Today we look back at Apollo 11 and forward to our future in space with David Chudwin, author of I Was A Teenage Space Reporter.
I am a very lucky individual. As a 10-year-old college journalist, I covered the launch of the first Moon landing mission, Apollo 11, from Florida. I was one of the only teenagers to have official NASA press credentials for that historic event in July 1969, and the only journalist representing college newspapers. As a result, I had extraordinary access to the astronauts, rocket scientists, launch pads, rockets and control centres there.
This experience changed my life. I became obsessed with space exploration, voraciously reading about it in newspaper articles, magazines and later websites and social media. I began to realize that space exploration is part of human progress – the expansion of human habitation from the prehistoric plains of Africa to all the continents, then navigation of the oceans, and more recently flying to the edge of space with aeroplanes. The further expansion of the human species to the solar system and beyond, starting with the Moon and Mars, is the next step forward.
While it is important to recount the past, it is perhaps even more vital to understand that our future is going to be in space. The final section of the book looks forward to the rockets, spacecraft, and orbiting space stations that will take you and other young people further into the solar system.
The Saturn V rockets and Apollo spacecraft are monuments to the past. However, the development of the Space stations such as the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is paving the way for trips back to the Moon and to Mars. The children and young adults of today will crew these missions, so there are great opportunities for you to participate in these exciting voyages in the decades ahead.
While the excitement of the first landing on the Moon was unique, there are many firsts in space to come. Come along and enjoy the ride!
About the author
David Chudwin MD was the only college journalist accredited by NASA to cover the 1969 Apollo 11 launch and the first landing on the Moon. At age 19, he was one of only a handful of teenagers with official press passes at the Kennedy Space Centre for the launch.
Chudwin has been a writer since high school when he was a reporter and an editor of his high school newspaper, The Torch. He then attended the University of Michigan where he was a reporter and an editor of The Michigan Daily, becoming the Managing Editor for the Class of 1972. During this time, he covered the Apollo 11 launch for the College Press Service Wire Network and The Daily. He was also selected to attend a summer journalism program at Ohio State University that involved an internship on the copy desk of The Cleveland Press.
He decided to go into medicine instead of journalism, but as a result of his Apollo 11 experiences, he developed a life-long interest in space exploration. Chudwin has written about Apollo 11 in a variety of different media, including magazines (Spaceflight), hobby publications (Astrophile) and online (collectSPACE and a Facebook series of 70 daily posts in 2014). He has spoken about Apollo 11 at schools and at space meetings, including Spacefest in 2016. Chudwin is well known in the space community, and Apollo astronauts such as Charlie Duke, Fred Haise, Jack Lousma and Al Worden wrote endorsements for this book.
He has been an active blogger online, participating in blogs about space history, space memorabilia, unmanned planetary exploration and the Apollo program. Chudwin is one of the original members of the Space Hipsters group on Facebook, comprising over 16,000 of the most dedicated and influential space enthusiasts around the world.
Chudwin received his medical, degree from the University of Michigan and had further medical training at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of California, San Francisco. He is a practising allergist /immunologist in the Chicago suburbs. He is the author of over 30 medical research publications and has been a peer reviewer for research articles about space medicine.
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