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  Apollo 11 eyewitness mission accounts (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Apollo 11 eyewitness mission accounts
Rob Joyner

Posts: 1308
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 07-02-2009 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those who had a little trouble locating Carson and McMahon, Carson is wearing the off-white short-sleeved shirt & leaning forward with his left arm extended just left of center. McMahon is left of Carson and directly below the sixth flagpole from the left wearing the blue long-sleeved shirt with his left arm extended forward and resting on his left knee.

Does anyone else remember seeing a photo or footage of Carson wearing what looks like a folded paper hat?

Apollo Redux

Posts: 346
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 07-02-2009 10:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Again - Excellent offering! Thank you.

New Member

Posts: 3
From: Northbrook, IL, USA
Registered: Jun 2009

posted 07-13-2009 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DrMarv   Click Here to Email DrMarv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dave, thanks for the memories. What I'm still amazed at 40 years later was that when we first started to make plans to view the launch it was about a year earlier. There were still several Apollo flights to be flown. Fortunately all these flights went off successfully, and not a single lunar window was missed. All of our plans were based on Apollo 11 being the first to attempt a landing, and that the launch would be on July 16th. Happy 40th.


Posts: 2575
From: Stuart, Florida
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 07-13-2009 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
David, what an excellent posting, I do not believe anyone can beat it or the experience (sans the guys who flew). THANK YOU for sharing that! Class writing from a class guy.
Originally posted by MCroft04:
I was born in 1953 and living near Stuart, Fl when Apollo 11 launched.
As written above, I was about 25ish miles further north having been born a year earlier.

Having wrecked my mothers car earlier in the day I really wasn't in the mood to watch this (because my Dad had just gotten done with me). But my love of the program that I grew up with, overcame my angst.

We all huddled around the old TV, and watched the drama unfold. I can still see it etched in my mind as clear as it was yesterday.


Posts: 1064
From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-13-2009 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to collectSPACE, I was interviewed today by a producer and cameraman for TF1 French television. The network is planning a special on the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 for July 20.

The producer saw my memoirs on this thread and wanted to get the reactions of someone who was a teenager at the time. She was quite interested in my photos of the event and memorabilia (Apollo 11 flight plan, press kit, press pass, lunar orbit charts, etc.).

The interview was taped at Lovell's of Lake Forest restaurant and at the Adler Planetarium, which features an Apollo exhibit including a Moon rock. We talked for several hours, although I suspect my segment of the program will be less than a minute after editing. The interview was in English but will be voiced-over in French. Their next interview will be with Jack Schmitt.

Our cS members in Europe should look for this special on TF1 on July 20.

(Thanks for the kind words about the memoirs; there is another segment yet to come.)

Richard Easton

Posts: 165
From: Winnetka, IL USA
Registered: Jun 2006

posted 07-13-2009 06:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Easton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by DChudwin:
The interview was taped at Lovell's of Lake Forest restaurant and at the Adler Planetarium...
Are you going to the Adler presentation on 7/22?


Posts: 3146
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-15-2009 10:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I enjoyed this recollection of the moon landing by David Gilmour, guitarist with Pink Floyd.


Posts: 48
From: Palm Coast Fl. USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 07-16-2009 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for biker123   Click Here to Email biker123     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
During the Apollo 11 flight I was fortunate enough to be the Computer/Data Systems Supervisor on the Manned Spaceflight Tracking Network, at the Apollo Tracking Station on the small island of Guam M.I., a US Territory in the western Pacific. The station was located in a valley on the southeast end of the island and most of us lived about 20 miles away on the west or northwest part and it was a rather long drive to and from work.

From Liftoff Day Minus 1 through splashdown we worked rotating 12 hour shifts and, at least for me, at the end of my shift I was so high on caffeine and adrenaline I didn't want to drive home because I knew I wouldn't get much sleep and would just have to then drive back, so sometimes I stayed on site to listen to and watch the action.

Except during those Astronaut sleep periods during the Trans Lunar & Trans Earth coast phases, there was always something new and exciting going on and I didn't want to miss any of it.

When the "Eagle" landed it was about 6am on Guam (and by the way, Guam, which is a US Territory, is where "America's Day Begins", and since it's on the other side of the International Dateline is a day ahead of the mainland. So out there the Eagle landed on July 21.) and the moon had not yet risen, but a handful of us had stayed on to listen to the landing in the communications center. When Neil Armstrong told Houston that the "Eagle has landed" and Charlie Duke replied that the guys in Houston "were turning blue", we were sitting there with tears streaming down our faces, like a bunch of small children.

