The World Watched Apollo 11 UnfoldTogether

This story is part of a series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. About 3.5 billion earthlings lived on this planet in 1969, and a full sixth of them—600 million souls—watched the Apollo moon landing on TV. The Apollo 11 crew had lifted off on July 16 from Kennedy Space Center, where people camped out for days to get a good spot to watch the launch. It took four days to travel to the moon, and then on July 20, 1969, the lunar module touched down. Shortly before 11 pm on the East Coast, the first clear TV picture was received back on Earth. When Neil Armstrong took the very first step onto the moon’s surface, it …

A WIRED Booklovers Guide to the Moon

This story is part of a series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Humanity had yet to set foot on the moon in 1968, but Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke were already envision­ing commercial space liners and a lunar research base on the big screen. Like many sci-fi films, 2001: A Space Odyssey undershot the timeline a bit. It’s been nearly 48 years since human beings last left low-Earth orbit to visit the moon’s surface, but if you’ve sensed a resurgence in spacebound hopefulness, you’re not a lunatic. At the annual meeting of the National Space Council in March, Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return to the moon within the next five years, and …