It seems like something big is going to happen Saturday, right? With CBS providing stream re-broadcasting in real-time the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969–heading 234,000 miles to the Moon, until Neil Armstrong’s foot first hit the dust of the Moon’s surface four days later on July 20, 1969–a viewer glued to their computer or streaming TV could convince himself/herself that it’s all happening right now.
Most Earthlings today, and certainly Americans of the past few generations now only know of Walter Cronkite from his inclusion as himself with historical CBS footage spliced by Ron Howard into his film Apollo 13. Cronkite, long thought one of the best broadcast journalists of all time, was a staple in homes for decades, and as anyone new to the Apollo 11 project will find, was the key hand-holder of the public as they first witnessed humanity’s greatest adventure. Spliced between news coverage for new viewers and fans of all things retro may appreciate the vintage TV commercials all just as they originally aired. Astronaut Wally Schirra accompanied Cronkite for the broadcast. U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew spoke after the launch, which was also attended by then-former President Lyndon Johnson.
Check here and your local news for events nationwide this week celebrating the 50th anniversary event–every city and science center has some kind of commemoration. Twenty-five years ago I worked at the Smithsonian Institution at the Milestones of Flight display at site of the Apollo 11 capsule for the countdown to the Moonshot, which was accompanied by speeches from Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, the Vice President Dan Quayle and other dignitaries, and I was able to see the Armstrong spacesuit as a worker behind the scenes firsthand. Twenty-five years later the capsule, the Command Module Columbia, is still on display across from the Wright Brothers Flyer and the Spirit of St. Louis at the National Air and Space Museum. Armstrong’s spacesuit has been restored this year and was unveiled in a new display yesterday at the museum, unveiled by Vice President Mike Pence and members of Armstrong’s family. The suit remains one of the most important objects in the history of humans.
You can find the complete official NASA-sponsored events at the NASA website here, with many opportunities in Washington, DC, and via the Internet for those at home. Today’s #1 astronaut, the recently retired Peggy Whitson, holder of several Earth records for her space travels, can be found as part of the television coverage of the week. Cronkite’s account of the moon landing and moonwalk will stream again on July 20 at 3:17 p.m. and 9:56 p.m. Central. Re-live, again, or view for the first time, the lift-off coverage by CBS here:
Tune in to ApolloinRealTime.org any time this week for a week-long audio replay of the spaceflight.
Audio of the coverage is expected to be re-aired Saturday on CBS News Radio.
Watch the live stream in real-time of the 50th anniversary of the historic moon landing at the CBS website here Saturday, July 20, 2019.