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journo_student

Did you watch the 1969 moon landing?

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Hi there, my name's Kate and I'm a journalism student studying in Sheffield. As a final year project I'm creating a magazine which includes historical accounts and am really interested in writing a feature on the 1969 moon landing.

I'd very much like to find someone UK based (near Sheffield would be even better) who would be willing to speak to me about staying up most of the night in 1969 to watch man take their first steps onto the moon.

If you've got a pretty good memory of the night, the emotions of watching it and feel you could paint a picture of the experience to someone who didn't witness it then please get in contact with me by private message or reply to this thread.

Many thanks, Kate

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I was 9 years old but I can't remember staying up all night - I did see the recorded footage at school the next morning where a big TV had been set up in our dining hall (an event in itself !). I also recall going out of the house that evening, looking up at the moon and thinking - "wow ! - there are men on there right now !".

Some of the older kids set up a newsdesk at school and had models of the spacecraft, maps of the moon with the landing site plotted etc. Just like the BBC coverage with Partick Moore, James Burke etc !!

Great memories - thanks for "jogging" them :)

John

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Hi Kate,

Not near Sheffield but I do remember watching it.

I was home on leave from the Royal Navy at the time.

Whoa! it was magical. I had been into astronomy for 11 years when 11 landed on the Moon. I was stunned into silence. I would put this down to one of the moments of my lifetime.

Sorry for going on a bit. MAGICAL.

Glen.

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Hi Kate,

.... I would put this down to one of the moments of my lifetime.

Me too Glen - and to a 9 year old boy - it WAS magical :)

John

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i was 5 2/3 (hey the 2/3 was important back then :) ) and i have been eternally gratefull that my parents kept me up (and awake) to watch the landing.

looking back i didn't understand all the details but i remember realising that it was something important and a sense of wonder the next time i looked at the moon

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From all accounts I missed out on a great deal of things by being born in the eighties! I wish I'd been around to see it.

I was discussing the moon landing with my folks and realised it would make a nice article because it's something our target readership (18-30's) didn't have the chance to experience first hand.

I've watched the footage on youtube and still got goosebumps, it must have been an amazing thing to witness. My dad, who is an astronomer didn't even stay up to watch!

Thanks for your replies so far and I'm glad I've jogged a few memories!

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It must have been a real moral booster for all Americans. At the time the dirty war in Vietnam was raging out of control and America was losing a lot of young brave men.

Good times,bad times.

Glen.

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I lived every second of that descent to the lunar surface. My palms sweated more than Neil Armstrongs I can tell you.

That journey and landing on another world was a dream come true for me, and far removed from the comic book space adventures of Dan Dare, and Flash Gordon. This was real, and when that warning lamp flashed up, and nobody at mission control even knew what it was, I thought it was going to be aborted at the last moments. When they told them Go for a landing, The relief was audible from me.

There were 5 other trips to the moon of course, and every one was magical as far as I was concerned.

The whole world took heed of those lunar journeys, but even then, the interest was waning. Today, they are almost forgotten by the general population of the planet. More things to think about`I suppose.

I'm sure I will be just as enthralled when the next mission to the surface takes place. It is far too long. They should have returned long before now.

Ron.:)

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I watched it with my father, and was in my grandparents house the next morning. It was all over the news. My grandfather was fascinated by it, and I clearly remember my grandmother coming into the room with some tea. My Grandfather said to her "Who would have believed it, a man on the moon" and granny replied "Sure don't they show you any old rubbish on that TV these days"

Just thank God she never saw The X Factor

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I watched my first 'landing' in the form of the Phoenix Probe landing on Mars. The last few minutes of that were terribly exciting. I can only imagine what the moon landings must have been like to watch live. Alas I was born 5 years too late for the first and a year too late for the last.

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I am fortunate to ahve been born early enough to remember the Sputnik launch, and all the American and Russian orbital flights. I was 20 when the first manned Moon landing took place, and had followed the course of the flight closely. When the landing actually happened, I was driving madly across the top of Toronto, on my way to the airport to pick up relatives, and heard the landing on the car radio. Oddly, I was perfectly confident that they would land safely, although I knew there was a risk. I was also glad the Yanks had beaten the Soviets to the Moon.

I stayed interested in the program, but it very quickly became commonplace, and later flights had trouble getting airtime on the networks. The early days of space travel were exciting!

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I was one of the privileged few who sat up glued to this very small black and white TV image ( no colour TV in those days ) watching these at first slightly ghostly white images of Neil Armstrong climbing down the lem ladder before that historic step off onto the lunar surface followed a few moments later by that now immortal phrase Thats one small step for man on giant leap for mankind. I truly believed at that moment our lives had changed for ever. and at the tender age of 14 yrs wanting with all my heart and soul to be placing my own footsteps upon the moon I can also remember vividly the news shots from all over the world from America to Japan huge crowds gathered in the streets to watch and listen and rejoice it seemed at that moment for one glorious moment the whole of mankind had become one I also remember watching with bated breath as did millions of others the moment those parachutes opened marking their safe

return to Earth. Those images are burned deep into my memories and have driven my passion and love affair for space and astronomy which to date has lasted now over 40 years and also watching the great high moments like the images from the voyagers and mars rovers and also the terrible losses of the challenger disaster and that of Columbia

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I had just left school (I was 16) and although I didn't stay up to see the landing, I followed it on the news the next day. I can remember being at the kitchen table watching a small black & white portable. My parents had just come into the house from shopping. I had just sarted my first job (in a local papermill). It was 1969 - 1970 next year. A whole new decade. I thought the Moon landing was truly fantastic. I imagined that before me lay a whole new world, with inventions and all sorts of new things coming out. I thought the Moon landing was the start of it! (Boy how wrong I was!!).

