Radio Description of the Apollo 11 launch

Wednesday 16 July 1969

Derryn Hinch describes the launch of Apollo 11

Derryn Hinch

Australian Journalist Derryn Hinch at Cape Kennedy gave a live description of the Apollo 11 launch – on Sydney’s Radio 2GB and its Macquarie Broadcasting Service affiliated stations across Australia.

This recording really captures the intense excitement of the launch. (A writer to the Sydney Morning Herald explained, “I listened to the radio description and felt I was there.” See the letter here.)

Letter to SMH

Edited version – audio The launch of Apollo 11
4 min 15 sec / 1.6 MB mp3

This 4 minute 15 second edited recording was included on the Macquarie News Long Play vinyl record entitled “The Loneliest Journey”. Cover image.

Full version – Audio The launch of Apollo 11
13 min 52 sec / 9.5 MB mp3

This recording covers the full six minutes of Derryn’s live report, starting 4 minutes 17 seconds before launch.

It was recorded off-air by Steve Howard in Sydney using an open reel tape recorder.

At the start of the segment, 2GB newsreader Terry Dear hands over to Brian White, head of news programmes, as he speaks by telephone with Derryn Hinch, who is in the Launch Complex 39A Press Stand at Cape Kennedy.

After Derryn’s description, coverage switches to that provided by Rhett Turner on the Voice of America.

(We sent this recording to Derryn and he played it on his 3AW drive-time show on Wednesday 16th July 2008.)

Audio Brian White comments
1 min 52 sec / 880kb mp3

A few minutes after the launch, 2GB’s Brian White replays the launch commentary.

With thanks to Derryn Hinch for his kind permission to share these recordings – and for the photo. And thanks – of course – to Steve Howard for his recording.

Audio digitised and enhanced by Colin Mackellar.

The Launch as seen from the Press Stand

The Launch of Apollo 11 – as it looked from the Launch Complex 39A Press Stand.

Courtesy Kipp Teague’s Apollo Image Gallery.


Update: In July 2009, Derryn sent this video greeting to
the Apollo 11 40th anniversary celebrations in Canberra.


All rights gladly acknowledged.

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