The Space Programme

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 23 July, 2014

Music from space – and a special documentary on the Apollo 11 mission.

45 years ago this week, human beings first set foot upon the Moon – something that, when you think about it, is quite remarkable: that in the days before even digital watches, let alone powerful desktop computers, such a mission was possible.

The Apollo 11 mission was launched on July 16, 1969, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr. On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon. Later, they successfully returned – fulfilling President John F Kennedy’s 1961 speech which included the words,

…I believe that this nation should commit itself: to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long‐range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult, or expensive to accomplish.”

Today’s programme commemorates this momentous event. In addition to an eclectic collection of music from, and about, space, space travel, the Moon and more, we include Moonwalk! – a special radio documentary by Peter Carbines* on the Apollo 11 mission based on actuality, painstakingly recorded from the broadcast coverage of the time, and woven into a story of the mission with appropriate, and equally eclectic, music of the period, including as it does everything from the Moody Blues to the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and  Holst. We recommend that you listen on headphones for the best experience.

Moonwalk! will be broadcast at 11am and 7pm Pacific Time (19:00 and 03:00 in the UK).

It can be argued that we would not have the environmental consciousness we have today were it not for our view of the Earth from space afforded initially by Apollo 8 and then by later missions. Arguably, space research is important not for what we get out of it directly in terms of products like Teflon, Velcro and manufacturing ability, or for some kind of nationalistic superiority, but for the perspective and knowledge it gives us of our own planet and the Universe around us. In addition it is, perhaps, simply something we should do.

Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. If you are in the United States or Canada, please click here to launch the Stream Licensing player. To listen from outside North America, click here to start your player .

This programme is also available in enhanced‐quality AAC. Tune in here: 

*Moonwalk! was created by Peter Carbines for Pyramedia Productions in 1971.


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