The Eagle is on the Moon

The assembly hall is packed with kids. And there’s a few classes not even in there yet, so the spillover goes to the school foyer where we park our (barely adequate for Canberra winters) grey-serge-clad bottoms on grey linoleum. In the corner is a television roughly the size and shape of a 1998 iMac (though we did not know that then). Excitement crackles between the teachers and their collective synapses, but it feels like a long time sitting on the cold lino until there’s some action. When the much-anticipated astronauts appear on the fuzzy grey screen and do their thing […]


The moon is the oldest uncle in our house.Older than “maa”, scouring the smallest cooker, curry simmering low on the kitchen counter, her hands in the sink, some clanking silverware- these perfect pieces of the sun. Older than “baba”, his saccharine dipped stache living one lifetime within the pages of the yellowed newspaper creased as a crescent, with some unhindered prophecy, he does not ask for salvation in glittering, glimmering things. Older than the nightingale, wailing on brown fences, sometimes, the balcony, leaned on tall, green grasses- a burial for the cricket chirps, now she sings in exasperation, for quiet, […]

Reflections on the moon landing – artworks

This work explores the finding that the entire length of human DNA when laid out was estimated to equal 70,000 return trips to the moon. The work also references the notion of multiplicity This is a digital print from a series of texts on silence and the senses, with various interpretations. In reference to the moon landing, the astronauts, when exploring this new world experienced a totally new way of discovery without the use of the senses of taste, touch, hearing or smell. Marea Atkinson

A Great Afternoon

We were moved in to the larger classroom with the Year Two students. I was in Year One and it was exciting to be in such a large group of squirming children chattering and laughing; not our usual settling for storytime after lunch. Our teachers struggled to quieten the room. The door then opened and a large television was wheeled in on a trolley, the screen was mounted high above our heads. The curtains were closed and and lights were turned off. Our room became like outer space and I breathed deeply as I lacked oxygen in the middle of […]

An Unsurpassed Thrill (in Porirua East, July 1969)

WHAT AN UNSURPASSED THRILL TO BE IN A KITCHEN OR WASHING OR WRITING A GROCERY LIST AND TO BE SPARED TO HEAR THE THRILL OF THE CENTURY TO KNOW THAT MAGNIFICENT MAN HAS LANDED ON THE MOON ITS CERTAINLY SOMETHING TO BE A 1969 HOUSEWIFE = DORIS HUSSEY BEDFORD ST PORIRUA EAST + July 21 1969 50 years ago ‘magnificent man’ landed on the moon. This wondrous event spared Doris Hussey, a housewife from Porirua East, New Zealand from the tedium of her everyday domestic chores. The thrill she experienced was so great that she decided to share her experience […]

ABC Coverage of the Moon Landing

The late Mike Daley and I spent upwards of 18 hours in one of the old studios of the ABC in Forbes Street Sydney covering the moon landing using feed from Australia and the USA. We also used quite a bit of “support substances” as it was a very long day/night. Broadcasting non-stop we were utterly exhausted at the end. But I later found out the wonderful person who had just become my mother-in-law a few months earlier had been in Goroke in the highlands of PNG and found it even more surreal to hear me on Radio Australia! I […]

One of my earliest memories

I have a very early childhood memory of sitting inside a large cardboard box looking at my father’s arm as he pointed at the television. This memory has always seemed significant but I had never connected it to anything particularly important. In conversation with my parents many years later, we worked out that I actually remember the televised landing on the moon. I was only thirteen months old at the time. Why I have such an early memory is that my mother was screaming hysterically from the front door to a group of workmen on the street, inviting them to […]

Honeysuckle Video Online…

After another camp at Honeysuckle Creek I just knew it was time to commemorate the famous landing on the Moon fifty years ago. Honeysuckle Video on Line… these were the words spoken when Honeysuckle Creek technician Ed von Renouard converted scan transmission of Eagle on the Moon on 21 July 1969. This painting is a creative depiction of Honeysuckle Creek station as it may have been on the evening of the event in it’s unique and remote location… first to receive transmission of the famous step onto the lunar surface. The station relayed the transmission onwards to Houston via Jamesburg […]

Working hard

How lucky can you be? I worked on the main control console at Honeysuckle Creek tracking station for all the Apollo missions and beyond. The job was to coordinate the people working there and at Tidbinbilla and Parkes. It would have been nice to sit back and just watch the TV – but we were mostly concerned with Astronaut health data and backpack temperatures and many other items. We didn’t know at the time that it was our TV that went out to the world. We were just happy that we didn’t have any real problems. Going home was normally […]

Moon Walk in the Classroom

As a six year old I recall watching Neil Armstrong take that first step for mankind……. Living in country Victoria we were all herded into a class room to watch events unfold. The TV, having prime position, provided nothing more than a grainy image. Through varying shades of black and white, similar to a snow storm, we watched history in the making. Thankfully what we did and didn’t see was reported in the next day’s press clippings I still hold. The next day at assembly approximately 200 students waved eagerly at the Moon. The response is pending. Country Kid

When I was almost twelve

I’ve been a resident of Canberra since 1983, having grown up in Sydney. The day of the moon landing I was a student at Regents Park School, in the western suburbs of Sydney. When the school opened in 1899 it was known as Potts Hill School, but became Sefton Park School in 1907 when this area became known as Sefton Park. In 1929 it was changed to Regents Park School. Class 6A held the privilege of being housed in the only classroom in the original school house. The building also housed the administrative rooms, including the dreaded Headmaster’s Office (as […]

Moon Landing? What Moon Landing?

