To celebrate Memphis’ bicenntennial and the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, the Pink Palace Museum opened a new exhibit featuring the movie Apollo 11: First Steps, as well as a planetarium show called Back to the Moon for Good.  Bill Weppner, the flight controller for Apollo 11 lectured on the history of the space program and signed autographs.

Apollo 11: First Steps Edition is designed for museums.  If you are within an hour’s drive of the Pink Palace or any other science museum playing the film, go see it.  It will probably go to the Reuben Fleet Science Center in San Diego, CA, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL.  Contact your local museum and politely request  them to play this movie.

Forbes praises the film:

“This extraordinary film, directed and edited by Todd Douglas Miller, isn’t so much about the moon landing in 1969 as it is a film of that historic event. There is no voiceover narration, there are no present-day reflections from those who were there, and any facts about the mission itself are limited to what was broadcast or reported at the time. The effect is nothing short of thrilling.[emphasis added] Assembled from newly discovered, meticulously restored, never-before-seen archival footage, so vivid as to feel brand new, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 offers an unprecedented, cinéma vérité account of the sheer and utter excitement that permeated the United States, especially, but also the world half a century ago when Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to set foot on the lunar surface.” 

The movie is directed and edited by Todd Douglas Miller, and Neil Armstrong was one of the primary cameramen, as well as the star.

When the Eagle landed, Armstrong’s heartbeat was 156 beats per minute.

{image via NASA}

Not surprisingly, Apollo 11 has already won the Best Documentary Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It will probably win the Oscar for Best Documentary. See it as soon as your budget and schedule permit, if it plays at a museum or theater near you.

Remember when we chose to go to the Moon. Remember when we dared and risked and succeeded. It’s past time we did it again. Watching this movie will make you feel proud to be an American.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.