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The story of NASA’s Welsh hero who helped put man on the moon

When Neil Armstrong made his giant step, the billions watching it on TV had a Welshman to thank for seeing him do it – a Welshman who had been a major part of the space mission story.

Tecwyn (sitting) alongside colleague Glynn Lunney
Credit: NASA

Tecwyn Roberts’ story is told for the first time in a new documentary presented by comedian and BBC Radio Cymru presenter Tudur Owen.

The film Rocket Man: NASA’s Welsh Hero is part of the BBC’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landings and sees Tudur reveal all about the shy boy from Anglesey who helped men walk on the moon.

Tudur said, “Tec Roberts’ story is incredible and I feel so privileged to be finally able to tell it to the people of Wales.”

Becoming NASA’s first Flight Dynamics Officer (FIDO), Tecwyn was instrumental in the Apollo missions and Tudur travels to America to find out more about him. He talks exclusively to three of his former colleagues and fellow engineering legends – including former Director of the Johnson Space Center, Christopher Colombus Kraft Jr – who emphasise the integral role Roberts played in putting man on the moon.

The documentary features remastered NASA archive footage from the time to showcase mankind’s finest achievement and celebrate the little known engineer from Llanddaniel Fab and his part in making history.

Tudur continued, “This humble and gifted man from Anglesey is regarded by NASA as one of the pioneers of manned space flight. My mission is to make sure that his work and legacy is recognised here in Wales. I am so excited to be able to tell Tec Roberts’ story. The whole world knows about the moon landing but only a select few know about the crucial role this unassuming and gifted Welshman played in mankind’s greatest achievement.”

Rocket Man: NASA’s Welsh Hero airs on Thursday, 18 July, BBC One Wales, 10.35pm.