HOUSTON – Fifty years ago this month, NASA's Apollo 11 mission marked the first time man stepped foot on the moon. It was a monumental moment celebrated around the world, but the pride was felt strongest in Houston where a remarkable team is credited with launching our country and our city into space and the history books.
In honor of the 50th anniversary, KPRC2 brings you "Apollo 11: Mission to the Moon."
WATCH THE SPECIAL FOR AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE MISSION FROM THE MEN WHO ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE AND KNEW FAILURE WAS NOT AN OPTION:
"My final words to my controllers were, 'I will stand behind every decision you will make. We came into this room a team and we will leave as a team."
"And then one of the controllers went and locked the doors and we would not leave that room and the doors would not be opened until we landed, we crashed or we aborted. and only one of those cases was good, we had to land."
-Gene Kranz, Apollo 11 Flight Director
"We were all young at the time and we weren't smart enough to be scared of think we couldn't do it."
-Chuck Deiterich, Apollo 11 Retrofire Officer.
"I actually felt like I was levitating off the chair. I didn't feel like I was touching anything because it was so tense and exciting."
-Ed Fendell, Head of Communications Systems During Apollo 11
HEAR FROM THE FIRST FAMILIES OF SPACE FLIGHT ABOUT LIFE AT HOME IN THE APOLLO-ERA:
"It wasn't unusual to have other kids in my class whose dads were astronauts or flight directors or engineers. We all knew when somebody's dad was flying.”
-Jeff Carr, Son of Astronaut Gerald Carr
"The pressure on guys to do stuff was enormous. My own experience, we were gone all the time. I'd leave on Sunday night and come back on Friday night."
-Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut
"Behind my house, Buzz and Joan Aldrin lived and we had a gate we'd open, the guys were gone a lot. And so we'd have coffee together and maybe afternoon tea."
-Sue Bean, Was Married to Astronaut Alan Bean
"I was in my living room when they landed on the moon. And you were so proud as an American to know that we had actually accomplished what we had set out to do."
-Barbara Cernan-Butler, Was Married to Astronaut Gene Cernan
DISCOVER KPRC2'S SPECIAL CONNECTION TO THE HISTORIC EVENT SEEN AROUND THE WORLD:
"One of them said, 'Now Bruce in a minute you're going to get a picture from the moon and when you see it, just punch it up.' And I thought, 'Oh my gosh, oh my gosh,' and pretty soon that's just what happened."
-Bruce Bryant, KPRC2 Technical Director during Apollo 11 Broadcast
"In Mission Control, in the landing, they were approaching the moon. It was total silence. Everyone holding their breath. 'What's going to happen?' And when they finally landed the LEM on the moon, 'OK, we can breathe."
-Ron Putterman, KPRC2 Camera Operator during Apollo 11 Broadcast
SEE WHAT WE UNEXPECTEDLY UNCOVERED WHILE PREPARING FOR THIS SPECIAL PROGRAM:
"It has been in a metal box with other film... on a shelf in our closet."
"I have no clue where on this reel you'll find Jan and Neil... but they should be here."
-Friend of Neil & Jan Armstrong
AND GET PERSPECTIVE ON THE FUTURE OF SPACE TRAVEL FROM THE PIONEERS OF THE PAST:
"I think going back to the moon is the right thing to do. The moon is a very interesting place and there's a lot to learn on the moon."
"It's a great laboratory to learn more about the universe and the evolution of the Earth and the other planets. So there's a great deal of benefit to going back to the moon."
-George Abbey, former director of the Johnson Space Center and Fellow in Space Policy at the Baker Institute of Rice University.
"I wish Daddy was here to see that. He never wanted to be known as the last man on the moon."
-Tracy Cernan, Daughter of Astronaut Gene Cernan
KPRC2 would like to thank the many men and women who shared their time and memories with us as we prepared for our upcoming special broadcast.
In "Apollo 11: Mission to the Moon," you'll hear more from the people listed above as well as several others who played critical roles in the mission.