SPECIAL POST: Where Were You During the Flight of Apollo 11? Remember and Share –

 Posted by DrJeff on June 26th, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog


Countdown to History
Ensure your system clock is correct for countdown accuracy.
Launch of Apollo 11, Cape Kennedy: T-minus

Touchdown at Tranquility Base: T-minus


A Footprint on Another World: T-minus




This post is a Teachable Moment in the News.

This is crossposted at the Huffington Post HERE.


We came in peace for all mankind

It was a moment that changed us. A moment that began a new chapter in the book of the human race. It was an achievement shared by all the peoples of the world … and in that moment—our differences were overwhelmed by the common bond of our humanity. And hear ye future generations—it was a testament to what we are collectively capable of achieving when we aim beyond the horizon.


Many of you reading this lived through it and were powerfully moved. Many of you were not yet born—but yearn to know what it was like.


I created this special post as a place where those that lived it could share the experience with those that did not.


If you were moved 40 years ago next month, please leave a comment below. Think about where you were, what it meant to you, and what it meant to the world. And we warmly invite you to put your thoughts to ‘paper’ here.


I’ll start it off with my own very personal experience in the recent post: The Launch of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Brought Back Memories of Apollo 11.


I have also assembled a list of resources below to help you celebrate with friends and family, and follow the flight—in real time—as it happened 40 years ago. I’ll be adding more to the list every few days.


With best wishes for great memories and wonderful sharing time,

Jeff Goldstein, Center Director, NCESSE



Please Tweet and Email the existence of this page far and wide, so we can remember together.

Return often to read new comments below with friends and family.



Feel the magic and the majesty—again.




Added June 27, 2009:


Blog on the Universe Relevant Resources

Here are some relevant pages I wrote that you can explore and discuss as a family—

•A personal look at the National Mall in Washington, DC, and the National Air and

Space Museum. The page includes a description of the flight of Apollo 11 and the

video of Neil Armstrong placing the first footprint on another world.

• The Nature of our Existence, that speaks to what we know about our place in a

greater space and how we’ve come to know it, and the obligation of each generation

to inspire and teach the next.

• Read the page on Scientists and Engineers as Heroes to get a sense of what we’re

capable of achieving if we work hard and smart.

• On my Favorite Quotes page, read about what poets and explorers have to say about human exploration, and in the last quote by Fred Hoyle, be sure to click on the links for the very first views of Earth from orbit, from the Moon, and from beyond.

• The Resources for Parents page includes ideas for how to use this blog to promote

family discussions on the nature of human exploration, science, and learning; and

at the bottom of the page is a link to a library of Apollo 11 color photographs.



Online Simulation of Apollo 11 Flight in Real Time

Goes live July 16, 2009, 9:32 am EDT, moment of launch

JFK Presidential Library and Museum, powered by AOL

The Press Release

The site: http://www.wechoosethemoon.org/


• a mission tracking widget for Facebook, Myspace, and your desktop

•a realtime Twitter feed for Mission Control https://twitter.com/AP11_CAPCOM

and for the Apollo 11 spacecraft http://twitter.com/AP11_SPACECRAFT



Apollo 40th Anniversary Website

National Aeronautics and Space Administration




Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum 40th Anniversary Website

Features: interactive Apollo timeline, artifacts, iconic images




Twitter Feed—Apollo 11 As It Happens

Nature News




Exploring the Moon

Lunar and Planetary Institute, USRA


Features: history of lunar exploration, both robotic and human



Added June 28, 2009:


Apollo 11 Website at Kennedy Space Center

Features: wealth of information on crew, vehicle, and flight milestones.




Project Apollo Image Galleries

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Features: remarkable, easy to use library of downloadable images and videos




Added July 7, 2009:

Moon Landing Factoids

Discovery Channel




Twitter Feed—Apollo 11 As It Happens

Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum




Added July 9, 2009:


National Public Radio Audio Library

I went through NPR’s library dating back to 1997 and found interesting radio shows on the space program and project Apollo. Listen to these with friends and family.


