Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Features

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Coverage on NPR

Fifty years ago this month, on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 crew members Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. Throughout July, NPR is airing the following stories reflecting on the legacy of that month in 1969 and taking stock of the space program today. Stories that have already aired are available at npr.org; search for them by title, or by date under the appropriate news program (Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, etc.)

Descriptions of Stories with Schedule of Pieces:

July 8, Morning Edition
Robots, Not Humans, Are The New Space Explorers
A subtheme of going to the moon is to keep the US at the top of science and engineering / inspiring kids to go into tech fields. But since the days of Apollo 11, the unsung heroes of the space program have been the robots and probes and have generated huge interest -- Mars rovers, Hubble, Cassini, etc. It's what's really advancing our understanding Do we need the moon for inspiration? Joe Palca reports on Morning Edition and online.

July 8, All Things Considered
Moon Rocks Still Awe, And Scientists Hope To Get Their Hands On More
Fifty years ago, Apollo astronauts collected their first moon rocks. Those rocks are still being studied to figure out the moon's secrets. And scientists hope to soon get more. Nell Greenfieldboyce reports on All Things Considered.

July 11, Digital
Of Little Details And Lunar Dust: Preserving Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 Spacesuit
A bit before the anniversary, the National Air and Space Museum is putting Armstrong's space suit back on exhibit after a long period of restoration. Exhibiting an item this precious is hard! It requires special mannequins and such--and we'll look at how they're going to do it to ensure that it remains preserved.

July 12, Morning Edition
JoAnn Morgan: The Only Woman In The Firing Room During Apollo 11
On the morning of July 16, dozens of technicians and flight controllers piled into the firing room at NASA's Kennedy Space Center to count down the launch of Apollo 11's Saturn V rocket. Among the sea of people, there was only one woman. JoAnn Morgan was KSC first female engineer and the only woman locked into the firing room for the historic launch. Morgan's decades-long career at NASA included the fight for equality in engineering and a push to get more women involved in STEM. Brendan Byrne of Member station WMFE has the story.

July 12, Morning Edition
NASA Moves Forward With Plans For Multi-Billion-Dollar Moon Rocket
NASA is building a giant rocket and capsule known as the Space Launch System that are supposed to take people back to the moon and beyond, but some say it's NASA's albatross. The program is costing billions of dollars and the rocket will rarely fly. Meanwhile, new heavy-lift commercial rockets are coming online for a fraction of the price. Nell Greenfieldboyce reports on Weekend Edition.

July 12, All Things Considered
As America Celebrates Apollo, A New Moon Race Is Underway
International Space Several other countries are planning moon landings and/or trying to make their presence known in space. China, for example, is working to build a space station and already landed a rover on the moon. Many believe that the country plans to pursue a human moon mission. What are they and other countries planning? Geoff Brumfiel reports.

July 13, Digital
The Camera That Went To The Moon And Changed How We See It
During the Mercury flights, NASA engineers modified an off-the-shelf Hasselblad camera to save weight and make it easier for astronauts to handle. It began an informal relationship between NASA and the Swedish camera maker that resulted in Hasselblads --with their large negatives and high-quality lenses -- going to the moon, where they took nearly all of the most iconic photos of the Apollo Age. Scott Neuman tells the story of how it all began why the camera has shaped the way we see the moon today.

July 15, All Things Considered
What's Happening Now in Huntsville
What are things like today in Huntsville, Alabama, home of the NASA space center that was central to the moon missions? What it was this community like back when Wernher von Braun was running the plant (big civil rights time there), and what is its role in space exploration now? Russell Lewis reports on All Things Considered.

July 16, Digital
The Making Of Apollo's Command Module: 2 Engineers Recall Tragedy And Triumph
Getting to the moon was no guarantee. It was a major feat of engineering that had major hiccups, including the Apollo 1 fire that killed three astronauts and slowed down the race to the moon. What did it take to build the Apollo 11 capsule and what the major challenges faced them, especially after the fire. Jacob Margolis of Member station KPCC reports on Weekend All Things Considered and online.

July 17, Digital
Seeing Apollo Through The Eyes Of Astronauts
Current and former astronauts talk about what some of the iconic photos of the era mean to them now. Ryan Kellman.

June 19, All Things Considered
Hollywood Shoots The Moon: 117 Years Of Lunar Landings At The Movies
Critic Bob Mondello on the movies inspired by the Apollo moon landing.

July 20, Weekend Edition
On Apollo 11 Anniversary, A Former Crew Member Reflects On The Lunar Trip
We'll hear a tick tock of what happened on every stage, reminding us how incredibly difficult it was to land people on the moon and return them to Earth.

TBD
Arthur Hullett
A profile out of Huntsville, Alabama, of Arthur Hullett, who was an engineering technician on the program. Brett Tannehill of Member station WLRH.

👋 Looks like you could use more news. Sign up for our newsletters.

* indicates required
New Orleans Public Radio News
New Orleans Public Radio Info