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Apollo 11-Start: Insight into CBS News coverage of the Apollo 11 mission



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Updated July 16, 2019 at 20:26 EDT

History was to be written on the morning of July 16, 1969, and CBS News was ready to capture the moment. At 6 am Walter Cronkite launched an unprecedented 46-hour live television coverage on Apollo 11.

"It is now time, if only briefly, to These three men and the burdens and hopes to think that they carry on behalf of all humanity, "said Cronkite.

To cover the mission to the moon, CBS News circled the earth with more than a thousand employees. CBS News Space correspondent David Schoumacher reported on the launch.

"Well, I was just a tourist, I had no idea that Apollo had so awakened people's imagination," he said. "When the start went, everyone stood up and Walter had come up with his little slogan: Go, baby, go." And the whole crowd of 500 celebrities screamed, "Come on, baby, go."

Walter Cronkite launches the CBS news report on Apollo 1
1, the "Most Dangerous, But Most Exciting" Mission

With the Astronauts On their way the coverage shifted to New York headquarters. Joel Banow was the director. His task was to explain each phase of the very complicated eight-day mission by means of graphic simulations of the space age that competed with reality. [19659005] "Today there are people who swear we never went to the moon, that everything was Joel Banow did everything in the studio," Schoumacher said.

But the actual moon mission stole the show. Four days after launch, more than half a billion people on earth looked up to the sky. Waiting for landing.

"We held our breath," said Schoumacher. When the moment came, "there was a big cheer in the studio."

"I moved my hand to the left and when I look right at the monitors and so on I suddenly see Wally [Shirra] moving his hand and I cut him in. He had a tear in his eye and then I see Walter [Cronkite] Walter just rubs his hands in that way. "

" Wally says something, I'm speechless, "Cronkite said.

Walter Cronkite and Apollo's Landing 11

Cronkite's word loss spoke volumes. The world was in awe.

"People on every continent, for the first time in Teasel Muir-Harmony, curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, said," When you talk to people, their experience with Apollo 11 is largely based on this coverage. "[SchoumachercalledtheCBScoverageofApollo11the"mostbeautifulmoment"butthis"smallstepforman"wasnottheendofthestorynewheroesbegantoseeandunderstandeverythingtheyhadachieved[19659003] "Aldrin said to Armstrong after reading the newspaper coverage: & # 39; We missed the whole thing. & # 39; And that's because they missed the show, "said Muir-Harmony.

Schoumacher set the tone.

" Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins are the best of us, "Cronkite said. They have taken us further and higher than we ever imagined.


CBS News' one-hour special "Man on the Moon" hosted by Norah O'Donnell will air on Tuesday, July 16, at 10:00 pm ET / PT.

Sneak Peek: Man on the Moon

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