Post Reports

The origin story of the lunar landing

Lillian Cunningham on the United States’ path to being the first to have astronauts walk on the moon. Plus, Sebastian Smee on an iconic photo of Mother Earth.
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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

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The story behind putting the first man on the moon
Fifty years ago this week, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon.
We all know the story: A charismatic young president responded to the threat from America’s nemesis, the Soviet Union, by throwing down a challenge to the nation.

“We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard,” President John F. Kennedy said. And then, in less than a decade, it happened.

But what if that’s not the whole story? What if the path to that spectacular achievement wasn’t as straight as we thought? What would we find if we rewound the story we think we know?

“Moonrise” is a new podcast from The Washington Post that takes a deep dive into the history of the moon landing. Reporter Lillian Cunningham talks about what President John F. Kennedy thought of the project and why it almost didn’t happen.

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‘We’d spent all this time studying the moon. ... what we were doing was discovering the Earth.’
The image of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon is probably the most famous photo from the Apollo 11 mission. 

But Post art critic Sebastian Smee says the most powerful image was one shot a year earlier, on the Apollo 8 mission: not a photo of the moon, but a photo of Earth from far away. 

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.