As a public health precaution, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and the Museum in DC are temporarily closed. See our COVID-19 message.
The Apollo 11 lunar landing was a global event. Please share your thoughts with us regarding this remarkable event.
Excitement and pride going to work each day and arriving at 7AM Plant 5 in Bethpage, NY.
Realizing that good intension, the spirit to excel at your work, liking what you do and working together with thousands of others was a good thing for mankind. Grummanites engineered an created a perfectly safe dedicated for moon space ship to safely land on the moon, keep the explorers safe, provide environmental studies, and serve as a launch pad to rocket the men off the moon and on their way home to planet earth. Working with landing and rendezvous radar installation and testing, FEAT testing (Final Engineering & Acceptance Testing) and Ground Support in getting the vehicle into the Supper Guppy for its delivery to the Cape. all were part to making my day. Proud to be an American. Twelve men walked on the moon and all 21 men that were part of the flight crews returned safely back to planet earth. The lunar module far exceeded expectations when it in the time of need it became a "life boat" for 72 hours instead of landing on the moon. When the words Houston we have a problem indicated the command module was doomed and unable to support the crew it was shut down early in the flight in the hope it would be able to resume operation days later when needed.
From all the communities around Bethpage Grumman workers rushed onto the parkways to get back to the plant and intensify the activate LEM simulator vehicle in order to hands reconfigure and make the life boat a success.
Yes all was good.
I was 8 years old, living with my parents in Honolulu Hawaii. I loved science and science fiction. I was thrilled that we were going to the moon. I remember going to our neighbors apartment to watch as Neil and Buzz Landed on the moon. We all gathered around the little 13" Black and White TV and held our breath as he stepped form the lander to the surface of the moon.
Over the next few days I could always be found glued to the TV watching as the pictures and video showed the bouncy and glare fill shots of another place in the Universe that we were exploring. The small ness of the distant earth in the photos and the sense that this was the beginning exploration was everywhere and I loved it.
I was only ten years old when the Apollo crew circled the lunar surface, and then on July 20 1969 landed the Eagle lunar module onto the moon. I got to see this only because of my Dad telling me to wake up, and come to our living room to watch the landing. I'm so glad he thought enough to do this for me. I loved the space program, and at ten there were few greater fans than I was, of the landing. God bless America!
The week of the very first moon landing, I was attending a science camp for boys in Hawley Pennsylvania called Camp Watonka. The camp featured rocketry, chemistry, photography, science exploration within nature, as well as traditional summer camp activities such as swimming, canoeing, hiking etc..
I personally knew that on the second week that I was at the camp that the moon landing was to take place. There was no television what so ever at the camp, since its belief was a rigid schedule of "Early to bed early to rise" motto with recorded bugle revelry to get up and taps to go to bed.
I asked the camp director, Donald Wacker, "If"- he knew about the fact that man was to land on the moon this week!" And, he did say "Yes!" but I followed with the question - Aren't we going to watch this - since it will be a Sunday? His response was - WE don't have a TV! I suggested, well, what about renting one?
This was on the Saturday a day before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.
Since I sat at the mess hall table with the camp director, he shared with me that in FACT he did rent a TV
for the entire camp of 175 campers will in fact watch this historical day, thanks to my suggestion.
It turns out though that the only TV available to rent was a very small 15 inch TV.
It was set up on that historic Sunday, July 20th and there were only two chairs in the Ping Pong room. I stacked out my place the whole day - since it was a FREE day (Sunday) to watch the broadcasts from the various network stations.
I will never forget that evening of ALL 175 campers and me sitting in the chair watching this small B/W TV and watching Neil Armstrong coming out of the LEM in that very blurry image from the moon.
The room was in total AWE you could hear a pin drop. I will NEVER for get this day!
Due to the different time zone the lunar landing was on the 21st July in Australia, not the official date of 20 July. I was a five-year old at school and I knew our school didn’t have a TV. As a mad keen space fan I decided to pretend to be sick (In Australian terms this would be called “chucking a sickie”). I told the teacher I felt ill so two older children walked me home where I promptly sat down and watched the landing on our TV. It was only the next day that I found out that the school had indeed borrowed a large TV and everyone watched together, except me, in the school hall.
I was twelve years old living in Oklahoma City when Apollo 11 touched down that July 1969. I had just purchased and assembled the 1/144 scale Apollo Saturn V model. I launched it when the astronauts launched and kept the pieces flying by hanging them on a string from the ceiling. The command module was the last piece to come down when they splashed down in the Pacific. Like a lot of kids my age, I built a lunar module interior out of cardboard boxes, drawing the dials and switches on the cardboard. It was the greatest adventure humans had ever been on and thanks to television, we went along with them for the ride! When Neil took that first step, I was front and center, laying on the floor directly in front of our black and white television. The moon landing influenced my life to the point that I have produced documentaries on the space program and written numerous magazine articles and books about our exploration of space. We were fortunate in that we had true heroes to look up to - these astronauts were bold, intelligent and approachable. They accomplished amazing things and we are the better for it.
