Audio of Apollo 11 – as recorded in Melbourne


In 2019, Youtube user ‘langleycello’, apparently in Melbourne, uploaded some fascinating audio of Apollo 11 coverage recorded off-air in Melbourne.

He writes,

“In a junk shop, I recently discovered this compilation of ‘off air’ grabs associated with the Moon landing in 1969.

Whilst capturing the fervor and spirit of the event, it is also an interesting document of the presentation styles of Australian Radio at that time.

Originally, there were extensive live recordings of the event from USA sources but in order to maintain continuity with the local commentaries, I edited out some of the NASA component which is available elsewhere.

I should mention that there are a few great moments with the inimitable Peter Evans (3LO Breakfast Show) towards the end.”

The recordings on this 7 inch open reel tape are from after the EVA and come from commercial radio in Melbourne (including 3KZ) and the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s 3LO.


Here’s a rough index of what’s on the recording –

00:00 6:00 am Monday 21 July 1969 – Herald-Sun Radio News bulletin – as the descent is underway.

01:44 Preview of coming events – commercial radio bulletin.

02:05 Australian journalist Bill Tipping sums up today’s moon walk.

02:52 Vox Pops.

04:15 This clip begins at 3:26am AEST, 22 July 1969 – just two minutes after Lunar Liftoff – ABC coverage led by head of the ABC Science Unit, Dr Peter Pockley.

With him is the ABC Science Unit’s Michael Daley.

Expert guests in the studio –

Bob Leslie – formerly Tidbinbilla Station Director, and then Assistant Secretary of the Department of Supply’s American Projects Branch.
Dr Brian J O’Brien – space scientist at Sydney University, who had two experiments carried to the lunar surface onboard Apollo 11. (He was interviewed by Richard Fidler on ABC Radio in 2013. Brian also briefly spoke of the Apollo 11 astronauts in Sydney here.)
Dr John Lane – father of Australian aviation medicine, Department of Civil Aviation.
Dr Earle Hackett – haematologist and occasional broadcaster, University of Adelaide.

The programme originates from the ABC’s “Apollo Studio” in William Street, Sydney.

21:51 ABC Radio, Peter Pockley and guests – clip starts at 7:32am AEST 22 July, waiting for AOS on Lunar Orbit 27.

43:09 Macquarie Network News.

44:07 3KZ News.

45:16 BBC World Service on Moscow congratulations.

45:57 BBC World Service on Luna 15.

47:04 7:45am ABC National News (read by Rod McNeil?) – clip begins with part of a report from Terry Brown in Houston, and includes other news from the day –

56:06 and then the Victorian News (read by Len Grice).

60:57 Peter Evans 3LO Breakfast Show.

Note: The photo is not of the tape in question.