Reporting from the moon

One of our cows spent a couple of days in Iceland with photographer Tim E. White to report on an initiative started by Örlygur Hnefill Örlygsson, founder of the Exploration Museum in Husavik situated in the northeast of this picturesque island.

They were researching new Apollo Astronaut Tours which will be based on the original geological training areas where Neil Armstrong and other Apollo crews were trained by NASA 50 years ago for their first steps on the moon. The Lunar landscapes and diversity of geology in the areas southeast of Husavik made it a perfect training ground. The remarkable story - yes, we had a sneak preview - will run in the October edition of the new Air Berlin inflight magazine (airberlin magazin) recently taken over by the UK’s inflight publishing giant Ink Global.

We’re not going to tell the story here - you will have to fly Air Berlin for that - but our content cow Piet van Niekerk reports that he realised just how much harder journalists had to work in the ‘old days’ to get good content published.

Piet, a former newspaper and inflight magazine editor, says he tracked down the photojournalist who interviewed Armstrong and his men in 1965 - the now retired legendary Icelandic newspaper editor Kari Jonasson.

Jonasson shared with him several fascinating stories, but what struck our cow the most was the lengths Jonasson had to go to to get his content and photographs published. Not only did he have to use two way radios to base stations along the way relaying his text literally sentence by sentence via second and third party radio operators from the isolated crater where the astronauts were camping, he also had to clear a landing strip by hand for a Cessna to land and take off with his film reels ready for development. To drive out to the isolated spot would have taken a full day - even with a 4X4. 

Despite all these obstacles Jonasson was instrumental in sharing with the world the story of the Apollo training in Iceland, which is now a proud part of Iceland’s history and well documented at the Exploration Museum, which celebrates the history of exploration from the Vikings sailing to new lands to humans taking to space.

Thanks to mobile phones, email, Facebook and Twitter, we could see our cows at work within seconds while they were visiting the same places Armstrong and Jonasson had their interviews and photo shoots 50 year ago.

Good content remains a constant, even though the means of delivery has got much easier.