Moon landings

On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon.

These programmes and clips tell the story of the Apollo Moon missions, how they got off the ground and why the missions came to an abrupt end.

Through decades of radio and TV broadcasts, meet some of the men who made that incredible journey and the reporters who brought their stories into people's homes.

Explore the legacy of the space race and take a look ahead to the future, when mankind might make that giant leap once again.

Sir Patrick Moore looks back at the moments when Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon, in an excerpt from 1969: Year of Space

 

Moon dreaming, early 1960s

For many years, the US and the then Soviet Union were in a race to conquer space, and walking on the Moon was the ultimate dream.

The US was determined to get a manned mission there first and in 1962 President John F Kennedy made a now-famous speech announcing: "We choose to go to the Moon."

The Sky at Night - The Moon, 1960
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Interview - Dr James Ring, 1961
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The Sky at Night - Life on the Moon, 1961
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1969

On 20 July - nearly 110 hours after leaving Earth, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on to the surface of the Moon. He was followed 20 minutes later by Buzz Aldrin.

Armstrong's words, beamed to the world by TV, entered history: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Apollo 10: The BBC space studio, 1969
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News - Apollo 11 Landing: Precautions v Moon Bugs, 1969
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News - On the Eve of Apollo 11 Launch, 1969
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Panorama - The Impact on Earth, 1969
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News - Apollo 11's Lunar Samples, 1969
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The Sky at Night Special - 1969, Year of Space
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Looking back

The Apollo 11 mission was a huge moment in US and world history, which continues to capture the imaginations of new generations.

The Man Who Shot at the Moon, 1970
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Apollo 13: Studio Reaction to Safe Return
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Moon landings 10 years on, 1979
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Right Stuff, Wrong Sex - Female Astronauts, 1997
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The Things We Forgot to Remember - Apollo 8, 2005
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The Sky at Night - A Night to Remember, 2006
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Fly Me to the Moon - Part One, 2007
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Fly Me to the Moon - Part Two, 2007
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The Sky at Night - Last Man on the Moon, 2007
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James May on the Moon

In 2009, James May commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Moon landings by meeting three of the 12 men who have walked on the lunar surface.

James May meets Harrison Schmitt, 2009
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James May meets Charles Duke, 2009
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James May meets Alan Bean, 2009
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