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Former NASA astronaut speaks about moon landing anniversary

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Forty years ago Monday, the Apollo 11 astronauts became the first to set foot on the moon.

From master control, Charlie Duke communicated with astronauts Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they landed on the lunar surface. Duke spoke with KPCC’s Larry Mantle about the experience.

Charlie Duke: "We made sure they landed safely; talked them down through a lot of problems, a lot of anxious problems that had arisen during the descent and then after the landing. We were there for an hour or so to make sure that the spacecraft was safe and then we want off-shift, and another team came on for the actual moonwalk. And I was home with my family watching on TV like a billion other guys."

A couple of years later, Duke was able to walk on the moon. He was on the Apollo 16 moon mission crew in 1972.