Thinking of such events always evoke the sounds, smells, atmosphere, and all ones hopes and aspirations. It is strange how such thoughts can transport one instantly back to those times.

philsail1

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I will never forget the first moon landing especially Neil Armstrong climbing down to the Moon's surface. I had been married just 5 weeks and I can still see my young bride, still my wife, walking into the living room in the early hours and saying 'have they walked yet'. After the landing I had the honour of meeting Thomas Paine - Head of NASA at the Royal Society who gave a lecture on NASA's future plans. This was followed a few months later going to Sussex University to see a piece of moon rock. What wonderful times.

Mark

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I was 15 and allowed to sit up and watch the landing. I was so excited, after reading all the science fiction I could get my hands on, this was real !!!. I remember the lander seperating from the orbiter and making it's descent and it seemed to be going too fast !! Lower and lower, until with a thump it landed, and our proof was the picture of one of the landing legs sitting on the Lunar surface !!

Imagine my dissapointment when it was announced that Neil Armstrong wouldn't be setting foot on the surface for several hours and I dragged myself off to bed.

I consider myself priviledged to have lived through that era, and indeed to have witnessed mans first steps on a celestial object other than our own Earth

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I was 12 years old and remember it vividly. It still brings a tear to my eye when I see Armstrongs historic moment.

I also thought we'd have a base on the moon in the 70's, footprints on Mars in the 80's, warp drive by now, life can be dissappointing. Really looking forward to future missions and seeing as India, Japan and China are sniffing around the moon I'm hoping that will be a "red rag to a bull" for America.

John

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I'm afraid that at 2/3's I wasn't allowed to stay up and watch it :) I also don't remember anything about it.

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I was 18 and watched the landing on the evening with parents and younger brothers, didnt stay up for the moon walk as I had to be at work next morning (think the landing was Sunday?)

Awesome though and remember all the TV Shops in Leeds leaving all their TV's in the shop windows turned on with hundreds watching outside as the events unfolded during the days of the mission

Seem to remember all the TV's being B&W back then, dont think colour came out until 1970 and only the very rich had them

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I was only 5 and just vaguely remember the general excitement from the adults around me, although I do remember looking at the moon during daytime one day just after it was all over and feeling that it was now a "part" of our world, and I imagined that soon we would all be going there on holiday .:mad:

I also remember a few years later getting the "airfix" 1:72 scale astronaut set, complete with moon buggy, happy days.:)

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I was working for BT at the time and repairing the TV monitors that were used all over the country by BT for monitoring line quality. I sat in front of some sort of television all day and when Apollo 11 finally made it I sat up all night as well. We were using colour TV at work but the pictures from the moon were not that good. Good enough though to feel the excitement that was being felt all over the world with the possible exception of the powers-that-be in the USSR.

The thing I find to be most curious now is that there are supposedly millions of Americans that do not believe it was ever done. How can this happen? No one at the time had any doubt including the Russians and they would have been unlikely to keep quiet if it was a hoax. I think the big story here is not so much the landing itself but how can so many people be convinced that a large part of history never happened. It's almost like denying the D Day landins or Agincourt. What is happening to people now that they can be so easily mis-led?

Dennis

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I remeber seeing it but I was only 7, so I cant remember whether I saw it "live" or later. Mind you i was very upset that there were no Clangers!

David

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The Moon landing was one of those "where were you when" moments. I was 10 and I can remember it quite well. I've seen the footage so many times since one has to be very careful not to mix up true memories with later-acquired pseudo-memories.

My recollection is a bit hazy but here goes.

The build up to the landing had started in earnest in December 1968 with the flight of Apollo 8. From that moment on, every boy in our school (and I do mean EVERY boy) was space mad. We collected space bubble gum cards, space PG Tips cards and all the articles in the Sunday glossies. There was a mass building of Airfix kits of everything space, including the giant Airfix 1:144 scale model of the whole Saturn 5 stack. Pretty much every boy I knew had this kit.

In the weeks before the flight of Apollo 11 one of the papers included a chart of the flight plan together with a lttle cardboard flat model of the spacercraft so that you could follow the mission at home.

On the night of the landing my brother Bob and I had to have a bath early then get into our pyjamas so we could watch the landing. I can remember sitting cross-legged on the living room floor in front of a small black and white telly watching grainy pictures and being so excited I thought my brain would explode. At the time I had no idea of the drama unfolding (re: low fuel) but I can remember being packed off to bed early after the landing and finding it almost impossible to sleep.

At stupid o'clock in the morning Bob and I were woken up and I can distinctly remember siting down in front to the telly again with a drink and some biscuits and being totally awestruck by the whole moon walk.

It is one of the abidding memories of my childhood, along with the 1966 world cup final, by batman outfit and 'measles' the Dalmation!

Edited by michaelmorris

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