Apollo 11 Remembered, Part One: PBS Summer of Space

Learn about Captain Edward Dwight the first African American astronaut in the new PBS series Chasing the Moon.

This year, in honor of the 50th anniversary of landing the first men on the moon, we at the PRIDE have substituted a month-long series of coverage of the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing and the space program elements, astronauts, TV and media coverage, and the extraordinary efforts America put into this amazing feat of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Each year for the past several years we have run a four-part series we call The Year in Space reflecting on the various accomplishments of the NASA the previous year. This year we will reflect on the accomplishments of NASA in July, 1969, a half-century ago. Welcome to The Year in Space, 1969. Part One will be a description of some of the television coverage that your PBS stations (your tax dollars at work) are broadcasting free across the nation and online, in commemoration of Apollo 11 and the space program and the people in it. Watch locally in Nashville on NPT channel 8.1 and NPT2 channel 8.2.

Chasing the Moon” from the series American Experience anchors the programming lineup marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on PBS. A new documentary entitled 8 Days: The Journey of Apollo 11 and specials from Nova and Antiques Roadshow will also premiere along with special digital collections that celebrate the wonder and awe of space exploration.

Summer of Space, the concept for this multi-platform experience, is anchored by the highly anticipated American Experience six-hour film “Chasing the Moon” and including new science and history programs, will run this July timed to the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Chasing the Moon,” written, produced and directed by Academy Award nominee Robert Stone, premieres Monday through Wednesday, July 8-10, 8:00-10:00 p.m. CDT. The film tells the story of the space race, from its earliest beginnings to the monumental achievement of the first lunar landing in 1969.

In addition to “Chasing the Moon,” the Summer of Space lineup brings five new programs that cover different areas of space exploration combined with the best of PBS’ encore space-themed programming and PBS Digital Studios content. Antiques Roadshow kicks off this lineup on Monday, July 8 at 7:00 p.m. CDT, commemorating the 50th anniversary with the premiere of an all-new “Out of This World” special episode featuring stellar appraisals that include NASA memorabilia, space travel treasures, science fiction finds and more.

You can take a unique journey with the crew of Apollo 11 for their eight-day, three-hour, 18-minute and 35-second mission in 8 Days: The Journey Of Apollo 11, a new documentary from BBC Studios, co-produced with PBS, premiering Wednesday, July 17 at 8:00 p.m. CDT. Rare mission audio takes viewers inside the spacecraft on its historic journey. The film seamlessly blends this authentic mission audio, featuring candid conversations between Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins with newly shot studio footage, NASA and news archive, and stunning CGI recreation of the journey and landing to tell this amazing story in a riveting new way.

Nova will present two new specials. On Wednesday, July 10 at 7:00 p.m. CDT, join the next generation of engineers who aim to take us “Back to the Moon” as a stepping stone for future human missions to Mars, the Asteroid Belt and beyond. On July 24 at 8:00 p.m. CDT, “The Planets” treats viewers to an up-close look at some faraway worlds, including the dark side of Pluto, an ancient Martian waterfall and the storm twice the size of Earth seen from high above Saturn, revealing how each of them has affected our own planet.

In the three-part Ancient Skies, also beginning July 24 at 7:00 p.m. CDT, audiences will discover how centuries of knowledge, experimentation and engineering helped our ancestors explore outer space. Expert contributors and indigenous storytellers demystify astronomical myths with scientific explanations.

“Our Summer of Space programming lineup invites PBS viewers to visit the farthest reaches of the universe, blending past and present to celebrate both the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the latest advances in space exploration,” said Perry Simon, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming at PBS. “This exceptional collection of special programs will give viewers a historical understanding of the Apollo 11 moon landing, from its inception to execution with documentaries “Chasing the Moon” and “8 Days: The Journey of Apollo 11,” as well as exploring the distant planets and deep mysteries of space that are well beyond human grasp with Ancient Skies and Nova programs.”

Summer of Space programs will stream following each broadcast and be available on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details). Summer of Space classroom-ready materials will also be available for educators and students on PBS LearningMedia.

