45 years ago today was a Wednesday, just like today. At 6:32 a.m. PDT, I was taking 35mm Ektachrome 200 slides of the TV images on our color TV set of Apollo 11 lifting off for the Moon. I still have them but they are buried in the boxes that need to be opened following my move.
The Moon was 4.9% illuminated, a thin waxing crescent that rose above my Eastern horizon in California a little over an hour after liftoff.
We were tuned in to CBS News and Walter Cronkite. Walter had original Mercury Astronaut and Apollo 7 Commander Wally Schirra with him for color commentary. CBS News coverage of Apollo 11 was called "Man on the Moon" and was simply fabulous. I knew the broadcast schedule so I was tuned in whenever Man on the Moon was on.
My Mom worked for CBS and I have a very rare hard cover copy of the book CBS published in 1970 to commemorate their CBS Network coverage of Apollo 11. The dust jacket is a gray embossed rendition of the Moon that includes the Sea of Tranquility. It has screen shots of the coverage and transcripts of the narration. They are a joy to see and read even to this day.
I have searched the Internet and have found these links for you to watch, and perhaps relive or experience for the first time, the liftoff of Apollo 11.
CBS News coverage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmHABUfjYPI
Time Magazine: http://life.time.com/history/apollo-11-photos-of-what-liftoff-looked-like/#1
NASA Video: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/video/apollo/apollo11/html/launch.html
I will have more on Apollo 11 on the 45th anniversary of the lunar landing.
Enjoy this step back in time.
Sky Guy in VA
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