In 2009, NASA celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. This documentary series offers audiences a unique chance to glimpse an astronaut’s view of space flight. It is an epic story of heroes and their breathtaking successes as they further humanity’s innate desire to explore.
Part 1: One Small Step
To land a human being on another celestial body is the first step to living beyond our planet. The breathless pace and daring of the Apollo program sees NASA master previously unimagined tasks in an attempt to achieve the most incredible accomplishment in the history of human endeavour. From the ashes of tragedy on Apollo 1 emerges a determination that puts Apollo 8 in orbit around the moon ahead of schedule. Apollo 9 and 10 each break bold new ground and pave the way for something few dared to believe was possible. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon and return safely to earth, the whole planet throws them a party.
Part 2: One Giant Leap
The white-knuckle suspense thriller of Apollo 13’s famous near-disaster was only a prelude to darker moments ahead. The launch of the space shuttle programme promised routine trips to earth orbit for many new astronauts, but, just when that promise seemed fulfilled, routine shuttle launches began to bore the public. NASA responded by training a school teacher to fly, in order to teach children lessons from space, but Christa McAuliffe’s life was tragically cut short as she and the rest of the crew perished aboard the shuttle Challenger, leading to all missions being halted. Eventually the shuttle returned to orbit, but, after 15 years of successful missions, disaster struck again with the shocking loss of Columbia. It marked the beginning of the end for the space shuttle.