MOON MEMORIES, December 12, 1997

Apollo 11, July 17, 1999

Man Walks On The Moon, July 19, 1999

Apollo Launch, July 20, 1999

Apollo 13 Flight Director Gene Kranz, April 14, 2000

Race to the Moon, May 25, 2001

Remembering Jack Riley, April 23, 2003

Buzz Aldrin: Return to the Moon, December 18, 2003

Apollo 11’s Close Call, July 20, 2004

Timeline: America’s Space Program, July 12, 2005 (not audio but interesting)

Search Is on for Original Apollo 11 Footage, July 31, 2006

Reflections on the Apollo I Disaster, January 28, 2007

Revisiting America’s Fear of Sputnik, October 4, 2007

Biography Chronicles von Braun, ‘Dreamer of Space’, October 26, 2007

Excerpt: ‘Final Countdown’, by Patrick Duggins, November 21, 2007 (not audio but interesting)

40 Years Later, Apollo 8 Moon Mission Still Awes, Dec 24, 2008


Race to the Moon: 5-Part Downloadable Broadcast


Voice of America

Feature: in Special English for listeners not fluent in English



Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

Features: a one-stop-shop for lots of the NASA flight



Moonwalk One – The Director’s Cut

Apollo 11 Film Commissioned by NASA

available at Amazon



MOON MEMORIES, December 12, 1997
Apollo 11, July 17, 1999
Man Walks On The Moon, July 19, 1999
Apollo Launch, July 20, 1999
Apollo 13 Flight Director Gene Kranz, April 14, 2000
Race to the Moon, May 25, 2001
Remembering Jack Riley, April 23, 2003
Buzz Aldrin: Return to the Moon, December 18, 2003
Apollo 11’s Close Call, July 20, 2004
Timeline: America’s Space Program, July 12, 2005
Search Is on for Original Apollo 11 Footage, July 31, 2006
Reflections on the Apollo I Disaster, January 28, 2007
Revisiting America’s Fear of Sputnik, October 4, 2007
Biography Chronicles von Braun, ‘Dreamer of Space’, October 26, 2007
Excerpt: ‘Final Countdown’, by Patrick Duggins, November 21, 2007
40 Years Later, Apollo 8 Moon Mission Still Awes, Dec 24, 2008

Added July 15:


Apollo 11 Audio Cast in Real Time

National Aeronautics and Space Administration




Photo credit: NASA

Countdown clocks courtesy of my friend, Drew Roman, Decisive IT.


visit Store Galactica, supporting programs of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

17 Responses to “SPECIAL POST: Where Were You During the Flight of Apollo 11? Remember and Share –”

  1. Cathy Williamson Says:
    June 26th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I was living in Houston, TX and was very pregnant with my first son. He was actually born one month and one day after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. I can remember it was very early in the morning and I sat transfixed to the television set. The moment his foot touched the moon, I knew I had seen history in the making. It was an awesome experience!!

  2. Lauren Silver Says:
    June 26th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I was six years old, taking a swim lesson in Sanford, Florida. Our swimming teacher took us into her living room to watch the countdown, then we raced outside to her front lawn to watch the sky, and we could actually see the rocket, live!! We watched until we couldn’t see it anymore then went back inside to the television. It still amazes me to think that I saw it.

  3. MaMark Cheveallierrk Cheveallier Says:
    June 26th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I watched it on a grainy black and white TV with the whole family–up late for history. I remember lying on my stomach on the floor looking at everyone else to get their reaction.
    I was twelve. My grandfather, who was born in 1892, didn’t believe it for at least a few more years.

  4. AK Putney Says:
    June 27th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I was 13 years old, living in Ontario, California. The entire space program was of great interest to my dad. It was horrible when Gus Grissom and his team died. There was tremendous anticipation among everyone we knew. Our family didn’t have a television, so we went over to Grandma’s house, and sat around her black and white. We held our breath waiting for the first words…”Houston, the Eagle has landed.”
    My husband (then living in Canoga Park) still treasures his moon landing news clippings. He has the 45rpm recording of Walter Cronkite’s broadcast. Our house in Maine is named “Tranquility Base.”

