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The Race to the Moon (History Channel)
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From the Back Cover
THE RACE TO THE MOON combines top programming from A&E and THE HISTORY CHANNEL. to deliver the ultimate 35th anniversary celebration of this world-changing event. Experience the ultimate insider's view of the Apollo space program by the man who served as NASA's primary flight director for over 30 years and examine recently declassified documents revealing NASA's plans to send men to Saturn by 1970. Take a nostalgic trip with Mike Wallace back to the early days of the space program, and return to the present-day triumphs and tragedies of one of our greatest technological achievements--the Space Shuttle. This 2-volume DVD set features the following programs:
Failure Is Not An Option: Retired NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz recalls the "whiz kid" atmosphere of the space program's early days and the exploits of the astronauts who took our dreams to the moon.
Modern Marvels: Apollo 13: An unexpected disaster leaves the crew of Apollo 13 lost in space. In many ways, this failed moon mission is one of NASA's finest moments.
History Undercover: Code Name: Project Orion: Explore the grand dreams of the top-secret US space program in the 1950s. Renowned physicists like Freeman Dyson discuss visions of battleship-sized rockets and spaceships hitched to comets.
Modern Marvels: The Space Shuttle: The complete story of the shuttle, from its conception in the 1950s to its triumphant launch in 1981. Plus, an exclusive peek at the next-generation space shuttle, the futuristic X-33.
- Four programs: Failure Is Not an Option, Code Name: Project Orion, Modern Marvels: Apollo 13, Modern Marvels: The Space Shuttle
- Commentary by NASA Mission Control flight director Gene Kranz, writer-producer-codirector Rushmore DeNooyer, and editor-coproducer Tony Bacon on Failure Is Not an Option
- Photo gallery
Top Customer Reviews
Much of the documentary footage has been seen before, but the interview footage of Kranz and others involved in Apollo is extremely well done and is frequently more emotional than might be expected (especially when discussing Apollo 1 and Apollo 13.) The Apollo 11 landing (program alarm) drama is told better here than anywhere else I have ever seen, and really underscores the value of the training program NASA had in place for Apollo (especially the simulator training.)
There is no doubt that the Kranz piece is the reason to buy this set, though the rest of the material is also interesting. If you have any interest in manned spaceflight whatsoever, you will love this set, especially "Failure is not an Option."
Unfortunately, the remaining items in the set aren't of the same caliber. "Project Orion" is decent coverage of a bizarre effort to use exploding atomic bombs to propel spacecraft. "Space Shuttle" is nothing special, and if you want to see a good documentary about "Apollo 13", get PBS's "Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back", not this one.
That being said, "Failure" is worth the price of the set all by itself. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in how we got men to the Moon.
Other than the dozens of Astronauts themselves, these men were working as a highly motivated team in Mission Control, as the NASA brain trust that made President Kennedy's vision to land a man on the Moon an astonishing reality.
I can't get enough of this kind of memorabilia from the space race era, and there are several excellent videos on this subject, but this one tells the story from the perspective of the Flight Director in Mission Control. The manned spacecraft flight controllers - all now long since retired NASA Engineers -guided the Astronauts 24/7 during the trials and tribulations of every mission, from Project Mercury to Apollo. These are the men featured individually and collectively in this DVD.
Their enthusiasium and sometimes apprehensions too, coupled with many emotional highs and lows, during those hectic space race years, are all well presented in this documentary; Gene Krantz, perhaps more well known if not leading Flight Director, most of all. Chris Kraft - Mr. Krantz's mentor - is also featured as quite instrumental in setting up a phenomenally bright group of often nerdish looking (personified by pocket protector wearing, slide rule touting and surprisingly young) Engineers.
All these MOCR Engineers with such specialty positions as EECON, FIDO, GNC, and the like, also clearly had the makings of the "right stuff". When this DVD was produced, these men, all in their late 60s or 70s, were extensively interviewed throughout the video.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These disc are fine and present a good hsitotrical account of the Apollo 13 and Space Shuttle. I would expect this from the History Channel.Published 6 months ago by Zach Kirkland
These dvds arrived much earlier than I expected, and are in great working order. I enjoy any take on the race to the moon, and the moon missions. Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by Flakhound
These were both gifts to my husband who loves them. He has watched them once a week since his birthday.Published on May 4, 2013 by Kathleen Lagerman
Have not watched yet. Can't describe it until after it has been viewed. i will update at some later date.Published on January 18, 2013 by Mort
Silly me, I assumed that "Failure is Not an Option" would encompass both Parts 1 *and 2* of the History Channel series; only Part 1 is included. Read morePublished on December 29, 2012 by Nathan P. Shive
I'll never understand why we spend so much money on war and so little on Space exploration.
These videos made me proud of America's achievements in science,intellectual... Read more
I teach US History and I show this when I teach the Space Race. The kids always love it! It is such a great video--interesting and informative. . Highly recommend!!!Published on April 12, 2012 by Nicole