Nottingham

How a Nottingham engineer got a union jack on the Moon

Buzz Aldrin near the scientific equipment Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Buzz Aldrin near the scientific equipment that has the union flag doodle

A British engineer has revealed for the first time how he got a union jack on the Moon.

Keith Wright, from Nottingham, worked for Nasa during Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's historic Apollo 11 landing on 16 July 1969.

Mr Wright said he worked with scientific equipment, which he knew would be left on the Moon.

He told The One Show that along with his signature, he sketched the UK's flag on part of a solar panel.

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Media captionKeith Wright said he wanted the British to get some credit for their role

Mr Wright told presenter Carol Vorderman he left the penned tribute on the bracket of a solar-panelled piece of equipment.

He was employed by the de Havilland engine company to work on the Blue Streak rocket, ahead of moving to the US in 1967.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Keith Wright worked on the Blue Streak Rocket in 1964

At the Kennedy Space Centre Mr Wright worked as an engineer on equipment the crew would be leaving on the Moon.

"We had Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin come to our facility and we ran through the experiments employment that they would do on the Moon," he said.

"Neil was very relaxed and quite jokey, we were concentrating so hard that it almost seemed normal, but thinking about it afterwards I did get their signatures."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Stars and Stripes flag was planted on the Moon

Armstrong was watched by about 500 million people when he stepped onto the Moon's surface, in the Sea of Tranquility, after leaving the Eagle landing craft.

The astronaut famously said: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

He was later joined on the surface by Buzz Aldrin and the pair planted the Stars and Stripes flag - before deploying the equipment with the small doodled union jack.

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