  5. Laurie Woo Says:
    June 29th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I was 13 years old, old enough to realize that this was very momentous, but too young, I now realize, to understand the magnitude of what I was watching on TV as Armstrong took his “step” onto the lunar surface. I recall watching this in the evening; consequently I was tired and with the graininess of the TV image, not precisely sure what I was seeing — until the astronaut entered the picture. There was a feeling of unreality to the whole thing– how could there *really* be a man on the moon? Can they really get back to Earth? — yet also a feeling of “of course this is happening; it’s the Sixties and all sorts of new and wild things have been happening, beginning with the arrival of the Beatles in the US in 1964 (for me). Not all good stuff, either: assassinations, the Vietnam War, the war protests. But with the hippies and that whole culture, rock music, wild clothing, and psychedelic you-name-it, a lunar landing seemed like part of a natural progression. I think, now, that I should have felt the whole thing was odder than it actually seemed at that time.

  6. Michele Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I was three in 1969. I have a hazy memory of being in a Sears department store. All of the televisions in the electronics department were “tuned in” to the Apollo mission. Everyone had stopped to watch the televisions.

  7. Pat Says:
    July 3rd, 2009 at 12:16 am

    We were young marrieds, living in San Antonio, and our oldest son was was 8 months old. We actually woke him up and held him in front of the TV while we watched, so we could tell him later that he had been there with us. What an amazing thing – I was so moved that I cried. We knew it would usher in a new era. My husband was actually working on the “manned orbiting lab” program, which was the beginning of the space station, so he had a little contribution to it as well.

  8. Nancy.Rowland Says:
    July 5th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    In 1969 I was 5 years old, not old enough to remember maybe but I do. I was living in Cape Canaveral, Florida better known as Cape Kennedy. My father was an engineer working for NASA. We lived in an apartment complex near the space center. Many families lived there. That day we all went up to a sun deck to watch the lift off. I remember the glow as Apollo 11 took off but we saw many take offs – this one was different. The adults were excited. I remember clearly and vividly i remember. My father is no longer with us but that time in our lives was very important and so are the memories. My children and my brothers’ children have all been told the stories of their grandfather – one of the many horned rimmed glasses in the control room at NASA. We are very proud.

  9. Tim Gaffney Says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    For me, the most thrilling moment in the history of spaceflight was hearing on TV the words, “Houston, Tranquility Base. The Eagle has landed.” As an aviation writer and author, I’ve had the good fortune to meet or talk to many of the people in the Apollo program, including several of the 12 who walked on the moon. GRANDPA TAKES ME TO THE MOON ( http://www.timothyrgaffney.com/books/moon/moon.html ) was a picture book I wrote after introducing my daughter to Apollo 15 Commander James Irwin.
    Next month, 12 Apollo astronauts will be here in Dayton, Ohio, for the National Aviation Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies. ( http://www.nationalaviation.org )

  10. Erin Degutis Says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I was born the morning of the Apollo 11 launch (July 16). An interesting family story – my mom was in active labor, and my dad was there for my mom and at the same time trying to keep tabs on the launch because he had worked on Apollo projects while at Douglas (McDonnell Douglas). My arrival gave new meaning to the term “moonchild”. =)

  11. Pamela Toole Says:
    July 9th, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I was seven. My brother and some neighborhood friends were invited to drive to Florida and watch the launch from the beach. The rest of us watched it at home on our black and white tv. I remember the days spent watching and waiting and then, the landing and the walk on the moon. And the flag, It seemed so appropriate then, a re-enactment of Iwogima. Today, how silly…what nation can lay claim to the moon? At seven, it was all momentous, such a forgotten fabric of my life.

  12. Tony Goodrich Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 1:34 am

    I was 19 year old Marine Lance Corporal humping the Que Sons mountains with Mike Co. 3rd Bn 5th Marines in Quang Nam province, Vietnam. One of the radiomen in our platoon got word from our regimental HQ that an American had stepped onto the lunar landscape. I remember thinking, “I wish I was there and not here.” Not too much celebrating or reflection on that great achievement as we were more worried about our next contact with the enemy. Did not even see the actual film of the moon landing until 1995. Has it really been 40 years? Amazing!

