietnam was nearly non existent.

"I stood on my front lawn and through my telescope I looked at the First Quarter Moon filling my eyepiece..."

Seth Jarvis

I was 14 years old in the summer of 1969. As a ten-year-old I'd enthusiastically discussed the details (those that I knew) of Gemini missions with neighborhood friends and still clearly remember being in the first grade when John Glenn flew in Project Mercury to become the first American to orbit the Earth.

On the night of July 20th, 1969, I watched the live TV coverage of Armstrong and Aldrin's first steps on the Moon, then raced to my bedroom and grabbed the little 3" reflecting telescope that I'd hand-made the summer before. I stood on my front lawn and through my telescope I looked at the First Quarter Moon filling my eyepiece and thought to myself, "I'm looking at a world in outer space where there are people, right now." Remember, Star Trek had recently been the rage among adolescent boys (at least it was for me), and "2001: A Space Odyssey" had been in theaters only a few months earlier. Space was our future. This is where humanity was headed. It all seemed so inevitable. To be fourteen years old and to hold all those thoughts in your head while looking through a telescope at a distant world where we were... that was amazing stuff.

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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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