People across the UK are being urged to share their memories and photographs of the Apollo 11 Moon landing ahead of the historic event’s 50th anniversary in July.
The public are being asked to submit their personal accounts of the occasion, which saw Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first astronauts to walk on the Moon on 21 July, 1969.
Memories are being collected by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the UK Space Agency, which will curate and share a selection on 20 July, the day Mr Armstrong and Mr Aldrin landed on the Moon.
“The 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing was not just a pivotal moment in space exploration, but a defining moment for humanity,” British astronaut Tim Peake said yesterday.
“Whether you were too young to witness the first footsteps on the Moon, or old enough to see it for yourself, the Moon landing has inspired so many people over the past 50 years.”
People are welcome to upload anything from written accounts of how the moment inspired them, to photographs of families gathered around the TV, and news cuttings.
UK science minister Chris Skidmore said: “Landing on the Moon was unthinkable at the beginning of the 20th century, so when Neil Armstrong heralded the moment as ‘one giant leap for mankind’, those words rightly have echoed through the ages.
“Through our modern industrial strategy, we are backing the UK’s thriving space sector so that the young people inspired by this great event of the past will have opportunities to work in the industry’s highly skilled, well-paid jobs of the future.”
American space agency Nasa recently launched a similar initiative, asking people to send voice recordings of their memories for an audio series about Apollo 11.
Sue Horne, head of space exploration at the UK Space Agency, said: “As a young child I was, like millions of people around the world, fascinated watching the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
“I remember our headmistress, who disapproved of television, insisted that the school television was on at lunchtime so we could watch the latest news on this historic event.
“The Moon landing was an inspiration to me and it’s exciting to think that young people today will be part of the next chapter of lunar exploration, with the UK playing an important role.
“I am looking forward to sharing in people’s memories of this iconic moment in space exploration and hearing how those small steps are still having a huge impact 50 years on.”
People have until 18 June to submit their memories at moonlandingmemories.com.