Apollo 11 Teen Journalist-turned Doctor Delights Young Space Fans at Vernon Hills

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Kids definitely love science! David Chudwin, M.D., one of only a handful of teens allowed to cover the 1969 space launch of Apollo 11, is surrounded by young fans. [Photo courtesy of Jessica Carrasco.]

VERNON HILLS, IL—In July 1969, David Chudwin was 19 years old. He was one of only a handful of teenagers with official press passes at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the only college journalist accredited by NASA to cover the 1969 Apollo 11 launch and first landing on the Moon.

Fifty years later, Chudwin, now a medical doctor, spent the day speaking with youngsters about that exciting day, and his once-in-a-lifetime experience, during our Seeing Stars event at Barbara’s in Hawthorn Mall. He was swarmed by young scientists!

His book, I Was a Teenage Space Reporter, gives his 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.

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.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,”

-Neil Alden Armstrong. He was an American astronaut and aeronautical engineer who was the first person to walk on the Moon.

“That’s one small step for 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.

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.

Barbara's Bookstores have been Chicago's independent booksellers since 1963.