The Summer of Space interactive hub will be housed on PBS.org. Throughout the summer, viewers are invited to submit videos, photographs, audio recordings, or text entries about how they experienced the Apollo mission and/or about their interest in space exploration in general.

Chasing the Moon” will be supported by a multi-platform digital experience, anchored by an immersive web site featuring original short form video, collaborations with leading digital publishers and additional forms of experimental storytelling that will expand upon the characters and stories presented in the documentary. In addition, American Experience will host several high-profile public screening events in the months leading up to the premiere, and will partner with PBS member stations across the nation to create regional space-related content and host their own live preview events, further extending the reach of the film.

Here in Nashville, on the Anniversary date of the lunar landing, Saturday, July 20, Tennessee State Museum and Nashville Public Television will host “Space Day” at the Tennessee State Museum, 1000 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, Tennessee 37208 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM CDT because this July marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. To celebrate, there will be space-themed activities for families and special programming for all ages throughout the day. Visitors are invited to view fragments from the Moon’s surface that were brought to Earth by the astronauts that took part in the first lunar landing, on display in the Museum’s Tennessee Transforms gallery. At 2 p.m., visitors are invited to watch a segment of the Nashville Public Television documentary “Chasing the Moon” from the American Experience series.

Encore Programs: Additional encore programs as part of PBS’ Summer Of Space are included below. Visit pressroom.pbs.org for a listings document with all Summer Of Space titles.

American ExperienceSpace Men”             Tuesday, July 9, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CDT

Learn about Project Manhigh, which laid the groundwork for the U.S. space program.

NovaFirst Man on the Moon”            Wednesday, July 17, 2019 7:00-8:00 p.m. CDT

See an intimate portrait of Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon.

A Year In Space                         Tuesday, July 23, 2019 9:00-10:00 p.m. CDT

Follow astronaut Scott Kelly’s 12-month mission on the International Space Station.

Beyond A Year In Space             Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 9:00-10:00 p.m. CDT

Meet the next generation of astronauts training to travel into deep space.

The Farthest – Voyager In Space Wednesday, July 31, 2019, 9:00-10:00 p.m. CDT

Learn how NASA’s Voyager mission revolutionized our understanding of distant planets.

NovaApollo’s Daring Mission” Thursday, July 16, 2019, 9:00-10:00 p.m. CDT

Apollo 8’s astronauts and engineers recount the first manned mission to the moon.

When We Were Apollo            Sunday, July 14, 10:30 pm on NPT-HD

When We Were Apollo is an intimate and personal look at the Apollo Space Program through the lives and experiences of some of its most inspiring behind-the-scenes figures: engineers, technicians, builders and contractors who spent the better part of a decade working to get us to the moon and back. (One additional airing is 07/18/19, 4:30 am NPT2.)

Details about the new six-hour film series, Chasing the Moon:

Chasing the Moon, a landmark documentary series about the space race, from its earliest beginnings to the monumental achievement of the first lunar landing in 1969, will premiere on PBS in 2019 during the 50th anniversary year of the Apollo 11 moon landing. This exciting new series, told in three two-hour parts, one each evening, recasts the Space Age as a fascinating stew of scientific innovation, political calculation, media spectacle, visionary impulses and personal drama, utilizing a feast of previously overlooked and lost archival material.

Utilizing a visual feast of previously overlooked and lost archival material, much of which has never before been seen by the public, the film features a diverse cast of characters who played key roles in these historic events. Among those included are astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman and Bill Anders; Sergei Khrushchev, son of the former Soviet premier and a leading Soviet rocket engineer; Poppy Northcutt, a 25-year old “mathematics whiz” who gained worldwide attention as the first woman to serve in the all-male bastion of NASA’s Mission Control; and Ed Dwight, the Air Force pilot selected by the Kennedy administration to train as America’s first black astronaut.

Part One: A Place Beyond the Sky begins in 1957 and tracks the early years of the space race as the United States struggles to catch up with the Soviet Union. The episode reveals breathtaking failures and successes of the nascent American space program and demonstrates the stakes and costs of reaching the moon.

