The Space Programme: 50 Years Since Apollo 11

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

Tomor­row in 1969, 50 years ago, the first human being stepped out of the Apol­lo 11’s Lunar Excur­sion Mod­ule and set foot on the Moon. Today we cel­e­brate that achieve­ment in music, and with a 1969 radio doc­u­men­tary cre­at­ed from actu­al­i­ty and music of the time.

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. Arm­strong became the first to step onto the lunar sur­face six hours lat­er on July 21 at 02:56:15 UTC; Aldrin joined him about 20 min­utes lat­er. 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).


Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. To lis­ten, click here to start your play­er if your brows­er is set up to pass streams to an exter­nal play­er. 

You can also lis­ten via TuneIn, either with their web site or via the TuneIn App.

*Moon­walk! was cre­at­ed by Peter Car­bines for Pyra­me­dia Pro­duc­tions, August-Sep­tem­ber 1969.

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