A Place Beyond the Sky: Introduction (03:05)
This segment orients viewers to the topic of manned missions to the moon. (Credits)
Apollo 11 (05:17)
Officials and experts share their thoughts on the lunar mission. See news footage of the lift-off.
International Relations (03:38)
In October 1957, Sputnik transmits radio signals from space; Ed Buckbee recalls the Soviet satellite's launch. The competition between the U.S. and Soviet Union is fierce; U.S. citizens fear nuclear annihilation.
Space Race (07:24)
Sergei Khrushchev recalls his father's response to Sputnik; Sputnik II carries a dog. The Soviet Union announces lunar intentions, sparking a political response from the U.S. Project Vanguard attempts to launch the first U.S. satellite; the missile explodes.
Wernher von Braun (04:36)
Buckbee recalls Wernher von Braun and his missile team launching a satellite with a modified Redstone rocket. Von Braun is popular with the press, but difficult to work with; see a clip from "I Aim At the Stars." Freeman Dyson discusses Hitler's support of von Braun and WWII.
Advancing U.S. Technology (07:16)
After WWII, the U.S. government enlists top German scientists to improve technology and public perception about space travel changes. Walt Disney and von Braun produce several films together. Freeman Dyson discusses his involvement with Project Orion.
Soviet Space Program (05:13)
Sputnik's success makes space research a priority and the Soviet government initially gathers German scientists to produce missiles; Sergei Korolev manages the program. Sergei Khrushchev reflects on Soviet ICBMs. Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev engage in a heated debate at the American National Exhibition in Moscow.
Project Mercury (03:59)
NASA sponsors the program to place a man in orbit with the help of an ICBM. In April 1959, NASA introduces the Mercury astronauts to the public. See several rockets explode during lift off attempts.
Manned Space Flight (06:59)
During a 1960 presidential debate, John F. Kennedy cites presidential burdens; Nixon contradicts Kennedy's space program statistics. In 1961, NASA sends Ham the Astrochimp into space; Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space and a Soviet hero.
U.S. Response to Soviet Space Flight (05:47)
Space science has political implications. Von Braun convinces President John F. Kennedy the U.S. will be the first to put a man on the moon. In May 1961, Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space; his flight is televised live.
Race to the Moon (05:00)
Kennedy announces his desire to land a man on the moon and seeks public support; money is a concern. Cosmonaut Gherman Titov orbits the Earth 17 times in 25 hours.
Cocoa Beach (06:01)
NASA initiates a development and population boom in the area; the press arrives en masse. Experts reflect on the atmosphere before launches at Cape Canaveral. See the launch of the first manned orbital flight.
NASA Media Coverage (06:04)
Joel Banow recalls covering the manned space program and using visuals. Experts reflect on broadcasters Walter Cronkite and Jules Bergman; NASA maintains an open policy for reporting. See coverage of John Glenn's parade in Manhattan and Scott Carpenter and Gordon Cooper.
Time "Life" Magazine (02:30)
"Life" has an exclusive contract to feature the personal stories of the Mercury Seven. Glenn convinces Kennedy to allow the contract to continue.
First African American Astronaut Candidate (06:32)
Ed Dwight discusses his invitation to test pilot school, en-route to astronaut training, NASA's southern support, and his successful completion of the program. At Edwards Air Force Base, Chuck Yeager orders officers not to associate with him.
Impacts of Space Travel (02:12)
Astronauts undergo physical and psychological testing at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine.
Astronaut Group Two (04:35)
Buzz Aldrin and Bill Anders recall joining the team; members give a press conference. Dwight recalls the U.S. Information Agency using his photograph to deter people in Africa from destroying tracking stations; Dwight is not accepted into the astronaut group.
Kennedy's Space Program Briefing (05:01)
Administrator James Webb leads NASA. The cost of putting a man on the moon is a concern. Kennedy visits the research center in Huntsville and witnesses a rocket test; ex-Nazis direct two NASA centers.
Kennedy's Rice Stadium Speech (05:22)
Kennedy announces Houston as the location of the next space center. He addresses the nation about the space program and manned space flight to the moon before the end of the decade.
Astronaut Family Life (03:30)
Valerie Anders recalls moving to Houston and socializing with other astronaut families. The space program has a significant impact on personal lives. Mercury astronauts are complicated and competitive men.
Lunar Mission Mode (08:06)
Aldrin recalls experts debating the best strategy for reaching the moon—Earth orbital rendezvous or lunar orbital rendezvous. Experts question the mission deadline and criticism increases. Kennedy considers a joint expedition with the Soviet Union.
Kennedy's Assassination (03:32)
Experts recall Kennedy's visit to Cape Canaveral six days before his death. Kennedy is assassinated on November 22, 1963; see excerpts of his funeral.
Credits: A Place Beyond the Sky (02:01)
Credits: A Place Beyond the Sky
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