My mission duty from Apollo 8 through Apollo 13 was to man one of the two Station Maintenance & Operation (M&O) Consoles, which was our voice interface with the Network Operations Manager in Goddard and with MCC. And that was a Very Big Deal for me to be able to key the headset and announce to the world that "Guam has AOS" and later "Guam LOS". Hell, I had a better job than Walter Cronkite. Almost brings tears to my eyes even now to remember that stuff. Go here to see a picture.

After the TLI burn we'd have a 12 hour tracking window every day for the 3 day trip out and of course on their way home we'd also see them 12 hours a day for 3 days. During the quiet lulls in those 12-hour periods I'd sleep on an air mattress. The lights were always dimmed in the computer room and I'd put it on the floor behind one of computers and take a short nap. Sometimes during the coast phases out and back, between moonset and moonrise I'd try to go home because we were blind to the S/C anyhow. For the 2 to 3 days they were in lunar orbit we'd see them about a half dozen times for about an hour each lunar orbit between moonrise and moonset, and when the Astronauts were awake, I was awake as was most everyone else on site. It wasn't really a job... it was an adventure and a way of life for us.

Brian Riehle

Apollo Redux

Posts: 346
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 07-16-2009 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Terrific post, Brian. Thank you for sharing.


Posts: 574
Registered: Aug 2006

posted 07-16-2009 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This guy will remember this forever!

My part in Apollo 11

At 50 years old I am proud of this country and my very small part played in Apollo 11. As a 10 year old boy I helped "save the day" at the Guam tracking station on Apollo 11's return to earth.

Apollo Redux

Posts: 346
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 07-17-2009 12:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well why not?

400,000 men and women in industry and government, native born and foreign born, contributed their time and skill in order to pull-off the most challenging and captivating feat of human exploration and discovery ever undertaken... but it takes a child's nimble ability to ensure the 'phone line' stays connected.

A very belated - BRAVO young man! - to you.


Posts: 438
From: NSW, Australia
Registered: May 2005

posted 07-19-2009 03:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Obviousman   Click Here to Email Obviousman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw this by one of the Apollo 11 RETROs, and asked permission to reproduce it here:
~Apollo 11 First Moon Landing, July 20, 1969

by Jerry C. Elliott, Retrofire Officer

Mankind's never ending quest for the stars:
To break the bounds of gravity's grip
To sweep the universe and beyond.
Dedicated and courageous explorers
Of the universe
Looked upwards in awe at the universe's
Mysteries manifested in many forms;
Souls in boundless sea of space;
Voyager pioneers never yielding to the
Temptations of failure or defeat.

How many know we explored the
Moon's mysteries,
With our minds
Before our feet?

Men of guts and grit,
Commanding spacecrafts of nuts and bolts,
Panels and nerves of steel.
All with one goal in mind:
To be the first of their kind.
Men ready to brave the challenges;
Men setting sails for unknown journeys,
To satisfy mankind's insatiable curiosity
Of discovery and what lies beyond reach.

Footsteps in the sands of the moon
Whereto for only footsteps on the beach.
Men and machines risking disaster
Without care or cause for alarm,
To pierce the thin shell of air
And find answers to what lies there.
In their quest, they trained well
For whatever the outcome:
Be it heavenly success
--Or Hell.

It is mankind's nature to question,
To find answers to the universe's puzzles;
It is the universe and beyond
We seek to know and
Leave behind our legacies;
To unravel the secrets of the stars
And unite the world in peace and love
For all humanity.

July 16, 1969 launched our hopes along
With our spacecraft
For a successful journey with God speed
To fulfill our dreams for mankind's destiny.
We dared to do the impossible-
To turn dreams into reality,
And dares into proud victories.

Fearless explorers have braved the unknown
So others may find their way.
They pierced the blue into the black for
The glory we celebrate today.

Here's to the footsteps on the moon!
To the victors, we give our cheers.
To the pilots beyond the sky,
We raise our glasses high-
To those who quenched their fears.
A toast to victory and pride of success,
And to the men and women who
Proudly gave their best.

Here's to the NASA team-
Those daring and hearty souls so few
Who made footsteps not only on the moon
But also imprints on the pages of history
By those on the ground who never flew.

