Watch a live stream of the original 1969 CBS coverage of Apollo 11's moon landing in the video player above at 3:30 pm.
At 16:17. EDT On July 20, 1969, NASA's lunar eagle "Eagle" landed on the lunar surface. Six hours and 39 minutes later, Apollo 11 Commander wrote Neil Armstrong story when he stepped on lunar soil and uttered his now famous sentence: "This is a small step for man, a giant leap for humanity . "
Over the next two hours and 31 minutes, Armstrong and his colleague, the Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, collected nearly 50 pounds of lunar rock and soil, called then-President Richard Nixon and set the American flag on the Moon. An estimated 650 million people watched from Earth ̵
1; many of them watched the special report from CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite, which contains a commentary by one of NASA's original Mercury Seven astronauts, Walter "Wally" Schirra.
Here are five of the most famous moments from CBS News coverage of Apollo 11's moon landing:
Moon Landing Module lands on the Moon; Cronkite says, "I'm speechless."
After a series of resounding moments that led to the landing, the Lunar Module landed on the Sea of Tranquility. "Man in the Moon!" Exclaimed Cronkite. A moment later, Armstrong reported, "Houston, rest base here, the Eagle has landed." "They have a few people on the verge of turning blue," said Mission Control astronaut Charlie Duke. "We breathe again, thank you." Unfortunately, because there were no video cameras on the moon, the viewers on Earth could not see the landing. Instead, they watched a simulation while listening to NASA's real-time audio feed.
Cronkite, a longtime space enthusiast, was visibly shaken by this historic moment. "Wally, say something, I'm speechless," he said to Schirra. "I'm just trying to hold my breath," Schirra replied. "That's really something."
Front Page Headlines Reminiscent of the Moon Landing
Shortly after setting up the module, Cronkite showed the covers of two of New York's most important morning papers. The first was the New York Times, which featured the heading "Men Land on the Moon: 2 Astronauts Shun Crater, Set Craft on a Rocky Plane" and featured an article by John Noble Wilford and a poem by Archibald MacLeish. The New York Daily News chose a simpler layout: a full-page image of the moon and the headline "Man Lands on the Moon."
Neil Armstrong makes man's first step on the moon
At 10:56 pm. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong dismounted from the Mondex Curve module, cautiously descended a ladder and became the first man to enter the moon. "Armstrong is on the moon," Cronkite announced, "Neil Armstrong, a 38-year-old American, is standing on the surface of the moon." Moments later, Armstrong said to his famous line, "This is a small step for man, a giant leap for humanity." But in the excitement of the moment there was a bit of confusion – CBS News presenter Walter Cronkite did not quite understand the sentence at the first time.
Armstrong, Aldrin Plants American Flag on the Moon
About 45 minutes after Armstrong entered the moon, the two astronauts set up an American flag lunar soil. With no wind blowing to keep the Stars and Stripes running, the flag was mounted on a frame. "Nothing is needed here, but it seems there should be music," Cronkite said with a laugh. Once the flag was stable, the astronauts took pictures of each other, causing Cronkite to call them "the first tourists on the moon."
President Richard Nixon speaks to the astronauts on the moon and congratulates them on their "immense performance".