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NOVA - To the Moon

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The mission seemed impossible, the odds astronomical, but the results were spectacular. NOVA presents the fascinating story behind the Apollo space program, including the historic walk on the moon in 1969, in a two-hour special. Meet unsung heroes, experience the dangers, and discover new Apollo perspectives through rare footage, little-known facts, and interviews with NASA scientists, engineers, geologists, and the astronauts themselves.

Special Features

  • Access to To the Moon web site and other NOVA space-related web features as well as NASA web site for more information on the Apollo mission and space exploration

Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: WGBH Boston
  • DVD Release Date: August 1, 2000
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004U2MS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,842 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Lest anyone think this is the same old story of the moon shot, "One Small Step For Mankind" and all that, Nova's "To The Moon" is actually two fascinating hours of many of the stories that have been overlooked about man's journey to the moon. Few people know about the man who advocated the method of travel, called Lunar-Orbit Rendezvous, or why he was unpopular even after his contribution led to man getting to the moon. Few people know why Kennedy vaguely said we should get a man to the moon "by the end of the decade." Few people know the history of the Gemini program, lost between the Tom Wolfe heroics of Mercury and the Cold War glories of Apollo. Few people know about the later astronauts--in fact, how many people can name an astronaut after the Apollo 11 crew? (If you saw "Apollo 13" this might not be as hard.) The clips of the last mission on the moon, with happy-go-lucky geologist Harrison Schmidt dancing around digging for moonrocks, is worth the price of the DVD alone. Highly recommended as an educational tool as well as a fun ride. Public schools would be wise to teach kids history in this lively way.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Nova should be commended for producing this excellent documentary. The important decisions, such as the choice of Lunar Orbit Rendezvous, are covered in a comprehensible yet comprehensive manner. The background of Apollo, especially in the now almost forgotten Gemini program, is covered, as are the evolution of the Saturn launchers, CSM, and LM.
A natural focus of the DVD are the Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions, which are covered in some detail, but other less memorable yet important (i.e., the 'Genesis rock', the Apollo 13 near disaster, etc.) areas are covered thoughtfully as well.
The editing and factual accuracy is absolutely superior, and the overall value is unbeatable. If you only own one documentary on the Apollo program, make it this one.
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Format: DVD
This NOVA documentary, originally aired in July 1999, features two hours of the American efforts to reach the moon at its finest. The footage of the famous Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo flights is very riveting, featuring interviews from astronauts such as Jim Lovell, Tom Stafford, Eugene Cernan, Buzz Aldrin, David Scott, and Wally Schirra, as well as with Robert Seamans, Christopher Kraft, and Gene Kranz. It is hard to accurately portray through a video the details of the American space program, but this video comprehensively contains all the candor and excitement of the American manned moon program. John Houboult's Lunar Orbit Rendezvous scheme is detailed, with his efforts to sell the idea to top NASA management. Then, it moves on to the Gemini flights, emphasizing the first rendezvous of manned spacecraft on Gemini 6/7 in 1965, Gene Cernan's EVA troubles that plagued Gemini 9, and Gemini 12. Finally, it details the Apollo program that placed man's footprints on the moon, focusing on the engineering flights of Apollo 8 and 11, and then the scientific and geologic flights of the lunar landing missions that followed, ending with Apollo 17. All this was very fascinating, and thrilling to watch.
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Format: VHS Tape
This video is great for it's personal perspective from the men who planned and flew the missions. It makes a great companion to Tom Hanks' From the Earth to the Moon. After you have heard about it and read about it, see the actual footage, hear the dangerous conditions the public never knew about.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is a wonderful documentary that fills in a lot of holes left by other "Moon Shot" videos. I loved the detail regarding Lunar Orbit Rendevous. They do a great piece on the Marshall Space Center where the space capsules for Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo were designed. I really enjoyed the detail surrounding the work on the Saturn V, and the "All Up Test" that was needed to get the rocket program back on track. It was thrilling to relive the Apollo 11 landing from the eyes of the men in the control room, and their comments about the "Tranqulity Base" transmission. They did a very nice job on the Apollo 15/Dave Scott discovery of the Genesis Rock, and the story of Jack Schmitt, the only geologist astronaut in the program on Apollo 17. This was the perfect video to add to my space program collection.
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Format: DVD
This DVD is simply excellent. Even though it is obviously a TV show, and still feels a bit like a TV show, with all the gaps and moments full of suspense right before the (non existent) commercials. It does a bit more than document the struggle to get to the moon, (from a very subjectively American perspective.) What this DVD mainly carries as a message is the struggle that goes into any project. Be it the first Moon landing, be it just a small improvement, like additional handles on a space capsule. The show keeps the story on a very realistic, very personal level. Interviews with astronauts and experts turn the great leap for mankind back into small steps, which make a story a great story. You should watch this DVD if you are working on a complex project and would like to get creative inspiration. You should probably watch this DVD with your team and discuss how you would have solved many of the problems. You will probably miss extensive footage of the first lunar landing. There is hardly any of it on this DVD. There is also no mention of the Russian Lunohod project. But again, this documentary describes something more universal than the race to the moon. It describes the possibility of success in seemingly hopeless situations. It describes the real possibility of success through the synergy of a team even under the most impossible deadlines. It explains that what sometimes looks like a failure, can still be a step toward a much greater achievement. This documentary is very, very inspiring.
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