Here's to those who,
In the annals of time,
Helped write the story.
And to all believers that failure was
No option
In their quest of the moon landings' glory.

Here's to the dauntless heroes who,
In the breathless final moments,
Never gave up- always knew-
The winning victory over defeat.

But how many know we
Got to the moon-
With our minds
Before our feet?


Posts: 1064
From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-19-2009 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the fifth and final part of my memoir of my personal experiences before the Apollo 11 launch. A friend and I as college reporters were the youngest of more than 3,000 journalists with press credentials at the Kennedy Space Center. Part 1 was posted April 16, part 2 on May 2, part 3 on May 30, and part 4 on June 29, 2009.

Apollo 11 Diary
By David Chudwin M.D.

Part V

July 16, 1969: After Apollo 11 disappeared into the clouds, we went back from VIP Site to the Press Site for the T+1 briefing. All is going well. Had to wait a long time for a bus -- major traffic jams in the area.

Back at the (Sea Missile) Motel, went swimming. [I was a free-lancer, not on anyone's payroll, so my schedule and time were my own. The weather was very hot and I swam in the pool or ocean several days during my trip.]

Returned to the Press Center where copies of NASA voice transcripts of ground- space radio transmissions were available. There was also a "squawk box" which gave announcements from Mission Control. Wrote a story for the Michigan Daily on typewriters at the Center and phoned in the copy to the Daily's news desk. Had dinner at the Holiday Inn.

July 17: I went to the beach and afterwards to the NASA News Center. We then drove to see the Visitors Center at the Cape. Later, went back to the News Center to watch the TV broadcast from Apollo 11 enroute to the Moon.

July 18: Press Center is nearly deserted. At 1:47 p.m. the crew was 165,346 nautical miles from Earth traveling at 3423 feet per second, according to Mission Control on the "squawk box." Off to the beaches for a few hours. Later finished another story for the Daily and phoned it in.

July 19: Not much going on. Reading NASA releases and flight plan to prepare for landing tomorrow afternoon. Went to News Center for LOI (lunar orbit insertion).

July 20: Got up at 9:15 a.m. EDT Went swimming this morning, ate at Astrodine, and came to the News Center to watch the landing.

Here are excerpts from my landing sequence notes:

LM landing gear deployed 12:15 p.m. EDT

"The Eagle has wings" Armstrong.

"Right down US 1, Mike" Armstrong

Go for DOI 2:49 p.m. (descent orbit insertion)

On time DOI 57.2 x 9.1 miles

Guidance GO at 3:52 p.m.

"Off to a good start, keep it cool" Flight Control

PDI 4:05 p.m. "Everything looking good!" Flight

"Better than in the simulator!"

"Go for landing!" 8,000 feet 4:15 p.m.


4:18 p.m. Down. "The Eagle has landed!" Armstrong

"Football-sized crater with huge boulders and we had to fly over it"

"No difficulty at all adapting to 1/6 g. We adapted naturally. Relatively level plain with 5 to 50 feet craters. The surface it's gray, considerably darker gray as you look out 90 degrees from the Sun. The surface rocks are coated with light gray but where broken there is a very dark interior which looks like dark basalt."

"Looking overhead at Earth, and it is beautiful!" 4:55 p.m.

After the landing, went for an early dinner at the Camelot Inn, waiting for the first walk on the Moon. An announcement is made at 6:20 p.m. that the walk will start about 9 p.m. I go back to the News Center to hear TV and "squawk box" coverage.

Excerpts from Moonwalk notes:

8:35 p.m. Latest estimate is that EVA hatch opening will be at 9:30 p.m.with first step on

the Moon at 9:49 p.m.

9:35 p.m. Running 40 minutes behind timeline.

10:30 p.m. On pressurization

10:56 p.m. First steps by Armstrong: "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

11:15 p.m. Aldrin steps on Moon

11:25 p.m. Taking cover off plaque on LM: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot..."

11:28 p.m. Moon panorama

11:42 p.m. U.S. flag placed on Moon.

11:50 p.m. Presidential call from Nixon to Armstrong, Aldrin.

12:00 a.m. Bulk sample collection. Time-line hour slow.

12:29 a.m. PSEP experiment package deployed.

12:37 a.m. LR3 experiment deployed.

