It was the first time that a character generator was used as a television tool and it enabled Miles to tell the story of the descent and landing on the moon, as it happens, in real time.
The whole operation was shrouded in secrecy. Only six people within ITN were allowed to know of the machine’s existence until the night. A production assistant) and Miles were literally locked in a room for several hours each day to learn and practice on the machine.
“My first caption was transmitted on the night of July 20, 1969 as the astronauts went behind the moon for the last time before the final descent..and when they reappeared I flashed captions on the screen as a running commentary every fifteen seconds throughout the ‘eleven minute drop.’
“We flashed ‘Touchdown’ the exact instant I heard Buzz Aldrin say ‘Contact Light’, knowing this meant a five foot long probe beneath the craft had touched the surface and the engine would cut. After flashing the caption for several seconds I changed it to ‘The Eagle has landed’ and, fortuitously, a moment later Armstrong said “Houston this is Tranquility Base. The Eagle has landed.”
“We won the race to be first with the news.BBC had to wait for Armstrong to say he had landed, a minute or so later. We also beat the Americans and were praised by the media on both sides of the Atlantic.
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