Reporting the century: The first moon landings

The USA was the world's first TV society, with 90% of American homes owning a TV by 1960. In 1969, when 600 million people watched the first moon landings on TV, over a third of the audience was American. It was the biggest TV audience in the medium's history, even though the pictures, received by a satellite station in Australia, were black and white and indistinct. The American networks showed continuous coverage of Apollo 11's three-day journey from Florida to the moon. When Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins entered the moon's orbit it was the middle of the night. There were no video recorders in those days, so the networks told viewers to go to sleep with the TV sound turned down low, and promised to wake them with a loud alarm just before the spacecraft landed.

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