12:47 a.m. Core sample by Aldrin

12:58 a.m. Buzz ascending up the LM ladder and inside.

1:10 a.m. Armstrong up on ladder ending EVA.

1:15 a.m. Repressurization of LM.

July 21: Got up at 10:30 a.m. and ate at the Astrodine. Went to the News Center where I wrote a story for the Daily and listened to the liftoff from the Moon. Very tired -- astronauts probably more so.

July 22: Flew back to O'Hare Airport. Suitcase full of exposed film rolls, flight plans, press kits, lunar orbit maps, voice transcripts, contractor folders, and most importantly, my press pass. I was one of the youngest of 3,300 journalists accredited to cover the first landing on the Moon and this press pass proves it.


I next saw the Apollo 11 crew about 4 weeks later when they came to Chicago on August 13, 1969 for a massive ticker tape parade which wound down Michigan Avenue into State Street and the Loop. I ran along the motorcade snapping pictures of the crew as they went by such Chicago landmarks as the Chicago Water Tower (Fig. 19), Marshall Fields (Fig. 20), the Sun Times-Daily News building (Figs. 21, 22), and the Loop (Fig. 23).

Years later I sent some of these pictures to Neil Armstrong along with an Apollo 11 lunar orbit chart requesting his autograph on the map. I mailed these to Armstrong in Ohio early in 1994 but received the envelope back marked "refused." So I decided to gamble and re-send it to Armstrong care of the Astronaut Office in Houston.

Months went by and I was sure I would never see the lunar orbit map again. On July 20, 1994 -- the 25th anniversary of the landing -- I went to my mailbox and found one of my stamped, brown return envelopes with a July 19, 1994 Cincinnati postmark.

My hands were shaking as I carefully opened the envelope. Inside was my lunar orbit chart inscribed in ballpoint pen on the bottom: "To Dr. Dave Chudwin, Best Wishes, Neil Armstrong." (Fig. 24).

I was shocked to receive back the lunar orbit chart, which I had obtained at the NASA News Center in l969 when I was at the Cape. It was even more meaningful to see it in my mailbox on July 20, the 25th anniversary of the landing. And in retrospect, it was probably one of the last mail-in autographs signed by Armstrong before he stopped signing following the 25th anniversary.

The autographed lunar orbit map brought to a full circle my trip to Cape Canaveral for the Apollo 11 launch. I trust that someday the U.S. will return to the Moon, and I hope to be alive to cover that launch also.

Fig. 19. Astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Mike Collins (left to right) in front of the landmark Chicago Water Tower during their parade in Chicago Aug. 13, 1969 (all photos by the author).
Fig. 20. Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong (standing in car left to right) in front of Marshall Fields during their post-flight parade in Chicago. One of the famous clocks are visible in the upper right.
Fig. 21. Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins in front of the Sun-Time Daily News Building in Chicago during the Apollo 11 crew's Aug. 13, 1969 parade.


Posts: 1064
From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-19-2009 08:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fig. 22. Neil Armstrong, first man to step on the Moon, during the post-flight parade in Chicago.
Fig. 23. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (back to camera, arms extended) in the Chicago Loop during a ticker-tape parade on Aug. 13, 1969.
Fig. 24. Neil Armstrong's signature on an Apollo 11 lunar orbit chart obtained at the Cape in 1969 which I received back from him on July 20, 1994.
Note: More of my 1969 photographs are available on Flickr.


Posts: 31
From: NYC, NY, USA
Registered: Nov 2005

posted 07-19-2009 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for backburner   Click Here to Email backburner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was ten years old at the time. Being that the moon landing was in the afternoon, I had the whole morning to do nothing. My brother, Joe, who is five years older than me got tickets for a NY Yankee game. He asked me to go with him. It was a honor to go to the ball game with your older brother. Then when man landed on the moon, it was announced over the loudspeaker and put up on the score board and there was a hush and then applauds in the stadium. After the game it was on our way home and I got to stay up till 11PM. Not bad for a Summer Night.

Joe Frasketi

Posts: 191
From: Florida USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 07-20-2009 12:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Frasketi   Click Here to Email Joe Frasketi     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Working outside of the USA I was not able to watch the launch of Apollo 11 on TV or at Kennedy Space Center, so I was fortunate to do the next best thing, that of being part of the tracking team at the Grand Bahama Island (GBI) USAF Eastern Test Range tracking station.

