"Race to the Moon" on PBS... Oct 21, 2005 11:35:43 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 21, 2005 11:35:43 GMT -6
New Space Documentary on PBS - "Race to the Moon"
31 October 2005
31 October 2005
A quite cool tv show on the space race will be airing on Halloween night on public television. I saw a local interview with Astronauts Lovell and Anders, and they showed clips of the show.
Here is a short review:
As this American Experience production reveals, however, the mission's success was far from assured. The Apollo 8 astronauts had just four months to prepare for the risky lunar orbit, and catastrophic failure would have brought a halt to America's goal of putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade.
With images and audio never before broadcast, this film recounts the flight many consider to be NASA's most daring and important. Interviews with Apollo 8 astronauts, their wives, mission control staff, and journalists take viewers inside the high-stakes space race of the late 1960s to reveal how a bold decision by NASA administrators put a struggling Apollo program back on track and allowed America to reach the moon before the Soviets.
The story behind the race to the moon cuts to the heart of the competition between two Cold War enemies to dominate the new realm of space. Looking back, July 20, 1969 was a triumph that had as much to do with problems in the Soviet space program as it did with the American know-how.
To understand that moment 30 years ago when the Americans first walked on the moon you have to go back to the Second World War and Adolf Hitler. He believed that rockets were the best way to fire on another country from within the safety of your own border.
His chief designer, Werner von Braun did come up with the V-2 rocket but it could only hop across the English Channel.
They knew that with a little more power it could reach speeds high enough to achieve earth orbit and conquer the ultimate military high ground. In fact, if Hitler hadn't been defeated by the war, Germany probably would have been the first country in space, maybe even the first country on the moon.
It was German technology divided between the Americans and the Soviets that spawned the space race. The Soviets were quicker off the mark under Chief Designer Sergei Korolev. He set early goals for the German and Soviet engineers on his team.
More here: www.tv.cbc.ca/national/pgminfo/moon/
And the Official American Experience website on the show: www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/moon/
I will be at the Adler Planetarium Halloween party at the airing time, but this will be a show to record!... ;D