"Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.”
Issue Date: 4/29/2019
Item No.: FFJ000419
The Moon Landing 1969
Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.” This was the message received by
NASA's communication facilities at 20.17 UTC, on Sunday, July 20, 1969. After a
nerve-wracking approach, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the
Eagle, Apollo 11's tiny lunar module, on the surface of the Moon while tens of
millions of TV viewers and radio listeners down here on planet Earth heaved a
sigh of relief. For the first time in human history mankind had representatives
on another celestial body.
spaceflight to the moon has ended, they are standing on the Moon. Armstrong is
completely calm and confident - and the crew in the control room in Houston has
settled down. Now the spaceflight is over, the spacecraft has landed on the
Moon ....” In those days the Faroese had no access to television. There were no
local stations and no possibilities of viewing land-based antenna signals from
neighbouring countries. So here they were, tall and short, old and young,
sitting by the radio listening to Jógvan Arge, a young student journalist who
was broadcasting directly from one of Denmark Radio studios in Copenhagen to
Útvarp Føroya - the Faroese radio station. For about 18 hours Jógvan Arge
remained in the studio at Rosenørns Allé following the course of events, right
up until 2.56 UTC (the Faroes’ official time zone), when Neil Armstrong stepped
on the Moon's surface, left foot first, and pronounced the famous one-liner: “That's one small step for man, one giant leap
Back in the
studio in Tórshavn, Radio Director Niels Juel Arge and journalist Finnbogi
Ísakson sat and followed the development. Útvarp Føroya made much of the event.
Various programme inserts with the Moon as a theme had been prepared, including
a short presentation on the Moon's influence on ocean currents in Faroese
waters. The well-known Danish TV journalist Jacob Nielsen was in the Faroe
Islands at the time sending reports in Danish during the course of events to
Danish listeners who lived or were stationed in the islands.
from Houston and far below the Moon, in the town of Klaksvík in the Northern
Isles, it was bedtime for four-year-old Edward Fuglø. He had noticed the
growing excitement of the adults and heard the radio reports throughout the day
and evening. Although he did not fully understand what all the fuss
preoccupying the grown-ups was about, he knew something big was happening.
Suddenly it seemed that the excitement abated and his father, Jens, took the
little one in his arms, walked over to a window and pointed up to the sky
telling him about the men who at that very moment had landed on the Moon.
one of artist Edward Fugløs's first childhood memories - and 50 years after the
event took place, he has illustrated that magic moment on Posta's Anniversary
stamp featuring Apollo 11's historic journey to the Moon and Armstrong’s and
Aldrin's visit to this faithful companion of planet Earth.
and astronauts constitute one of the many themes present in Edward Fuglø’s art.
Some years ago, he created a nine-meter-long satirical painting entitled
"The Seagull Has Landed", showing an astronaut planting the Faroese
national flag on the Moon, while a group of other astronauts engage in the
traditional Faroese chain dance on the Moon’s surface. We are indeed somewhat
introverted and love our traditions, but there is also a bit of a space
traveller in most of us.
It is also
characteristic of most of our generation growing up during the Space Race,
especially the American efforts to send men to the Moon. I myself was ten years
old when the moon landing took place and remember clearly that evening at home
in the kitchen when Jógvan Arge announced that the astronauts had finally
landed. It was an adventure which truly captured children's imagination. We
knew all about space travels, the names of the astronauts and what they had
achieved - and the names of various rockets and crafts associated with them.
DANDY, the Danish chewing gum manufacturer, made Bubble Gum packages with collector
cards from the space programs in the 1960’s. The chewing gum itself was nothing
to cheer for, but each package contained four space travel pictures with
information on the backside. We swapped cards during school breaks and talked
with expert knowledge of rocket history, from ancient Chinese fireworks to the
huge Saturn rockets used in the final Apollo program.
Gemini and Apollo - amazing names that encompassed a part of our childhood
universe. Spacewalks, docking and berthing spacecrafts, wild accidents and a
few tragedies. We grew up in the shadow of heroes like Yuri Gagarin, Alan
Shepard, John Glenn, Valentina Tereshkova, Alexey Leonov, Edward White and, not
least, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Today, the names and achievements of
these astronauts still occupy a special place in memory’s image gallery - and
for many of us the rousing words: "Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The
Eagle has landed," is synonymous with the greatest achievements of