Chris Lee, Chief Scientist and Head of Science Programmes at the UK Space Agency
Being born in September 1957 and just before the launch of Sputnik, I suppose I was always destined to be a “space cadet”. I already had my first (tiny) telescope and had started an Apollo scrapbook from Apollo 8 onwards. I wish I still had this! My recollections of Apollo 11 spark three main memories. Firstly, I could stay up late as school holidays had started – this was a treat. Mum, Dad, my younger brother and I were gathered around a tiny black and white TV but I don’t recall too much about the late-night landing apart from the descent “countdown” and I certainly had no sense of how risky the landing had been. Dad says I never cheered and took it all very calmly. I do recall the long, long wait for the moonwalk to then actually happen! My Mum and brother fell asleep but I kept watching and Dad stayed with me for company. The second strong recollection is of BBC TV’s James Burke. I thought he was fantastic at the time and I still do – a true science communicator. The third was the Saturn V/Lunar models shown on the TV – I eventually got the Airfix kit for Christmas.