Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 14:06 UK

Moon landing: Your memories

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
Buzz Aldrin was the second man to step on the Moon's surface

It is 40 years since man first set foot on the Moon.

On 20 July 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step on to the lunar surface, in front of an estimated television audience of 500 million people, the largest for a live broadcast at the time.

Here, readers from around the world recall how they watched the historic event.

KERYN PAUL, 50, OMAHA, NEBRASKA, USA

Keryn Paul, in 1969 and 2009
Keryn Paul, in 1969 (L) and in 2009

I remember this moment in history vividly. I was 10 years old.

My family and I had gathered around our lone black and white television set to watch the historic moment.

A few minutes before the actual landing our TV stopped working!

My father briefly attempted to revive it with no success so we galloped to our neighbour's house and explained our dilemma.

We ended up watching the moment with them in their home.

Had they not been at home, my entire family and I would have most likely been left out of this historic event.

I will never forget it and have relayed the story to my children many times.

The Moon landing is not just part of American - and world - history, it's also very much a part of our family history.

JACK KIRK, 51, DONCASTER, UK

Jack Kirk

We watched the Moon landing on a 1968 Bush TV, which was fairly newly bought so we could receive BBC2.

At age 11, I had no real appreciation of just how risky and political the Moon landing really was.

My mum went to bed, but dad shouted up "500 feet to go" and she came down to see the final landing.

There was a debate about whether the astronauts would do the walk right away or sleep first.

So we went to bed at about 0100 or 0200.

In the morning, we discovered they had just got on with it.

My grandmother lived with us and I remember thinking how much change she had seen since her birth in the 1890s.

A few days later our class teacher ran a session on the landing.

It was the final week of my final year at primary school and so this was just about the last topic we covered.

A few months later a pop record came out, Space Oddity by an unknown singer - David Bowie.

ANIL MATTHEW, 45, DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Anil Matthew

I clearly remember watching the Moon landings when I was five years old in Kuwait.

We could not afford a television at the time so we squeezed into a neighbour's apartment with about six other families to watch it. It was the first time I can remember watching TV and the broadcast quality was grainy black and white.

I didn't really understand it at the time watching these people bouncing around like balloons on the TV.

However, I did sense that it was a moment of great importance.

Everybody, including my parents and all our neighbours, were all watching it in a deep concentrated silence.

I had never seen them all remain so quiet for so long - a record five minutes or so!

It sparked a real spirit of innovation in us, because afterwards my parents said to me that if I study hard I can land on the Moon or achieve anything I want.

You could say it had a lasting impact, as I went on to become a fully qualified mechanical engineer.

KEVIN SOLAN, 49, RENNES, FRANCE

Kevin Solan, as a boy (L) and in 2009
Kevin Solan, as a boy (L) and in 2009

I was nine years old and I watched the landings with my dad in Ireland.

We were living in Dublin at the time.

For me as a nine-year-old and my dad, who was 30 years older than me, it was an equally important event.

Right throughout the landing, I could not ignore this sense of being alive at this moment in time to be able to witness the single biggest achievement in the history of the human race.

It was even more miraculous, considering the level of technology they had at their disposal at the time.

Years later I even wrote songs about it, and I still enjoy recounting the feeling to people who weren't around or old enough at the time.

The only thing that could beat that would be witnessing the first Mars walk.

I will consider myself very lucky if my life spans those two landmark events.

JAMIE MASON, 47, ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

Jamie Mason

I was seven years old at the time of the landing and was in my second year of school.

I went into school that day thinking I would watch it there, as the landing was to occur at around 1400 Australian time.

But our teacher told us we could go home to watch the telecast.

My parents were working, so I ended up spending that afternoon at my friend's house watching it with two of my friends and my friend's mother and sister.

We were mesmerised by the sight of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin making history.

It was an amazing sight and even at seven you realised how big this really was.

You understood what it must have been like for people who went before us discovering new countries.

Australia felt part of the mission, as we had a connection with America, with the Vietnam war also happening at the time.

JUDI MURFITT, 49, HULL, UK

I was nine years old at the time.

My family and I sat glued to our black and white set watching every movement of the spaceship and lunar module.

Russians watch the Moon landings in 1969
For many, it was the first time watching any event on television

The pictures to us were amazing and everything that happened was just so exciting.

We couldn't believe what was happening.

So as not to miss a single second my mum, instead of cooking meals, made what seemed to be millions of sandwiches and we lived on them for the duration of the event.

I watched a moon landing programme with my 14-year-old daughter recently and she was just as mesmerised as I was all those years ago.

When we watched the landings in 1969 I vowed then that I would one day go to Kennedy Space Centre and watch a rocket lift off.

Thirty seven years later, we watched a space shuttle launch. Still just as exciting, still just as amazing.



Print Sponsor



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific