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?

"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.

"I had chills down my spine."

Paula Massey

I was working at my uncle's cabins and snack bar for the summer. I had waited tables all day and my feet were just killing me. Then he closed everything up and we all retreated to a little cabin and watched Armstrong take that first "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The TV was a tiny B&W and it was so grainy.

Nevertheless, I had chills down my spine, cried, and was so hopeful for a new future.

"The announcer stopped the racing and held the microphone next to a radio that was describing the Landing."

John Ellison

I was at Lion's Drag Strip and a few minutes before the landing the announcer stopped the racing and held the microphone next to a radio that was describing the Landing. Everyone stood around intensely listening to the landing and when they landed safely everyone went wild cheering and applauding.

That memory is burned into my brain and something I will never forget.

"I still am sad that Mars has yet to be visited by man."

Margine Spotts

I was 16 and had been watching the launches since they began with Mercury, continued through Gemini and finally Apollo. My thought as I stood outside my home looking at the moon was why there and not Mars first. I still am sad that Mars has yet to be visited by man.

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