Meet Bruce Hicks, reporter who covered moon landing for Houston Chronicle

By Sofia Ojeda - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - As we get closer to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we've been sharing memories from those who witnessed the historic event.

Among them was a Houston reporter who is now talking about the excitement he and his colleagues felt while covering such an important story.

1969

It was July 20, 1969.

Rookie reporter Bruce Hicks was just 20 years old when he was assigned to cover the Apollo 11 moon landing for the Houston Chronicle.

He said he remembers the silence as everyone stood by for the OK from astronaut Neil Armstrong.

He said he remembers the electricity that swept the room when Armstrong spoke those first magical words.

'Houston has landed'

"I remember at the time getting goosebumps when they landed and you finally heard him come on and say, 'Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed.' As I'm typing that, I'm realizing these are words that will live on forever," he said.

He said he remembers it like it happened yesterday.

Hicks said it was an amazing thing to witness.

'One small step for man'

"My main job was to transcribe the live conversations from air to ground ... to give the Chronicle team quick notes without having to wait for transcripts. It was deadly quiet ... everybody's listening, everyone's got their headphones ... everyone's listening and just holding our breath and waiting to see what happens," he said. "When Neil set foot on the moon and said, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," again, typing that, it was the same chilling effect. I could just feel it."

Memories

Hicks grew up a fan of space exploration. He said he remembers, in 1961, watching astronaut Alan Shepherd's first flight with his father and years later in 1969 being one of the thousands of reporters in tears watching Armstrong get to the moon.

"I remember going out when I finally got off duty that night and going away from the lights of the building and I just laid down in the grass looking up at the skies and saying what an incredible feat we just accomplished. We walked on the moon," Hicks said.

Hicks went on to be NASA bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle for Apollo 14, 15 and 16.

He watched as Houston became the central hub for space exploration. He experienced the pride that it generated in the community.

Copyright 2019 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.