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The Soviets’ Lunar Program in 1969

29 Jan 2019, 19:11 UTC
The Soviets’ Lunar Program in 1969
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Earthrise from Apollo 11 with the Lunar Module in the foreground. NASA.
Last week, I did the first in a series of interviews about Apollo 11 with CBC’s Quirks & Quarks. As a Canadian, this was a big deal for me! I grew up listening to this show every Saturday at 12:06pm with my Dad, usually in the car on the way home from gymnastics. Not only that, it’s an award-winning nationally syndicated show. So to be on the show as an expert was absolutely incredible! You can listen to the whole episode here; I come in at about the 26-minute mark.
Of course, the segment was cut down for length. Bob McDonald and I talked for about 25 minutes about the state of the Apollo program in January of 1969, and among the pieces that didn’t make it into the final podcast was a really interesting chat about where the Soviets. What were the Soviets up to when the Apollo 11 crew was selected? We always talk about the race to the Moon being a race with the Soviets, so where were they? It’s a really interesting point that I thought was well worth diving into as a supplementary ...

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