I remember being in my control room in CBS studio 41 "flying" the mission along with the astronauts. I was the CBS senior director directing our coverage of Apollo 11. There were also many other directors through out the united states and overseas providing coverage of this mission. I followed all the mission events, highlighted in the actual mission flight plan in front of me, making sure I created my engine burns on time with Apollo 11, rendezvous and docked on time with miniatures of the space craft and our full scale mock ups at a remote location, and eventual y starting the landing sequence for the millions of people watching CBS, holding their breaths and praying for a successful landing. Directors usualy are seated when they direct, sometimes standing when directing a kinetic squence in a live program. This was that moment in studio 41, overflowing with company executives, and extra production personel squeezed into the back of the control room. It was strangly quiet in my control room. All one heard were my commands to my technicians in the control room, studio, and remote locations all around the world. There was my boss, the program producer, leaning over my shoulder and whispering into my ear, when necessary. In a control room speaker, there the voices of mission control and the Apollo crew and the commentary of Walter & Wally. If there was a loud voice in the control room it was me. As I gave the command to start the De-orbit burn, I stood up excited knowing this part of the mission was the culmination of every thing NASA had done in the Mercury and Gemini missions. I had to raise my voice over all of the incoming audio feeds as I directed my luna landing sequence. On touchdown I still was calling shots, two of them that I'll never forget. One was Wally Shirra wiping away a tear, and Walter rubing his hands, not speaking a word, turns to Wally saying "Wally say something, I'm speechless. People in mission were whooping it up as well as everyone else in the control room. I wanted to do that , but had to just keep calling my shots. That's what I remember about July 19 1969.
I was at the Cape for the launch. I was 16 years old. I grew up in a space race family who watched the launches on TV. But in 1969 my parents decided to take the family to Florida to watch the historic launch. We parked the car in the area now known as Port Canaveral on the evening before the launch and slept until dawn. On the morning of the launch thousands of people were camped out on blankets and lawn chairs. Transistor radios were blaring with up-to-date news and the countdown...and the crowd was silent. When the Saturn 5 began to lift, everyone started cheering and yelling, "Go!" And they kept yelling until the rocket was no longer visible. In my mind, being at the bottom launch was one of the most pivotal events of my youth. I still have newspapers and souvenirs from the event.
We were renting an apartment in Webster, TX ... spending the summer there because my husband, John, was one of the four scientists who would receive the material from the Apollo 11 landing for gas analysis of the lunar surface. I and our three young children were, of course, glued to the small TV set as that historic day unfolded. I asked our 3-1/2 year old son what was happening. His reply: "They are getting Daddy his moon rocks!"
It was an incredibly exciting time to be a proud American, and for me and my family and John's parents, family and all our friends, it was especially exhilarating to be so closely connected to that extraordinary moment in history.
This isn't really my story, but more my mother and father's story (mostly my mom's). I was born on July 20, 1969 at approximately 7:00 am. Although my mom was extremely happy to welcome her 4th child in 5 years into this world, she did admit she was a bit disappointed to have missed the moon landing on TV. Obviously it was a momentous, historical event and shown as much as possible on live TV. These were obviously before the days of birthing suites with satellite TV and fine furnishings! As I grew older, she also told me I should consider myself lucky because many other children born on the same day were given names such as Lunar, Moonbeam, Apollo, etc. Although Moonbeam would have been fun, my parents were fine with naming me Debbie, and so was I.
Thomas Warren Timmins
I witnessed the Apollo 11 Moon Landing at my Grandmothers row house in Bethlehem, PA. I was 10 years old, laying on the oriental rug, along with my 4 younger sisters, Dad and Mom wanted to be sure we were all there together to witness History. And since my Grandmother was born in 1893, and was 10 years old when the Wright Bros. first left the Earth under powered flight, this was truly a memory to share across the Generations. We watched with the lights out so Dad could take pictures of the TV screen, like many, many others that day.
The Apollo 11 Moon Landing was probably one of the most profound moments in human history! This also happened to be the day I was born. My father and older sister recall the night clearly as my mother refused to leave for the hospital even though she was in heavy labor. It was an amazing night and everyone was glued to their television screens, including my mother! I was born in the hospital parking lot, without a doctor, only a nurse present, because my mom didn't want to miss Neil Armstrong stepping out onto the moon for the first time in history. I've always had a fascination for space, and now I have a son, who has been given an appointment to USAFA, in the hopes of becoming a pilot, or perhaps pursuing an Astro Engineering program! It's in our genes!