Mackay man celebrates 50 years since moon landing
FIFTY years ago today, one small team of Americans took off on the biggest journey of a generation.
Thousands turned their black and white television sets and wireless radios, the live broadcast from the NASA headquarters as Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins left the atmosphere in Apollo 11 towards the moon.
While Australia was a long way from the action, one Mackay man still remembers the impact it had on him as a 19 year old.
Russell Manley was working as cadet environmental health officer with Queensland government.
"I watched the moon landing on the ground floor of the health and welfare building at the Health Department in Brisbane,” he said.
"It was a big thing at the time because they set off from Cape Canaveral and travelled through space and landed on the moon just after lunch on that day. The foyer of the building was filled with people watching little black and white TV sets, looking at the grainy image we see from time to time,” he said.
For 50 years Russell has kept copies of Brisbane biggest newspapers on the day of the moon landing.
"My mother kept the pages from the day they landed, and the day they took off from the moon back to Earth.”
Russell still thinks of the colossal effort it took to get a small bunch of people to the moon in the late 60s.
"When you look up at the moon you think 'how did they get people up there 50 years ago?' It was a big achievement.
"It was a really unknown land, the last frontier people hadn't been to, over the years there have been plenty of movies about the moon landing, but none of them is like watching them bounce across the moon as they did,” he said.
Did Russell ever doubt that they made it to the moon?
"No, I think that has been discounted many times over the years. We would know by now if it wasn't real. They wouldn't have been able to keep it a secret for this long,” he said.