Apollo 11 at 50: The Eagle Has Landed

Ladybird Books - Exploring Space50 years ago today, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin boarded the Lunar Module, Eagle, and undocked from the Command Service Module, Columbia. Leaving Mike Collins alone in the CSM in lunar orbit, they descended towards the Moon’s surface where Eagle safely touched down in the Sea of Tranquility at 8:17pm GMT.

The Observer: "How to Follow the Men on the Moon" graphic, 20th July 1969. Artist unknown

The Observer: “How to Follow the Men on the Moon” graphic, 20th July 1969. Artist unknown

10 years ago on downthetubes, Jeremy Briggs wrote a 40th anniversary day-by-day celebration series of articles marking the Apollo 11 mission, featuring contemporary British comics and illustrations – and you can read his 20th July 1969 entry here, noting a special telling of the mission by the crew of Gerry Anderson’s Fireball XL5.

Ladybird Books - Exploring Space (1964)Today’s 50th anniversary post comes illustrated by the cover of the revised edition of Ladybird Books’ Exploring Space, first published in 1964. It was written by Roy Worvill, who also wrote an astronomy feature to Eagle entitled “Look Aloft”.

The illustrations in this Revised Edition are credited to B. Knight, who illustrated the first edition, and prolific illustrator Bernard Herbert Robinson.

As well as being a talented artist, who worked for Ladybird for 15 years, between  1965-1980, Robinson was also a talented jazz musician

Both editions are available at a reasonable price on Amazon and from eBay. As we recently reported, The Wonderful World of Ladybird Books exhibition is currently at the New Walk Museum in Leicester – more details here.


NASA: Apollo 11 in Real Time, 50 Years Later

The Space Race from Audible on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

• “Moon Landing 40th Anniversary: A Comics Celebration” Gallery on Flickr

The Race into Space Tea Cards – available from the London Cigarette Card Company

NASA: Frequently Asked Questions about Apollo

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The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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