When we Left the Earth... Jul 5, 2010 5:00:23 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jul 5, 2010 5:00:23 GMT -6
When we left the Earth
I just spent a marathon watching the entire 2008 - Discovery Channel - "When we left the Earth" run...and was pretty cool.
I watched it on "Netflix" demand over my laptop, as I had never seen it before - and with my internet connection back up to speed, thought I would take in some space salute over this Fourth of July weekend. Starting out at 11:30 pm...I just now finished at 5:30 am.
They cut out a lot of content, but I can understand due to time constraints and much has been said before. No Mike Collins narrative, but I was surprised to see Neil Armstrong talk about his experiences, as he is so silent.
I did learn that John Young transitioned from the early days of space travel to the more modern of the Shuttle - flying on the first Shuttle mission....and also surprised that Gene Krantz was still Flight Director well into the Shuttle Flights.
The Hubble Segments were good too, with the placement of the telescope in orbit and the primary repair mission. Why they launched it with so many faults was ignorant.
The Skylab segment was nice and reminding me of when I was a kid following the missions - and still have newspaper clippings of the missions.
Part 1: Ordinary Supermen
The first episode of the series documents the start of the Space Race and the flights of the Mercury program, including John Glenn's historic flight Friendship 7 and the potentially fatal problem with the heatshield that occurred during the second orbit.
Part 2: Friends and Rivals
The second episode is centered on Project Gemini, the United States's second human spaceflight program. It features the first American extra-vehicular activity (spacewalk) by Gemini 4 astronaut Ed White.
Part 3: Landing the Eagle
The third episode details the beginning of the Apollo program, including the tense lunar descent of Apollo 11, and the first humans' footsteps on the lunar surface. Both Buzz Aldrin and the rarely interviewed Neil Armstrong appear in the episode, as well as capsule communicators Charlie Duke and Bruce McCandless II, and flight director Gene Kranz.
Part 4: The Explorers
The fourth episode features the five other successful moon landings - Apollos 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17, as well as the "successful failure" of Apollo 13. It also features the space station Skylab.
Part 5: The Shuttle
The penultimate episode focuses on the flights of the Space Shuttle, beginning with Space Shuttle Columbia's maiden voyage on April 12, 1981 (the twentieth anniversary of the first human spaceflight, Vostok 1). The STS-1 crew, commander John Young, and pilot Bob Crippen, are interviewed. Bruce McCandless's untethered spacewalk - the first in history - is shown digitally remastered in high-definition. The episode also documents the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster that occurred 73 seconds after lift-off on mission STS-51-L, on January 28, 1986, and the subsequent halt of the Space Shuttle program. The episode ends with the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope and the subsequent discovery of its defective mirror.
Part 6: A Home in Space
The series' final episode centers on the first refurbishment mission of the Hubble Space Telescope, and launch, assembly, and construction of the International Space Station. Shuttle astronauts Scott Altman and Michael Lopez-Alegria (the US record holder for number and duration of spacewalks), are featured in the episode. The episode also recalls the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster that occurred during re-entry, 16 minutes from landing at the Kennedy Space Center, on mission STS-107, on February 1, 2003.
A good series and recommended...