I was a Teenage Space Reporter

“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” were the words spoken by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong as he stepped off the footpad of the Lunar Module Eagle. This was the first and most famous manned mission to land on the Moon. As a 19-year-old college journalist, author David Chudwin covered the launch from Florida in July 1969.

Chudwin was the only journalist with official NASA press credentials representing the college press and had extraordinary access to the astronauts, rocket scientists, launch pads, rockets, and control centers. 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 — a time to look back to celebrate that mission, and forward to our future in space. Divided into three parts, this book provides: the author’s account of covering the first landing on the Moon in 1969; lessons learned from the Apollo program and their relevance to future space activities; and our future in space including new rockets, space stations, and trips back to the Moon and to Mars.

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David Chudwin

David Chudwin MD was the only college journalist accredited by NASA to cover the 1969 Apollo 11 launch and first landing on the Moon. At age 19, he was one of only a handful of teenagers with official press passes at the Kennedy Space Center for the launch.

Chudwin has been a writer since high school, when he was a reporter and an editor of his high school newspaper, The Torch. He then attended the University of Michigan where he was a reporter and an editor of The Michigan Daily, becoming the Managing Editor for the Class of 1972. During this time, he covered the Apollo 11 launch for the College Press Service Wire Network and The Daily. He was also selected to attend a summer journalism program at Ohio State University that involved an internship on the copy desk of The Cleveland Press.

He decided to go into medicine instead of journalism, but as a result of his Apollo 11 experiences he developed a life-long interest in space exploration. Chudwin has written about Apollo 11 in a variety of media, including magazines (Spaceflight), hobby publications (Astrophile) and online (collectSPACE and a Facebook series of 70 daily posts in 2014). He has spoken about Apollo 11 at schools and at space meetings, including Spacefest in 2016. Chudwin is well known in the space community, and Apollo astronauts such as Charlie Duke, Fred Haise, Jack Lousma and Al Worden wrote endorsements for this book.

He has been an active blogger online, participating in blogs about space history, space memorabilia, unmanned planetary exploration and the Apollo program. Chudwin is one of the original members of the Space Hipsters group on Facebook, comprising over 16,000 of the most dedicated and influential space enthusiasts around the world.

Chudwin received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and had further medical training at The University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of California, San Francisco. He is a practicing allergist/immunologist in the Chicago suburbs. He is the author of over 30 medical research publications and has been a peer reviewer for research articles about space medicine. He was married and has two grown children, Adam and Stacy, both of whom are interested in the space program but not to the same extent as their dad. He lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago.

Reach David @ [email protected]

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Astronaut Fred Haise, Apollo 11 Backup and Apollo 13 Lunar Module Pilot “At the start of July 16, 1969, just after midnight, I boarded the Apollo 11 Capsule to go through a several-hundred-item ‘switch list’ to assure the ship was ready for crew ingress. I was very excited to be a part of this historic mission leading to our first landing on the Moon. David’s book gives one a great perspective of the excitement and experience of someone outside the Apollo Program!”


Astronaut Charles Duke, Apollo 11 Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) and Apollo 16 Moonwalker:

“I was very honored to be the Apollo 11 CAPCOM during the first landing on the Moon. This was a very tense time especially the last minute before the landing. I Was a Teenage Space Reporter takes the reader into every part of the Apollo Program, just as if you are there! It is a must read.”


Astronaut Al Worden, Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot

“The launch of a Saturn V is the most amazing thing you would ever see. It was the largest and most powerful rocket ever conceived by man. What a thrill to be part of that great program and fly to the Moon! David has captured much of the excitement and emotional highs those launches included. You will like this book and the photos taken by a very dedicated and proficient photographer.”


Astronaut Jack Lousma, Apollo 13 CAPCOM, Skylab 2 pilot and STS-3 commander:

“While in the astronaut training ‘pipeline’ for an Apollo mission, I served as CAPCOM and Lunar Module Checkout astronaut on Support Crews for Apollos 9, 10, and 13. In fact, I was the CAPCOM who answered that fateful call from Apollo 13, ‘Houston, we have a problem!’  Follow the riveting stories from those exciting and historic days of the Apollo program in this book by Dr. David Chudwin, my fellow graduate from the University of Michigan.”


James R. Hansen, Neil Armstrong biographer, author of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong and co-producer of the movie

 “During the 50th anniversary celebration in 2019 of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, millions of people all around the world will remember where they were and what they were doing when the Eagle landed on the Sea of Tranquility with astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on board. But this book’s author, David Chudwin, was actually there, as a teenager, with his camera and a notepad, as a bonafide member of the press when the mission blasted off from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969. The photos Chudwin took as a Teenage Space Reporter are compelling, but it is the story of how his experience with Apollo 11 changed his life that is so profound and marvelous.”


Francis French, space historian and former Director of Education, San Diego Air & Space Museum:

“Seeing Apollo 11’s launch through the memories of a wide-eyed teenage outsider is remarkable: a homegrown reminiscence from someone fortunate to be a witness to humankind’s greatest engineering triumph.”


Jay Gallentine, award-winning space historian and author

“History is a subject best understood after viewing it through multiple lenses. How wonderful to have this new perspective from David Chudwin, who has crafted a vivid memoir about covering the Apollo 11 moon flight as a young journalist. His sharp recall of details frames the events in a rich tapestry of historical context. David’s ambition and “don’t give up” work ethic are an inspiring call to action for all types of young explorers to pursue their interests and follow their dreams.”


Additional Resources and Information

ISBN: 978-0-9991871-2-8

Publication date: May (UK) 2019, April (US) 2019

Net price: £9.99 Format: 198x 129mm • Paperback• 288pp

Category BIC Classification: Popular Science, Autobiography: business & industry


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I was a Teenage Space Reporter: Extra Images



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