Niamh on RTE’s ‘To The Moon & Back’ July 2019
“We choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy but because it is hard” – JFK
On July 20th 2019, RTÉ presented a special live event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing, broadcasting from Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. It brought audiences on a journey to relive the moment that changed our world forever as Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon.
Presented by Aine Lawlor in front of a live studio audience, that that epic journey with enhanced ‘real-time’ archive footage was re-lived with a panel of experts including astronaut Cady Coleman who detailed the multiple unforeseen dangers encountered by Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on their eight day voyage. Special guests Anne Doyle, Eilish O’Carroll and Fr Brian D’Arcy took us back to 20 July 1969 with their memories of the moon landing.
The programme also highlighted the unique Irish contribution to space exploration from the Earl of Ross’s Leviathan telescope to the calculations provided by mathematician Pat Norris – that not only changed Apollo’s lunar trajectory – but the entire course of history.
Culturally, alongside space inspired artworks presented by Dr. Niamh Shaw Artist in residence at Blackrock Castle Observatory, there were musical performances from Gavin James, Eleanor McEvoy & the Chieftains.
50 Years: To The Moon and Back was funded in partnership with RTÉ, The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.