Part Two: Earthrise covers 1964-1968, four heady, dangerous years in the history of the space race, focusing on the events surrounding the Apollo 1 and Apollo 8 missions. As Americans moved through the 60s and reflect on the challenges ahead, many begin to wonder: What exactly is it going to take to beat the Soviets to the moon?

Part Three: Magnificent Desolation, which covers 1969-1970, takes Americans to the moon and back. Dreams of space dramatically intersect with dreams of democracy on American soil, raising questions of national priorities and national identity. The final episode also considers what happens to scientific and engineering programs — and to a country — after ambitious national goals have been achieved.

Details about the new three-hour film series Ancient Skies :

With breathtaking CGI, beautiful landscape footage and some of the world’s most important astronomical artifacts, Ancient Skies looks at the cosmos through the eyes of our ancestors, charting our changing views of the cosmos throughout history. Take a journey through past visions of the heavens from all over the world, and from the dawn of civilization to the recent past. From hunter-gatherers to Edwin Hubble, see the myriad of ways that we have observed and chronicled the movements of the heavens. And with a cast of expert historians and astronomers, the science behind the phenomena that our ancestors sought to explain through mythology is explained. Throughout the series, cutting-edge animation demonstrates our ever-evolving understanding of how the universe works and our place in an ever-expanding cosmos. Ancient Skies explores the history of the entire universe with Professor Brian Cox, a chorus of singers and dancers, show tunes, and guest stars Warwick Davis, Noel Fielding, Hannah Waddingham and Robin Ince in a comedic musical extravaganza.

Episode 1: Gods and Monsters

In this episode explore the origins of our relationship with the skies. From our earliest ancestors discover how we used the skies to navigate and tell time, and how we gave religious significance to the things we saw in it. Finish on the cusp of a revolution that gave birth to modern science.

Episode 2: Finding the Center

Episode 2 charts efforts to give the earth a shape and a place. From flat earth legends to Galileo’s telescope, this episode tracks major changes in our scientific understanding. Ideas will rise and fall as we continue to explore our ancient skies.

Episode 3: Our Place in the Universe

In Episode 3, complete the puzzle of our ancient skies. A cast of scientific pioneers reshape our solar system and get to grips with a growing universe. We develop new technology to explore its furthest reaches and wonder whether we’re alone.

For more details about these programs, see more online and get complete viewing times on the NPT website: www.wnpt.org

Additional airings in the month of August were unavailable at press time for all programs. Here are available additional airdates and times for July:

In case you miss the premieres, here are the July repeat dates and times for Chasing the Moon. Additional Airings of Episode 1: 07/09/19, 1:00 am NPT2; 07/09/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; 07/10/19, 8:00 am NPT2; 07/11/19, 1:00 pm NPT2; 07/12/19, 12:30 am NPT-HD; 07/12/19, 3:30 am NPT2; 07/16/19, 7:00 pm NPT-HD; 07/17/19, 2:00 am NPT2; 07/18/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; 07/18/19, 7:00 am NPT2; 07/18/19, 11:00 pm NPT2; 07/19/19, 12:00 pm NPT2; 07/20/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; and 07/20/19, 10:00 am NPT2.

Additional Airings of Episode 2: 07/10/19, 1:00 am NPT2; 07/10/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; 07/11/19, 8:00 am NPT2; 07/12/19, 1:00 pm NPT2; 07/13/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; 07/20/19, 12:00 pm NPT2; 07/23/19, 7:00 pm NPT-HD; 07/24/19, 2:00 am NPT2; 07/25/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; 07/25/19, 7:00 am NPT2; 07/25/19, 11:00 pm NPT2; 07/26/19, 12:00 am NPT-HD; 07/26/19, 3:00 am NPT2; and 07/26/19, 12:00 pm NPT2. Additional Airings of Episode 3: 07/11/19, 1:00 am NPT2; 07/11/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; 07/12/19, 8:00 am NPT2; 07/14/19, 1:00 am NPT-HD; 07/14/19, 4:00 am NPT2; 07/15/19, 1:00 pm NPT2; 07/20/19, 2:00 pm NPT2; 07/30/19, 7:00 pm NPT-HD; 07/31/19, 12:00 am NPT-HD; and 07/31/19, 3:00 am NPT2.

