Veteran journalist Walter Cronkite is honored at a ceremony, below, in Austin, Texas in 2006.
This story was updated at 10:55 p.m. EDT.
Veteran television news anchorman Walter Cronkite, who chronicled the rise of American spaceflight and NASA?s historic Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, died on Friday at age 92, according to wire reports.
Cronkite, a former CBS anchor once named ?the most trusted man in America,? died at his home in New York while surrounded by family after a long illness, according to the Associated Press.
Cronkite was already a veteran journalist before anchoring the ?CBS Evening News? from NASA?s initial Mercury launches in the early 1960s through the space shuttle era.
"It is with great sadness that the NASA family learned of Walter Cronkite's passing,? said newly confirmed NASA chief Charles Bolden, a former astronaut and shuttle commander, in a statement. ?He led the transition from print and radio reporting to the juggernaut that became television journalism. His insight and integrity were unparalleled, and his compassion helped America make it through some of the most tragic and trying times of the 20th century.?
Forty years ago, during NASA?s Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon on July 20, 1969, Cronkite provided marathon live coverage of the moon shot. He shouted ?Go, baby Go!? as the Saturn V rocket launched the Apollo 11 astronauts toward the moon, and spent 27 of 30 hours at the time of landing chronicling the flight for CBS, NASA has said.
"From the earliest days of the space program, Walter brought the excitement, the drama and the achievements of space flight directly into our homes,? Bolden said. ?But it was the conquest of the moon in the late 1960s that energized Walter most about exploration.?
Bolden said that it was Cronkite?s coverage of the Apollo 11 mission that helped inspire him to pursue a career in spaceflight. Bolden flew in space four times aboard NASA shuttles and commanded two missions.
Cronkite anchored the "CBS Evening News" from 1962 to 1981, according to the Associated Press. During that time, he chronicled the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Space Race between the United States and Soviet Union, and later the Vietnam War.
In a 1996 interview with writer Kira Albin, Cronkite said "the whole period of the '60s changed a lot of us; there was never a decade like that in American history ... to have the decade capture one of the great accomplishments of this century: man landing on the moon.?
NASA honored Cronkite for his lifetime of work in 2006, naming him an Ambassador of Exploration - an honor typically reserved for astronauts and employees - and presenting him with a moon rock sample that he later presented to the University of Texas. He was the only non-NASA recipient of the award.
"I think that 500 years from now the young people that are living on space stations and space cities and perhaps on the orbs themselves out there ... they will be recognizing the most important feat of all time,? Cronkite said when he accepted the award. ?500 years from now they will be celebrating the first landing on the moon and the first walk on the moon."
Cronkite said, then, that the Apollo 11 moon landing left him speechless despite all of his preparation. He considered it an honor to have covered the pioneering days of space exploration and said he envied the journalists who would follow to report on the next phase of spaceflight.
"It's hard for us to really understand the immensity so far of the conquest of space," Cronkite said.
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