SPR Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

On Saturday, July 20th, KSFC will help commemorate the incredible achievement of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with a variety of programs taking a look back. KSFC will be providing listeners with a binge-worthy afternoon of near-nonstop Moon programming. Four programs will be presented back to back and a fifth program will air during Director's Choice, all covering a wide variety of topics relating to the historic day and the people who made it possible. The programs begin at noon. 

Washington Goes To The Moon PART 1  -  noon

This program looks at the politics behind the Apollo Program, public policy stories leading up to Apollo 11's flight to the moon. The stories told in these programs (about NASA management, White House budget politics and Congressional oversight) had as much to do with Apollo 11 reaching the moon as the Saturn 5 rocket, but they have never been told. This program, Part 1: "Washington We Have A Problem" looks at the battle to keep the Apollo space program funded and on deadline. It tells, among other stories: Within weeks after pledging to send a man to the moon, President Kennedy got cold feet and tried to get out the commitment by bringing the Soviets on-board. Lyndon Johnson's budget director tried to scrap the goal of getting to the moon by 1969 in order to help President Johnson pay for the Vietnam War.

Witness History: The Race to the Moon  -  1 p.m.

July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Celebrate this historic milestone with an inspiring new special from the BBC World Service, featuring highlights from its Witness History programs and various presenters.

Audiences will hear stories and recollections from people close to the key moments in humanity's mission to the Moon. The hour-long special features diverse voices – all of whom recollect the Moon landing with fondness and pride: Viktor Yazdovsky, whose father helped prepare dogs for space orbit in the USSR; Joe Guion, who pulled the first space-traveling monkeys out of their capsule; Colonel Frank Borman, commander of NASA's Apollo 8 mission; Fred Hayes of the stricken Apollo 13 mission; and Harrison Schmitt, one of the last astronauts walk on the lunar surface.

Rocketing Ahead  -  2 p.m.

In 1969, humans landed on the Moon. But why? Why did we go? Look at anything with the perspective of decades and it can seem inevitable. How often do we ever stop, look the things around us and ask: How did it get that way? When it comes to the question: Why did we go to the Moon, the answer has a little bit to do with science and a lot to do with politics. In this program we learn how the Democrats rode Sputnik to the White House in a campaign that forever changed science, technology and academia in America.

The Pulse: Destination Moon  -  3 p.m.

On this special episode of The Pulse, we will explore the science that got us to the moon, the politics that push space exploration, and our relationship with the moon. Also - how people around the country remember and celebrated the moon landing.

Some of the topics discussed include: a fragile daisy chain of events, ways the mission could have gone wrong at any moment; the science of the Apollo program; kids and space exploration; the politics of space exploration; and the future of space exploration.

One Giant Leap: from the series “How We Saw It”  -  6 p.m. (Director’s Choice)

This 1-hour radio documentary will celebrate the moon landing through the eyes of those who witnessed it and the memories of those who contributed to its success in ways large and small.

Participants include:

  • Gene Kranz, Apollo Flight Director at NASA, famously portrayed by Ed Harris in the film Apollo 13
  • Sergei Khrushchev, son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, a former engineer in the Soviet space program who is now an American citizen and a professor at Brown University
  • Tom Hanks, producer of the HBO Miniseries From the Earth to the Moon
  • John Hirasaki, Apollo 11 Landing and Recovery
  • Gene Edmunds, NASA photographer
  • John Young, Commander of Apollo 16
  • Jim Head, Apollo geologist
  • John Casani, Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena since 1956
  • Dr. Firouz Naderi, Associate Director, Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena

All programs will be played on KSFC 91.9, July 20th, starting at noon and can be streamed on any device here.

Our thanks to event donors: The Journal of Business and Blue Sky Marketing.