I was 34 years old then, being employed with the Radio Corporation of America (a sub-contractor to Pan American Airways) as a chief electronics technician at the telemetry facility. (This is not to be confused with the other tracking station on the island operated by NASA). In May 1961 while i was working at the Antigua British West Indies USAF Tracking station, I clearly remember my manager calling the troops out of the tracking facility to his quonset hut office to listen to President Kennedy make his famous speech about setting the goal of our astronauts making a moon landing before the decade was out. Now 8 years later it was actually going to happen.

Our main tracking function at GBI was the launch phase, however we also tracked other parts of the Apollo 11 flight as backup.

Besides being employed in the missile & space tracking field, I was also a space cover collector, and was the servicer of the many covers that collectors sent to the USAF tracking station at GBI for servicing which meant adding postage, a cachet, my signature and getting the covers postmarked and on their way to collectors all over the world.

Below is one of the covers prepared for collectors for the Apollo 11 launch:

If you are a tracking station cover collector you probably have one of these in your collection.

To see the other two GBI tracking station covers I also prepared for the Apollo 11 flight, see my Cover Album Page, which has additional details about the cachets applied and transporting the covers to the post office, and a little bit more about my background.

Television coverage at Grand Bahama Island was very poor, there were more fade outs and snow that it was impossible to watch anything from beginning to the end. The closest TV station was West Palm Beach Florida. We were not authorized to use the tracking station antennas for personal use however the base commander and base operations manager looked the other way so that the telemetry chief coordinator could jury rig the system. He fed an interference free live Apollo 11 signal that originated in Florida to the television set in the Club Rendezvous TV room, where we could all watch the moon landing as if we were in the US. What a happy bunch of guys who participated in the Apollo 11 flight was now able to watch in awe and much cheering of the actual moon landing.

A day that I will not soon forget.


Posts: 428
From: San Jose, California, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 07-20-2009 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was 11 years old when I witnessed the moonwalk via TV. My family had spent the evening at my aunt's house. I was glued to the TV until the point where Neil was emerging from the hatch, when my parents announced that it was time to go home. Despite my loud protests, I was dragged out to the car for the 10 minute ride home. I was sure I would miss the actual first step, but arrived home in time to see it. Remarkably enough, 30 years later when visiting my Mom, I got to see my daughter Kassidy take her first unaided steps about 2 feet to the left of where I had sat watching the Apollo 11 moonwalk.


Posts: 110
From: San Antonio, TX
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 07-20-2009 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Whizzospace   Click Here to Email Whizzospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was in a modest split level ranch house, on my parent's living room carpet - burnt
orange shag, around 39N latitude.

We were looking into that magic window of a new 25 inch Zenith color TV (our very first). Dad bought it specifically to watch the first Moonwalk. Of course, as we all know, this event was black & white video. (Why was NASA so doggoned stingy on this first landing?) I'm not sure, but I think my good friend Major Matt Mason, Mattel's Man in Space, may also have been in attendance.

It was a hot and muggy night in mid-Missouri, and the middle of summer vacation, so I had that grade school kid summer daydream mentality. I recall having the 'ol two-second attention span of annoyance when Dad shushed me, saying something important was happening. I don't recall exactly, but I suspect it was Neil's
famous words.

New Member

Posts: 1
From: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma U.S.A.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 07-20-2009 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jchigheagle   Click Here to Email jchigheagle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a Mission Control Center, Retrofire Officer, I wish to congratulate all the Australian counterparts who were participants in the conduct of the Apollo missions. You played a critical role in the Apollo missions and provided huge support. Thank you for your professionalism, excellence and teamwork to make landing men on the moon a reality! May God bless...

J.C. Elliott, Retrofire Officer.


Posts: 1064
From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 07-20-2009 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a clip of the TF1 French Television special about Apollo 11 featuring segments from an interview with me filmed a week ago in Chicago.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 38555
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-25-2009 06:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was traveling on July 20 (2009) so I missed sharing this note I received from Christopher Roosa, son of Apollo 14 command module pilot Stuart Roosa, on the day it was received but I think it offers a unique "eyewitness account" appropriate for this thread:
Imagine being around the likes of explorers such as Christopher Columbus, Magellan, or Cortez. I have. Forty-years ago today, if you are old enough, you know exactly where you were: in front of a TV watching the greatest explorer of all time, Neil Armstrong, step on the moon.