  13. Ed Willoughby Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    On July 20th, 1969 I was 31 years of age. I was working for McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to that I was working for Douglas Aircraft Company in Sacramento, California as a structural-mechanical drafter. I had worked on the Saturn V, S-IV-B, third-stage, with a restartable engine. I was with the ground support group who responsible for all of the lifting, moving, installing in the test stands for testing. The R & D phase of the S-IV-B was a passion with me. I experienced opportunities that would not have been possible for a high school dropout. Why, I even had the opportunity to work with Dr. Warner Von Braun.

    On July 20th, 1969, my wife at that time, and I found ourselves in a campground just outside of St. Louis, at a location called O’Fallon, Missouri. I remember the place well, Diemen’s Camp and Fishing Ponds. We had a very small, battery-packed TV that was placed on the picnic table. It was on all day as we were so concerned about the astronauts and their safety that we wanted to be posted and up-to-date on all of the activities. Together we prayed for their safety and success of the mission. We were so proud when we heard Neil Armstrong utter those unforgettable words, “Houston, Tranquility Base. The Eagle has landed.” We sobbed. We were so elated, that our team was successful in this National endeavor. I was never so proud to be part of the American Experience as I was then, that evening.

    Today, I am almost 71 years of age. On Monday we will celebrate 40 years since the landing of the Eagle. As I write this comment, as well as when I think of the accomplishments of those days, a tear still comes to my eyes. I think back at what we as a team, country, were able to accomplish when we had a common goal. I think of how great our country is, I think of all the things that we use today that were a direct result of our team’s accomplishments in the space program. Just think, before Saturn V, there was no such thing as ‘Velcro’. Take computers, the onboard computers could not do what this p.c. can do and they were so massive!

    Anyway, I salute our astronauts, our engineers and all of those who still have a dream. America, keep on dreaming, with our dreams we have no future. I just thank God that He allowed me to be born here in these United States. I pray, God bless America again.

  14. Ted Magnuson Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    At age 18 at the time, I was very moved by the moon landings. It was like seeing history books come alive- ‘The Age of Discovery.’ Indeed, my first novel ‘The Moses Probe’ is themed on the challenges and triumphs of a journey through space, albeit in the year 2112, destination-the ‘center of the universe.’

  15. Drew Roman Says:
    July 20th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I was born a year and a half after Apollo 11 and way too young to remember any of the later moon missions. But I do distinctly remember the feeling that looking at the pictures and reading about the missions gave me as a child, the two words that come to mind are excitement and inspiration.

    I’ve always wondered, if we’re capable of something like going to the moon, what *aren’t* we capable of?

  16. Suzy Quaggin Says:
    July 21st, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Where Were You During the Flight of Apollo 11?

    I grew up in Florida and rocket launches were a big deal in our family. When we weren’t physically at the Cape we would sometimes climb up on the roof of our house to catch a glimpse of the rockets in flight, it was pretty cool! Dad was a Professional Parade Float Decorator in Florida and was invited to decorate for special events and parades around the U.S. and the America’s. We loved it when dad was called for an event in or near the Cape. Dad had a special pass for the Cape Canaveral (then known as Cape Kennedy) Apollo 11 event. I remember Vice President Spiro Agnew and dignitaries from all over the world and lots of photographers, it was fun! We were located close to the launch in a secured area. It was crazy with excitement and people running all over the place! I remember little gift bags filled with cheese snacks and memorabilia were given to the guests sitting in the bleachers – mainly high profile visitors and dignitaries. I was a little girl and they didn’t pay any attention to me or my brother. I did get one of the gift bags and felt like a princess eating exotic cheese from other countries. Our family celebrated my brother’s birthday the day before and dad kept saying “Remember kids this is a spectacular event in history!” – “Man is going to the moon!” We brought along our small camper and had a black and white TV. Once Apollo 11 was out of site dad turned on our small TV. People gathered around our camper for another view. I’ve been searching for people photographs online, wondering if maybe
    a photographer snapped a picture of us that day. Email: peacewealthy at gmail dot com.

  17. Jim Oglesby Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 3:13 am

    During the Apollo Program and Apollo 11, I worked for Bendix launch support and observed an ET ship and its crew come and go to the Cape during Key Apollo Programs.