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Apollo@50: Moon Memories

The Apollo 11 mission to the Moon was a global, collective experience. It’s estimated that around a fifth of the world’s population watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon on TV on July 20, 1969. The event fired the imagination of people around the world, creating a sense of wonder at the huge scientific achievement and inspiring a generation of children.

As part of our celebrations during the anniversary week, we have been collecting memories from people who remember witnessing history being made, with questions provided by today’s children who, while they don’t have their own memories, may well see another manned mission to the Moon in their lifetimes.

As we mark the anniversary of the safe return of the Apollo 11 astronauts to Earth, find out how people remembered the nail-biting moments from lift-off to splashdown during the eight days that changed how we saw the world.

Present day scientists and engineers from the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) contributed their own memories of the moment – and shared how it inspired their future careers. Instrument Scientist Alistair Glasse has even worked in the same room as Mission Control for Apollo 11 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center as part of his work on the MIRI instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope, while software engineer Steven Beard works on MOONS – a next generation instrument for the Very Large Telescope on a mountain top in Northern Chile.

You can find more memories of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission to the moon here.

People remember the 1969 Moon landing 50 years after the mission

This part of our Apollo@50 celebrations was inspired by our fellow research council the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s crowd-sourced history project. Collaborating with the UK Space Agency, AHRC gathered first-hand memories of the seminal moment for an eBook. You can read more here at Moon Landing Memories/.


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Last updated: 25 July 2019

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