The Space Programme: Apollo 11

Today we present some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent… Space Music and a space documentary.

On this day, July 23, in 1969, 53 years ago, the Apol­lo 11 space­craft returned to Earth after the first human being had stepped out of the Apol­lo 11’s Lunar Excur­sion Mod­ule and set foot upon the Moon a few days before. Today we cel­e­brate that achieve­ment in music.

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. And on this day in 1969, they suc­cess­ful­ly returned to Earth – 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, Holst and even Ron Good­win. Lis­ten on head­phones for the best experience.

Moon­walk! will be broad­cast at 12:30pm and 4:30pm Pacific/SLT and runs for 25 minutes.

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 com­mem­o­rates this momen­tous event with an eclec­tic col­lec­tion of music from, and about, space, space trav­el, the Moon and more.

In addi­tion, tune in at 12 noon or 4pm Pacif­ic time / 8pm or mid­night in the UK, for the lat­est edi­tion of “Where Have You Been?” — our twice-month­ly show on things to do and places to go around the Sec­ond Life Grid. Today we vis­it Vik­tor Savior’s UNITY Art Project exhi­bi­tion enti­tled “Hap­pi­ness In Col­or” (see sep­a­rate entry). Plus “Engines of Our Inge­nu­ity” every four hours from 4am Pacific.

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