Special Program: 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing

With the 50th Anniversary of the first lunar landing taking place on July 21, WBAA will be airing a series of programs about the Apollo program and the Space Race. The programs will air Fridays at 7pm on WBAA News on 105.9 FM and AM 920.


June 28 – Rocketing Ahead: 

How the Democrats rode Sputnik to the White House in a campaign that forever changed science, technology and academia in America.

In 1969, humans landed on the Moon. But why? Why did we go? Look at anything with the perspective of decades and it can seem inevitable. How often do we ever stop, look the things around us and ask: How did it get that way? When it comes to the question: Why did we go to the Moon, the answer has a little bit to do with science and a lot to do with politics. In this program we learn how the Democrats rode Sputnik to the White House in a campaign that forever changed science, technology and academia in America. 


July 5 – Rocket Girls and Astro-nettes: 

Women in the ultimate Man’s World – the labs and Shuttle crew cabins of NASA in the 60s and 70s.

This program is the story of women in the ultimate Man’s World – the labs and Shuttle crew cabins of NASA.  Told in the first person, these stories explore the experiences of NASA’s first woman engineers and scientists and its first astronauts.  It also tells the fascinating story of a group of women pilots who – in the early 1960s – were led to believe that they would be America’s first women astronauts and were given the exact same physical tests are the Mercury astronauts.  The program is narrated by Eileen Collins, the first woman commander of a Space Shuttle.   

July 12 – Race and the Space Race:

The unlikely story of Civil Rights and the Space Program.

The Space Age began when America was going through a wrenching battle over Civil Rights.  And because the heart of the old Confederacy was chosen as its base, NASA  played an unintended role in Civil Rights history.  In this program, we hear how this happened and we hear the stories of the people who broke the color line at NASA.  Their stories of frustration and their stories of perseverance.  Produced by Richard Paul with Soundprint and narrated by Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in Space, “Race and the Space Race” tells the unlikely story of Civil Rights and the Space Program. 


July 19 – Washington Goes to the Moon:

The politics behind the Apollo Program.

This is Part 1 of two hour-long documentaries called "Washington Goes To The Moon" which examine the behind the scenes, public policy stories leading up to Apollo 11's flight to the moon. Each hour is self-contained and newscast compatible. The stories told in these programs (about NASA management, White House budget politics and Congressional oversight) had as much to do with Apollo 11 reaching the moon as the Saturn 5 rocket, but they have never been told. This program, Part 1: "Washington We Have A Problem" looks at the battle to keep the Apollo space program funded and on deadline. It tells, among other stories: -Within weeks after pledging to send a man to the moon, President Kennedy got cold feet and tried to get out the commitment by bringing the Soviets on-board. -Lyndon Johnson's budget director tried to scrap the goal of getting to the moon by 1969 in order to help Pres. Johnson pay for  the Vietnam War.

July 26 – Washington Goes to the Moon, Part II: 

The fire on Apollo 1 killed three astronauts and nearly destroyed the space program.

This is part 2 of the documentary series "Washington Goes To The Moon." It is called "Trials and Fire" and it looks at the fire on board Apollo 1 that killed three astronauts and nearly derailed the space program. Today we understand better than ever that the exploration of space is a risky business. The explosions of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003 made that clear. But in 1967, most Americans saw space as nothing more than a big adventure. The danger seem beyond imagining. In this program we go back to the disaster that almost derailed the Apollo Program and America?s drive to put a man on the moon; the tragedy of Apollo One. We look at how the fire revealed deep flaws in a NASA management structure that businesses and governments around the world viewed with envy and how NASA's attempts to cover-over those flaws fed into Congressional distrust that almost crushed the Space Program.