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?

"One man, who was blind, had tears running down his face, and said that he wished for just that moment he could see, just so he could see the landing."

Leanne Bedell

I remember it so well. I was enrolled in BYU’s nursing program at the time but was home for the summer, working in a nursing home. When the moon landing happened, all the residents who were able came to the dining room to watch it on television.

They were all quite elderly and none of them had imagined that they would ever see something like this in their lifetime. One man, who was blind, had tears running down his face, and said that he wished for just that moment he could see, just so he could see the landing.

"Sat on the floor of my mother's living room in Elko and watched the 'One small step' as it happened."

Patrick Wiggins

Although in the USAF and stationed at Mt. Home AFB in Idaho I was on leave at home in Elko and just three months from deployment to Vietnam. Sat on the floor of my mother's living room in Elko and watched the "One small step" as it happened.

"I think we students (packed house) watched the landing in the lunch room."

Michael Clements

Simple. I was a student at the University of Utah living in the dorms. I think we students (packed house) watched the landing in the lunch room.

"All day long German officers and soldiers streamed by my office to extend congratulations."

Paul Carpenter

I was in the US Army in Germany when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. I was serving as liaison officer to the 5th German Panzer Division which was headquartered in beautiful Oranienstein Castle in Diez an der Lahn. It was a wonderful day to be the only American in Diez and I became the focus of much attention and excitement.

All day long German officers and soldiers streamed by my office to extend congratulations. In the afternoon, the Commanding General called me up to his office to receive a toast with his senior staff on behalf of the American people. It was the proudest moment of my three years in the Army.

"I remember when the flag came out and the two astronauts together made the decision for the spot the flag would be planted."

Karla Hortin

There are few things in my life that I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when history was formed. I distinctly remember the details surrounding the Challenger explosion and, of course, 9/11. And as the event of Apollo 11 unfolded, I am able recall those special details that served to lock this amazing event into my memory.

My family had been following the Apollo launches faithfully. So the evening we all watched the Lunar Landing and walk on the moon. I sat spellbound in the living room with my Dad, Mom and younger sister, engrossed in everything that happened. I had no fear for the astronauts because my parents were there and equally interested. That was a warm and comfortable feeling.

It was fascinating to see the detail that the men adhered to as they prepared to step from the Lunar module. The moments dragged. And then....the first astronaut appeared and cautiously stepped down onto the surface of the moon. The other astronaut soon followed. They were awe-stuck - one could tell. I remember them kicking the sandy-like soil, (and one of them picking up some of the soil with his gloved hand and letting it sift through his fingers), then both of them gave little jumps in the air. It was amazing to see them give attention to the area around the module. A careful look was given toward the dark side of the moon, which was visible near the edge of their view. They knew a person would freeze to death on that dark side, but it was fascinating to see how bright the light was around the astronauts, and how there was almost a visible line at the level of the darkness. There seemed to be no fade line - it was either dark or it was light.

I remember when the flag came out and the two astronauts together made the decision for the spot the flag would be planted.

What a thrilling, yet humbling, feeling when the flag pole sunk into the ground and stood steady when the astronaut released the pole. There was a hush in the room as he uttered the now-famous line, "One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." He spoke the words quietly, as though he were absorbing this event even as he spoke the words. I felt his words were inspired.

I'm grateful I remember this historical event and the details surrounding it.

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