1969 was a big year for many reasons and no less for the incredible achievement that was the moon landing. But the sixteenth year of a boy’s life is very big no matter what else is going on in the world and my sixteenth year was no different. I have a vague memory of trooping down to the school library with a thousand other uniforms and straining to see the TV set through the crowd. Certain details stand out; the strange emotional behaviour of the usually restrained and serious teachers as they watched the moon images, the overwhelming odour generated […]

Under Buzz

This sonnet retraces my memory of the first moon landing in 1969 together with a trip to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in 2016. I wondered how Aldrin felt as Armstrong landed. We all have great moments that seem incomplete. Is that how it was for Aldrin? On July 20 1969, the day of the first moon landing, I was teaching in a small primary school. The television had been wheeled from its store room into our convertible classroom. Some eighty excited students were packed in the small space, where winter sunlight was beating through the glass.

Moon Phases – artist book

Sadly I was not born when they first landed on the moon but I have always loved the stories and history behind it. I have found plenty of inspiration from the moon and other aspects of space, so for my independent project in my book class I am constructing an artist book of 50 drawings of the moon. The drawings are presented as journal entries, with both written and visual ideas from each day of looking at the moon. Here are some of the drawings so far, I have about 2 more days to go, and then I just have […]

Astronaut Snoopy outshines moon landing

I stayed home from school on the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon and listened to Neil Armstrong on the telephone. Approximately eighteen months earlier, my mother, brother, sister and I arrived in Australia on an ocean liner. We were greeted in Sydney by my father, Martin Geasley, (photo 1) who had just spent three months at the NASA Goddard Space Agency in Maryland USA. He had completed this training to allow him to take up a position as Ground Communications Coordinator at the soon to be opened Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, just outside Canberra. He was one of […]

The Common Room

I was in Fourth Form (Year 10) at a boarding school in Bathurst and, I’m a bit vague on the time of day but, we were certainly in class at the time. One of the teachers decided it was time to go and see the Moon Landing on TV so we were told to go to our respective boarding houses to view the event on the common room television.My memories of the event were largely about trying to decipher the grainy black and white images coming through but it soon became clear that we could see the moon surface, the […]

Just a primary school kid

I remember clearly the day humans first landed on the moon. I was 9 years old, in year 4, at a school in the city of Bathurst located in Central Western NSW. The whole school of about 200 students were gathered in the school hall in front of a small television screen (that’s all there was in those days). I don’t think any of us realised the enormity of what we were seeing, when the images first appeared on the screen. There had been no lead-up to the event, no lessons on space or space travel. Yet I think we […]

The school children and the moon

I was a very new teacher at the Infants’ Dep’t, Bass Hill Primary School, in South-West Sydney. School class numbers at that time were large, and classrooms didn’t each have a television. We squashed the whole school into two classrooms with one television, black-and-white of course. We waited, and waited, while the children became increasingly restive. We let them out at one point to have something to eat and run off some of their energy. At last, the moment arrived: Neil Armstrong stepped down onto the surface of the moon, with those immortal words. I recall that we’d been told […]

An Apollo Space Boy

I was a space boy. In the late 1960s while dad was posted to SEATO, we lived in Bangkok. For the first time in my life I became aware of events in the larger world. The assassination of Bobby Kennedy, the Vietnam war and the moon landing. I’m not sure what it was about the Apollo missions that caught my attention. Perhaps it was the media, though at that age I don’t think I took much notice. More likely it was the cut-outs on the back of cereal boxes. You could paste these together your make own moon lander, and […]

Too difficult to comprehend

In July 1969 I was teaching in a mission school in a remote part of the highlands of Papua New Guinea. This mission station at Lapalama had no road contact with the outside world and was serviced by a Mission Aviation Fellowship Cessna plane once or twice a week. I had a prep class of about 40 children, some of whom had come into Lapalama from even more remote areas so they could have an education. The children had limited English so I was needing to explain to them as simply as possible what was happening as we huddled around […]

Moon-Landing Baby

I was born on July 20 1969, a moon-landing baby. That’s the whole story – very short as obviously I don’t remember it. Though I do always say to people older than me “I bet you remember the day I was born”, and they always do. Carol W.

Moon Map

My parents bought me a large map of the moon about five feet square which I hung on my wall from a strip of dowel at the top. My father brought me a box of blue flag pins. Every time there was a moon landing I stuck a new pin in the correct spot — Sea of Tranquility first. My bedroom wall was Masonite so it was hard to get the pins to stay in. I wrote away to NASA and got back cutaway diagrams of Saturn V rockets and portraits of the astronauts with their crew cuts and their […]