Moon Landing: T Plus 1 Day – First Footsteps

Americans would have us believe that Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon on 20 July 1969 because they saw it happen in their late evening. However British audiences saw it happen in the early hours of 21st July 1969. Since NASA operates on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which to all intensive purposes is Greenwich Mean Time, they also consider that the first footsteps on the Moon took place on 21st July.

Airfix Lunar Module Kit 393 (1970) - art by Roy Cross
Airfix Lunar Module Kit 393 (1970)

After the early design illustration of the Lunar Module shown yesterday, today we are showing the rather more accurate Airfix illustration. As with all the best Airfix box covers, this was painted by Roy Cross and shows both astronauts on the Moon’s surface in this 1/72nd scale kit. The kit was first issued in 1969 and has been re-released many times.

Airfix Lunar Module Kit 03013 (2000)
Airfix Lunar Module Kit 03013 (2000)

However, it was painted prior to any of the landings taking place and the most obvious inaccuracy in it is the lack of gold foil surrounding the Lunar Module’s descent stage.

Lego's Space Module toy ad

Rather less accurate, but considerably larger and probably more fun to build, was Lego’s Space Module toy which was based on the Lunar Module. This was released in early 1975 and so includes a Lego version of the Lunar Rover vehicle, which was carried to the Moon on the final three Apollo lunar missions.

The astronauts are based on the large early 1970s Lego figures since this toy predates the style of Lego “mini-fig” people that are so prevalent now and which were used in the science fiction Lego Space sets produced in the late 1970s.

The kit may not look as accurate as the company would produce today but that is because they used then existing Lego bricks to design it rather that the more modern concept of producing specialist bricks for specific kits. Indeed, Lego did release a smaller but much more accurate version of the Lunar Module in 2004 complete with mini-fig astronauts.

Yesterday – The Eagle Has Landed
Tomorrow – The Return Trip Begins

• Modeller Jan Werner has posted pictures of his completed Lunar Module he made back in 1970, and blueprints here on

Scalemates has a chronology of Airfix Lunar Module kits here

• Coinciding with Jeremy’s countdown to the 40th Anniversary of the first Moon Landing, downthetubes published “Moon Landing 40th Anniversary: A Comics Celebration” – a gallery of illustrations and comic art inspired by space exploration


Apollo (Graphic Novel)
By Matt Fitch, Chris Baker & Mike Collins
Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Apollo GN - Cover

In 1969, humankind set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin ”Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins carried the fire for all the world. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, the three boarded a rocket and flew through the void―just to know that we could. In Apollo, Matt Fitch, Chris Baker, and Mike Collins unpack the urban legends, the gossip, and the speculation to reveal a remarkable true story about life, death, dreams, and the reality of humanity’s greatest exploratory achievement.

Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys
by Michael Collins
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The years that have passed since Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins piloted the Apollo 11 spacecraft to the moon in July 1969 have done nothing to alter the fundamental wonder of the event: man reaching the moon remains one of the great events – technical and spiritual – of our lifetime. In this remarkable book, Michael Collins conveys, a very personal way, the drama, beauty, and humour of that adventure

Apollo 11: The Inside Story
by David Whitehouse
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David Whitehouse reveals the true drama behind the Apollo 11 mission, putting it in the context of the wider space race and telling the story in the words of those who took part – based around exclusive interviews with the key players.

Picturing Apollo 11: Rare Views and Undiscovered Moments
by J.L. Pickering & John Bisney
Hardcover – Illustrated
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Picturing Apollo 11 is an unprecedented photographic history of the space mission that defined an era. Through a wealth of unpublicized and recently discovered images, this book presents new and rarely-seen views of the people, places, and events involved in the pioneering first moon landing of 20th July, 1969

Apollo 11 (DVD)
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From director Todd Douglas Miller (Dinosaur 13) comes a cinematic event 50 years in the making. Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission – the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names.

Apollo 11 Moon Landing: 50th Anniversary Collection (DVD)
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Over eight hours of content including the Apollo 11 moon walk, an interview with Neil Armstrong and the brand new documentary, 8 Days: To The Moon and Back. This 50th anniversary collection contains the most important examples of the BBC’s comprehensive coverage of the Apollo missions to the Moon.

News, reviews, interviews and features for print and on-line: Spaceship Away (since October 2005), Bear Alley (since February 2007), downthetubes (since June 2007), and Eagle Times (since October 2008). Plus DC Thomson's The Art Of Ian Kennedy, Titan’s Dan Dare and Johnny Red reprints, Ilex’s War Comics: A Graphic History and 500 Essential Graphic Novels, and Print Media’s The Iron Moon and Strip magazine.

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