I was blessed to grow up around such men: Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard, and John Glenn. I was with Jim Lovell on my first deer hunt. I had Bill Anders teach me how to water ski. Al Shepard attended my officer commissioning party. Charlie Duke is a close family friend and Walt Cunningham was my guest speaker at our Marine Corps Birthday Ball Celebration.

I don't know what it was like when Christopher Columbus set sail ; but, I know what it was like on July 16, 1969, when Apollo 11 lifted-off. I was standing three-miles away in the Astronaut viewing area. I was eleven years old. The ground shook; a loud popping sound reverberated through my body; and I stood in awe as a Saturn V rocket, the height of a 36-story building, slowly began to lift from the ground, and accelerate behind a massive flame of burnt fuel to power into space.

Fortunately, two years later, on January 31, 1971, I watched as my own father, Stuart Roosa, launched to the moon on Apollo 14 as the Command Module Pilot. I stood in the same viewing area and shouted "God Speed" as he lifted off.

Forty years later, I find myself sitting in Baghdad. I look back over the years and think about what a special time that was for America. Today, those Apollo Astronauts are in their 70s and 80s. In those days of the "Right Stuff," they were men dedicated to the space program. These men were smart, daring, talented, gifted, and born at the right time and in the right place. The older I get, the more I realize with amazement the magnitude of their achievement.

Though the media is focused on the twelve men who walked on the moon, I would like to remind everyone that there are only six men in history who have soloed around it. My father was one of this small group.

I am reminded of an exhortation my father used to close his speeches: "Go out tonight and look at the moon; there are six American flags flying on its surface. We are the only nation that can make that claim." I greatly miss my father; he died in 1994.

In years to come, the rest of these great men will pass from this earth. It was an honor to know them. The world has been blessed by their endeavors.

New Member

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From: Fullerton, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 12-26-2009 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KAlexander   Click Here to Email KAlexander     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In researching the 40th anniversary Apollo 11 information, I was delighted to come across David Chudwin's post. I too was a "young' member of the press having just turned 18 the week before the launch. I was a photographer for the Maumee Valley News and obtained press credentials by writing NASA on our publishers letterhead. I was fortunate to stand by the American flagpole right in front of the press stand about 3 miles from the launch site. It was very exciting for a young photographer to be standing next to Time and Life photographers with my equipment dwarfed by the "big boys". Still I was able to get some excellent photos with a 500 mm lens loaned to me by a local camera store. I will try to post photos in the near future.

I have to agree with Dr. Chudwin in that "it was an experience of a lifetime".

Kevin Alexander OD, Ph.D


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From: Greenville, SC, USA
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posted 02-10-2010 04:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I came across this on YouTube and thought it was excellent.


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From: Plano TX (USA)
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posted 02-10-2010 06:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great video -- thanks for posting it!


Posts: 1659
From: Spring Hill, FL
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posted 02-10-2010 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote was great to go back to when space travel was king.


Posts: 100
From: Topmost, Ky. USA
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 02-11-2010 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kking   Click Here to Email kking     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Really that footage is from German TV. I got about six hours of coverage from July 20, 1969 on DVD and that launch report was part of early coverage that day. If you want to see good BBC coverage I recommend "Apollo 11, A Night to Remember". has it.


Posts: 59
From: London
Registered: Oct 2008

posted 02-11-2010 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Proponent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How big and fat were then cars then, and how slim the people!

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From: ft myers floirda usa
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 07-13-2011 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pittendreigh   Click Here to Email pittendreigh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was 15 when Apollo 11 was launched.

My Dad and I always said we would go to Kennedy to see the launch of the first flight to the moon, and while we did go to see Apollo 8's launch, I insisted that we go see Apollo 11. Dad received restricted passes to the viewing area from a NASA engineer.

We stayed at the Ocean Star Apartment for the night. The day before the launch we met Collin's sister when we went to pick up our passes. We viewed the launch from the same area as you did. I remember feeling ground shake, and the noise - the noise was sooo loud!

After the launch, the traffic was pretty bad, and our bus driver finally parked at the VAB and suggested that we walk around for a while to let traffic subside. We walked through Launch Control, but with strict orders not to touch anything.

