A shortwave audio archive tribute to Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins

Today we learned that Michael Collins, the American astronaut who flew the Apollo 11 command module Columbia around the moon, has passed away at the age of 90. For those of us who’ve always looked to the sky and dreamed of exploring our amazing universe, Michael Collins was a hero.

As a little shortwave radio tribute, I thought I’d share a few recordings from the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive:


Voice of America (Studio Recording): July 20, 1969

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Gavaras, for sharing the following recording and notes:

Voice of America studio quality recording of shortwave coverage of Apollo 11. Starts with newscast on the status of Soviet Luna 2 orbiter that was also sent to the moon, Egyptian-Israel conflict at the Suez Canal, Organization of American States call for a cease fire between El Salvador and Honduras, entire cabinet in South Vietnam resigns, American air attacks against the Viet Cong, etc. Followed by latest updates on Apollo 11 (lunar module is on the moon), international reaction to landing on the moon, etc.

Date of recording: 7/20/1969

Starting time: 1730 UTC


BBC World Service (20th Anniversary of Apollo 11): July 20, 1989

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskoski, who shares the following recording and notes:

I thought this might be an appropriate file to upload considering we are about to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. I recorded this program thirty years ago on July 20, 1989, the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Omnibus takes a look back at the historic Apollo mission and how and why it happened. Another SWRAA program on Apollo 11 from VOA can be found at https://shortwavearchive.com/archive/voice-of-america-july-20-1979?rq=apollo

Starting time: about 0400 UTC

Frequency: 5.975 MHz

Location: South Bend, IN

Receiver: Sony ICF-2001


Voice of America: July 20, 1979

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskowski, who shares this recording of the Voice of America from July 20, 1979 at 0500 UTC on the 31 meter band. Tom notes:

The first 4:30 is from a VOA newscast that aired before the main part of the program. The main recording was presented on the 10th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I enjoy listening to this every year on the landing anniversary.


“About the flight itself, the thing I remember most is the view of planet Earth … bright, beautiful, serene, and fragile.”

—Michael Collins

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