NASA would like you to record memories of the first Moon landing

If you remember where you were when astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon’s surface for the first time — or you know someone whose memory stretches back to the summer of ‘69 — NASA needs your help.

The space agency is getting ready for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 on July 20th, and as part of its preparations, it’s asking the public to record their memories of that historical moment. NASA plans to use some of the recordings on its social media accounts and as part of a planned “audio series” relating to Moon exploration and the Apollo missions.

Oral histories of the event from people who were directly involved in the mission already exist. And NASA has a huge archive of interviews with people who participated in its missions and programs over the years. (The transcript of an interview with Neil Armstrong clocks in at 106 pages long!) But this particular project is focused on those who witnessed the event, instead of experiencing it firsthand.

According to NASA, about 530 million people watched the live broadcast of that first Moon landing. Some of them may have been too young to remember it, or they may have died during the five intervening decades, but that still leaves a pretty sizable population of people who might remember the event.

Making a recording for this project is fairly simple. NASA’s instructions suggest that people use a smartphone to record their memories, keeping answers to each question under two minutes. Then, just email the recording to apollostories@mail.nasa.gov along with the name and hometown of whoever is involved in the recording.

If you’re interested in taking a moonlit walk down memory lane, but you don’t quite know where to begin, never fear. Along with the recording instructions, NASA has a short list of suggested questions, including, “What do you think it would be like to see humans walk on the Moon again?” and “Where were you when humans walked on the Moon for the first time? Describe who you were with, what you were thinking, the atmosphere and how you were feeling.”

We should finally get to hear those stories sometime this summer when NASA’s project, called NASA Explorers: Apollo, makes its big debut.

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