When American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon on July 21, 1969, New Zealanders listened transfixed to the radio as a series of crackly words signified a gargantuan achievement. They would not see grainy TV images until hours later and only then thanks to a massive trans-Tasman effort and Kiwi ingenuity. Jane Phare reports.

It was nearly home time on a winter Monday afternoon when school children all over New Zealand were told to shush and listen. At 2.56pm the Man in the Moon was about to become a man on the Moon.

For anyone under

One giant leap for mankind

Fly the Moon to me

"They just blitzed us"

Nixon had a secret Moon-disaster speech

Alarms shrieked and Armstrong's pulse soared