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Apollo 11: Buzz Aldrin and the US flag on the Moon

Apollo 11: Buzz Aldrin and the US flag on the Moon
Source: NASA

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Snapshots from the Moon

"The Eagle has landed" - on 21 July 1969 the first man steps onto the Moon. World-wide, more than 33 million people watch the event live on television.

With cameras rolling, the American astronaut Neil Armstrong took that famous first step onto the surface of the moon - for America - and for mankind. The Moon has arrived in our living rooms.

"Some viewers believe the whole thing has been staged, filmed somewhere in the Nevada desert," recalls the head of the Apollo Mission coverage on Germany's public service television, Günter Siefarth. "This event seemed to blur the boundaries between fiction and reality. But television was ultimately the proof that the event did take place ... Man had left the Earth and walked on another planet ... that was the most momentous event in human history ... and the live TV broadcast demonstrated the superiority of the United States' technology and its political system."

"Fly me to the moon." Going beyond the Earth's final frontier as a live TV spectacle! The present becomes fiction. Time stops, space vanishes.

"Snapshots from the Moon. Live on TV." The Moon landing triggers a sharp rise in profits in the beverage and electronics industries. After the lunar conquest the number of television sets in West Germany increases to 15 million.

"The event stands for a bulletparadigm shift in our techno-culture and in our general perception of media," says media theoretician Siegfried Zielinski. Moon and media belong together. The Moon, a canvass on which we project our longings and desires, was used by Kennedy and Khrushchev for political ends - that was when the bulletthe space race began.

Ulrike Filgers

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