We made our way into the VAB and were told to just wait around. I decided to take an elevator to see how high I could go -- when the doors opened, someone asked me what I was up to, and I told him I was waiting for traffic to die down. He said he was doing the same thing, and that his shift was over. He asked if I wanted to look around, and he showed me an Apollo capsule, which I remember him telling me was Apollo 13.

In this modern day of security, this would never have happened.


Posts: 1031
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 07-13-2011 09:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know that Greg Chamitoff saw Apollo 11 launch. Wonder if he has any photos...


Posts: 796
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 07-16-2011 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"We have liftoff." 42 years ago today!

Apollo Redux

Posts: 346
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 07-17-2011 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
David (DChudwin), I envy your experience, but I can not thank you enough for sharing it.

Well done then, and now.

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From: Northbrook, IL, USA
Registered: Jun 2009

posted 07-18-2011 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DrMarv   Click Here to Email DrMarv     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can't believe its been 42 years.

John K. Rochester

Posts: 1292
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 07-18-2011 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As I search through the TV listings for this July 20th, hoping that possibly the History Channel or MSNBC has "The Landing and Moonwalk as it happened"... much as they do every Sept 11th.. again I am disappointed. I was 16 years old when it all happened, but time and illnesses have taken it's toll.. It would REALLY be a treat to see the networks coverage again.


Posts: 1659
From: Spring Hill, FL
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 07-20-2011 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by Mercury7:
I came across this on YouTube and thought it was excellent.
Great YouTube video, but there is no way I would have watched that launch through a camera lens.

I am thankful today for those that did.


Posts: 2367
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 08-07-2011 10:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A bit late for the anniversary but my boilerplate researches have only just discovered them. These photos show the USS New recovering a boilerplate while rehearsing emergency abort operations for Apollo 11.


Posts: 2775
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 08-07-2011 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by ejectr:
...there is no way I would have watched that launch through a camera lens.
It was a noble sacrifice by the cameraman, twice turning his lens away from the rising Saturn V to show the crowd. Would any of us have done that?

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From: Merritt Island, Fl USA
Registered: Aug 2011

posted 08-09-2011 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RKoenn   Click Here to Email RKoenn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was 15 that summer and had become a total space and rocket fanatic a couple of years prior to Apollo 11. I had finally gotten my dad to take us over to KSC earlier in the month and I still have my old Instamatic pictures of the Apollo 11 Saturn on the pad. During those days they would take you quite near the pad for pictures, just slightly southeast at a dirt parking lot. I also have many pictures from the visitors center, it was a dream come true to finally get that tour and at such a perfect time with the looming mission.

So obviously that morning in July I was glued to the TV set watching and listening to Walter describe the launch status. When it launched I don't recall that I repeated the previous December when I could actually see the Apollo 8 exhaust forming an inverted V in the sky from below the invisible Saturn 5 rocket from exactly the opposite side of the state on the Gulf coast. Later in 1972 I would write to President Nixon and receive a car pass so that myself and a group of fellow space buffs watched Apollo 16 from SR3 just north of the VAB. You can't exactly understand the power and beauty of a Saturn 5 launch without being only a bit over 3.5 miles away from it.

So now it was that three day wait for the spacecraft to reach the moon. I had built the Estes flying Saturn 5 and also had my Monogram LEM on the TV explaining to the family how everything worked for a lunar landing. I distinctly remember that afternoon again glued to the TV as the LEM set down on the moon. And of course later that night again tuned to the TV and watching as Neil and Buzz actually walked on the lunar surface. It was a perfect summer that year and a space fanatics dream come true.

I continued to follow the all the Apollo missions hoping we would move on to permanent lunar bases. I got my engineering degree from FTU/UCF and worked for NASA at KSC during college during the ASTP mission. I got to climb aboard the crawler and walk around the Saturn 1B as it rolled out of the VAB for the final Saturn launch that summer. I returned to KSC full time in 1979 as a NASA shuttle engineer and was involved in the first launch and then at Edwards for the first landing. I've been through the entire shuttle program and was in the firing room supporting mechanisms engineering for STS-135 launch and on the runway performing our teams runway measurements and orbiter inspections for STS-135 as well. But in many ways Apollo 11 is the ultimate of my experiences even though I didn't directly participate. It still seemed I was involved because of my interest in space flight and rocketry for such a significant human undertaking.