Additional Airings of NOVA Back to the Moon are: 07/11/19, 1:00 am NPT-HD; 07/11/19, 4:00 am NPT2; 07/12/19, 4:00 am NPT-HD; 07/12/19, 7:00 am NPT2; 07/12/19, 11:00 pm NPT2; 07/14/19, 12:00 am NPT-HD; 07/14/19, 3:00 am NPT2; 07/14/19, 7:00 pm NPT2; and 07/15/19, 12:00 pm NPT2.

View Additional Airings of Space Men on American Experience: 07/10/19, 1:00 am NPT-HD; 07/10/19, 4:00 am NPT2; 07/11/19, 4:00 am NPT-HD; 07/11/19, 7:00 am NPT2; 07/11/19, 11:00 pm NPT2; 07/12/19, 2:30 am NPT-HD; 07/12/19, 12:00 pm NPT2; 07/14/19, 3:00 am NPT-HD; and 07/15/19, 4:00 am NPT-HD.

8 Days: to the Moon and Back premieres Wednesday, July 17, 08:00 pm on NPT-HD, with these additional airings; 07/18/19, 12:00 am NPT-HD; 07/18/19, 3:00 am NPT2; 07/19/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; 07/19/19, 8:00 am NPT2; 07/21/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; and 07/22/19, 1:00 pm NPT2.

Apollo’s Daring Mission premieres Tuesday, July 16, 09:00 pm on NPT-HD. View additional airings 07/17/19, 12:00 am NPT2; 07/17/19, 1:00 am NPT-HD; 07/17/19, 4:00 am NPT2; 07/18/19, 4:00 am NPT-HD; 07/18/19, 9:00 am NPT2; 07/19/19, 3:30 am NPT-HD; 07/19/19, 2:00 pm NPT2; 07/21/19, 12:00 am NPT-HD; and 07/21/19, 3:00 am NPT2.

View Additional Airings of Year In Space on 07/18/19, 2:00 am NPT2; 07/19/19, 1:00 am NPT-HD; 07/19/19, 4:00 am NPT2; 07/19/19, 7:00 am NPT2; 07/19/19, 11:00 pm NPT2; 07/20/19, 8:00 am NPT2; 07/21/19, 1:00 am NPT-HD; 07/21/19, 4:00 am NPT2; 07/21/19, 7:00 pm NPT2; 07/22/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; 07/22/19, 5:00 am NPT2; 07/22/19, 12:00 pm NPT2; 07/23/19, 9:00 pm NPT-HD; 07/24/19, 1:00 am NPT-HD; 07/24/19, 4:00 am NPT2; 07/25/19, 4:00 am NPT-HD; 07/25/19, 9:00 am NPT2; and 07/26/19, 2:00 pm NPT2.

Beyond A Year In Space returns Tuesday, July 30, 09:00 pm on NPT-HD with additional airings in July: 07/31/19, 12:00 am NPT2; 07/31/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; and 07/31/19, 5:00 am NPT2.

Ancient Skies part 1 additional airings are 07/25/19, 2:00 am NPT2; 07/26/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD; 07/26/19, 5:00 am NPT2; 07/26/19, 7:00 am NPT2;07/26/19, 11:00 pm NPT2; 07/28/19, 2:00 am NPT-HD;07/28/19, 5:00 am NPT2; 07/28/19, 7:00 pm NPT2;07/29/19, 4:00 am NPT-HD; 07/29/19, 12:00 pm NPT2; and 07/31/19, 5:00 pm NPT-HD.

Ancient Skies episode 2 premieres Wednesday, July 31; additional airings unavailable at press time.

Ancient Skies episode 3 premieres Wednesday, August 7; additional airings unavailable at press time..

Additional airings in the month of August were unavailable at press time for all programs.