CNN details the flight of Apollo 11 in a wave of moon-landing specials
If you aren’t aware the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing is coming, television won’t let you forget.
Various networks will offer special programming highlighting different aspects of the American space program that ultimately enabled astronaut Neil Armstrong to take “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” on July 21, 1969. Included is the television premiere of critically acclaimed documentary “Apollo 11” Sunday, June 23, on CNN.
For all the footage seen of the mission over the past half-century, producer-director Todd Douglas Miller mines recently found film – shot in 70mm – and over 11,000 hours (that’s not a typo) of audio recordings to offer unique perspectives on an event documented substantially over the past five decades. A special edition of the film is being offered to museums and science centers.
The parade of programs on the moon landing certainly doesn’t stop there, and here’s a look at some others. “Apollo’s Moon Shot” (Sunday, June 23, Smithsonian Channel): After its premiere a week earlier, this series continues by detailing the transition from the Gemini program to the Apollo flights ... with tragedy among the factors in the movement toward the goal of reaching the moon.
“Apollo: Missions to the Moon” (Sunday, July 7, National Geographic): Without linking narration, this offering tells the story of the moon landing as others experienced it at the time via television newscasts, film from NASA and audio from Mission Control.
“The Day We Walked on the Moon” (Sunday, July 7, Smithsonian Channel): This moment-by-moment recollection of Apollo 11’s time on the lunar surface features interviews with astronaut Michael Collins and the children of his fellow crew members Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., as well as flight director Gene Kranz and Queen guitarist Brian May ... who has a degree in astrophysics.
“American Experience: Chasing the Moon” (Monday-Wednesday, July 8-10, PBS; check local listings): America’s involvement in the so-called “space race” is covered in a three-night program recalling the media circus that surrounded the astronauts, as well as challenges faced by the scientists and engineers who sent them aloft.