Robert J. Koenn
Merritt Island, FL

Ray Carpenter
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Posts: 2
From: Kingsland, Ga, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 03-18-2012 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ray Carpenter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Dad was transferred (with us in tow) from Los Angeles to Cocoa Beach by Hughes Aircraft Company as a part of the Launch Team for the Surveyor Program. When the tragic fire occurred on Apollo 1, he was recruited from Hughes by North American Rockwell to help with the forensics and final critique of the accident.

When it was resolved, he worked as an electrical engineer on the Command and Service modules. Tasked with technical oversight of Power, Life Support, and Maneuvering systems of the CSM, the maneuvering thrusters, and the associated controls of both in the Command and Service Modules were his "babies".

He has passed now, and I am looking for any accidental pictures of him at work. I think the best place to look is in Launch Control, where he worked on each launch as a member of the North American Launch Team.

We moved to Cocoa Beach when I was 10, and left when I was nearly 17. It was the most magical, wonderful time of my life. Sadly I took it all for granted and thought it would never end. Nothing was impossible then, and we lived in a close knit community of the most educated (and well paid) citizens of the United States.

My parents had many friends, and during the Launch Sequencing the wives and kids of other engineers would join my Mom over Martinis, Hors d'oeuvres, served on the back porch by the canal. As the ladies grew tipsy, we would watch the mighty Saturn Vs begin their initially slow and accelerating, jaw-dropping and majestic departures from Earth. The water would ripple slightly as the house shook. You could feel the power of the gleaming, immense, machine resonate in your chest.

Perhaps the ancients would have called such a thing a "God", and fallen upon their knees. Because, even if you had no idea what this huge, clean and beautiful monster was, you would instantly understand that it was something very important, that the huge and elegant thing muscling it's way into the sky seemed to have a will of it's own, and it would NOT be denied in it's powerful, determined escape from the bounds of Earth.

This thing was on a mission.

My brilliant best friend and I, a Mr. Lee Winer, decided to go to movie one night. The movie was "2001: A Space Odyssey," and I enjoyed it immensely. Neither of us saw the movie as being far fetched at all. Surely all of the Earth based technology depicted in the flick would realized by 2001, if not sooner.

After all, look at what we had accomplished in the scant eight years since Kennedy ordered Americans to go to the moon! Of course we would a base on the moon, and probably on Mars as well. In fact, I assumed we would have sent humans beyond mars and into the outer planets by then. The concept of politics affecting the critically important projects such as the manned exploration of deep space was beyond my grasp or comprehension.

I recall my confusion when my father casually mentioned at dinner that a guy named Martin Luther King was going to drive a bunch of people in covered wagons from D.C. to Kennedy Space Center in a protest of the incredible work being done there. I amazed and flabbergasted. Asking Dad why this was, he simply said something like "they feel the money should be spent somewhere else", and left the table.

There was no anger or anxiety. My parents were the most accepting and non-judgmental people on the planet, and I am simply recounting events as accurately as I can recall them.

I have more factual information and stories that Mr. Chudwin may find interesting.

I discovered this site in a Google image search trying to find inadvertent photos of him taken at work back then. If anyone else has photos of KSC Launch Control, and especially any taken of the vicinity around Walter Cronkite's broadcast booth, my family and I would sincerely, and deeply appreciate seeing them.


Posts: 953
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 03-19-2012 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by Ray Carpenter:
I discovered this site in a Google image search trying to find inadvertent photos of him taken at work back then. If anyone else has photos of KSC Launch Control, and especially any taken of the vicinity around Walter Cronkite's broadcast booth, my family and I would sincerely, and deeply appreciate seeing them.
Thank you, Ray, for your heartfelt remembrances. Very, very touching. Many parts of it are. What brought me to tears was the "we thought these times would never end..." Thanks again.

Oh, and welcome and come back often! Hope you find some pics you are looking for!

Colin E. Anderton

Posts: 63
From: Newmarket, Suffolk, England
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 03-20-2012 07:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Colin E. Anderton   Click Here to Email Colin E. Anderton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At 50 years old I am proud of this country and my very small part played in Apollo 11. As a 10 year old boy I helped "save the day" at the Guam tracking station on Apollo 11's return to earth.
I wonder if Greg is aware that he was mentioned by name on the public circuit during the mission? During his report at 169 hours, 28 minutes PAO Jack Riley gave him a plug.

Since NASA has been putting its audio online, I've been making some CDs of mission highlights, and I just happened to include this PAO announcement.

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