Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, and astronauts landed on the moon on July 20th. KSPB is airing a series of specials for this 50th anniversary:

American Icons: 2001: A Space Odyssey

From Studio 360

A half century later, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is still shaping our future. With no help from CGI, the movie predicted private space travel, artificial intelligence and half of Apple’s product line. It showed the promise and perils of technology and explored life’s biggest mystery: Are we alone in the universe?

Part 1: It’s HAL’s world—we just live in it.  In Part One, we look at the movie’s origins in 1960s New York and how it went from opening night bomb to counterculture icon. We’ll hear from effects wizard Doug Trumbull, actor Keir Dullea and superfan Tom Hanks, who has seen the movie more than 200 times. Air dates: July 7 at 12:00 noon and July 15 at 9:00 am.

Part 2: “My distrust of technology comes entirely from that movie.” In Part Two of our look at the movie in our American Icons series, we visit the same IBM research lab that helped inspire HAL. We meet CIMON, a real-life AI robot on the International Space Station and Garrett Reisman, a former NASA astronaut who blasted the “Blue Danube” in the space shuttle. Plus we speak to New York Times critic Wesley Morris, filmmakers Christopher Nolan and Tom Hanks, artist James Turrell and U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. Air dates: July 14 at 12:00 noon and July 16 at 7:00 pm.

Destination Moon

From The Pulse at WHYY

On July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon. They had reached the distant light that humans had admired and looked up to for thousands of years. It was a mission with hundreds of dedicated minds behind it. A dangerous and ambitious mission, that could have failed at many moments. On this special episode of The Pulse, we will explore the science that got us to the moon, the politics that push space exploration, and our relationship with the moon. Also – how people around the country remember and celebrated the moon landing.  Air dates: July 16 at 9:00 am and July 18 at 7:00 pm.

Picturing Apollo 11 —John Bisney & JL Pickering Create A Photographers Dream Book

From North State Public Radio’s Blue Dot series

Host Dave Schlom talks to John Bisney and JL Pickering as we ramp up our coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing this summer. Bisney and Pickering have produced a beautiful coffee table type photography book called Picturing Apollo 11. The volume features many never before published photographs that chronicle the historic mission from the training of the astronauts and assembly of the rocket and spacecraft in the mighty Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center to liftoff, the Moon, splashdown and the aftermath of the mission. Both Bisney and Pickering are space history buffs and they have a lively conversation sharing their passion for the golden age of space exploration with our host. Air dates: July 15 at 7:00 pm and July 17 at 9:00 am.

Witness History: Race to the Moon

From The BBC World Service

In The Race to the Moon, audiences will hear recollections and storytelling from people close to the key moments in humanity’s mission to the moon. We hear from diverse voices: a man who, as a boy, played with the first dog to go into space; the man who pulled the first monkeys to go into space out of their capsule; we’ll talk to the captain of the Apollo 8 mission around the moon; a man from mission control about the lunar landing; and hear from one of the last men to walk on the lunar surface. Air dates: July 18 at 9:00 am and July 19 at 7:00 pm.

Apollo 11 and the Woman Who Helped Get It Home

From Planetary Radio

Poppy Northcutt was a pioneer—the first woman to work as an engineer in Apollo Mission Control. The program she helped to create got the astronauts back to Earth. Fifty years later, she sits down with Mat Kaplan for a look back. You’ll also hear Apollo moonwalker Buzz Aldrin at a 50th anniversary celebration. And we’ll get a LightSail 2 update from Bruce Betts. Airs date: July 18 at 4:00 pm.

13 Minutes to the Moon: Live from Houston

From The BBC World Service

On July 20, 1969, billions of people watched or listened as Mission Control in Houston approved the final phase of America’s first Moon landing. In the 13 minutes before touchdown, two astronauts aboard a spacecraft named the Eagle descended 50,000 feet to the lunar surface – the culmination of eight turbulent years of breakneck scientific and technological development, historic firsts in spaceflight and a devastating accident. Fifty years to the day, we mark that historic event with a panel discussion recorded in front of an audience at Rice University in Houston. Air date: July 20 at 8:00 am.

Apollo 11 at 50: a conversation with Apollo 11 backup astronaut Fred Haise and space historian John Logsdon

From North State Public Radio’s Blue Dot series

Fred Haise was made famous by the movie Apollo 13, in which he was portrayed by Bill Paxton in the story of the most famous Apollo mission other than Apollo 11. But he was also a member of the Apollo 11 team, serving as backup lunar module pilot in case something happened to Buzz Aldrin prior to the flight. Host Dave Schlom talks to Fred about what it was like to go through all the training for the first moon landing as well as being the last person in the command module Columbia when he was responsible for setting all the lighting and switches before Neil Armstrong, Aldrin and Mike Collins climbed aboard to set off for their historic voyage on July 16, 1969. Air date: July 20 at 9:00 am.

Apollo 11: FM Odyssey Relives The Drama & Excitement With The Voices Of Mission Control And Apollo 11 Astronauts As It Happened

From FM Odyssey

Perhaps you were too young or weren’t even born! This two hour journey brings you back to July 16th – 24th of 1969. From blast off to splash down. With the voices of Mission Control and Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr, and Mike Collins. Carefully placed songs about the moon connect the dots making this riveting and musically entertaining.