Live from the Moon - The Collins Story


Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, citizens of Earth gathered around televisions to witness the first man to step onto the Moon’s surface and hear him say, “That’s one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.” The people of Collins Radio Co., based in Cedar Rapids, IA, and Richardson, TX, played key roles in leading the design and development of equipment and a pioneering communication system (the Unified S-Band System) that was critical for communication and navigation for all the Apollo missions. The technology performed flawlessly during each mission. It proved essential in getting the Apollo 13 crew home safely to Earth in their crippled spacecraft and the Apollo 14 astronauts to safely land on the Moon.

A one-hour documentary film “Live from the Moon,” produced by the Arthur A. Collins Legacy Association*, will be shown which describes the use of the Collins Radio system especially on Apollo Missions 11-17. The documentary features rare 16-millimeter film footage and photos, and interviews with Collins employees who recall working on the Apollo program.

One of the aspects covered was how Collins Radio people were able to help convince NASA that a live television signal could even be sent from the surface of the Moon to Earth. Archival film footage shows a painted moonscape and a replica of the Apollo capsule in a Cedar Rapids laboratory that provided the backdrop for engineers to conduct television research, as Dr. Roger Pierce (Collins Apollo Technical Dir.) explains in the documentary. Another aspect was how a Collins Richardson engineering team designed and fielded an essential Earth-based communication link that enabled getting live television signals of the astronauts from the Moon's surface so they could be seen by everyone back on Earth.

Date: Saturday, July 20, 10:30 AM; Place: Collins Road Theaters, 1462 Twixt Town Rd. Marion, IA (doors open at 9:30 AM); Cost: Free. See <> for other show times and places.

* This documentary is one of a three-part series produced by the Arthur A. Collins Legacy Association in collaboration with Busbee Communications and Wired Production Group in Cedar Rapids. The Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the legacy of Arthur Collins and the Collins Radio Company he founded. More information can be found at

  Date and Time




  • 1462 Twixt Town Road
  • Marion, Iowa
  • United States 52302
  • Building: Collins Road Theaters

Staticmap?size=250x200&sensor=false&zoom=14&markers=42.027815033557%2c 91
  • Starts 09 July 2019 06:34 PM
  • Ends 20 July 2019 09:45 AM
  • All times are America/Chicago
  • No Admission Charge


Date: Saturday, July 20, Movie starts at 10:30 AM; Doors open at 9:30 AM

Place: Collins Road Theaters, 1462 Twixt Town Rd. Marion, IA;

Cost: Free.

See <> for other show times and places.