A history of space flight.





Credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Borman ...
Scott Carpenter ...
Gerald P. Carr ...
Himself (as Jerry Carr)
Eugene Cernan ...
Himself (as Gene Cernan)
Michael Collins ...
Himself (as Mike Collins)
Charles Conrad ...
Himself (as Pete Conrad)
Gordon Cooper ...
Robert L. Crippen ...
Scott Crossfield ...
Walter Cunningham ...
Himself (as Walt Cunningham)
Krafft A. Ehricke ...
Himself (German rocket scientist) (as Krafft Ehricke)
Himself (archive footage)


This 4-part documentary miniseries covers the history of manned and unmanned space-flight, from the late 1800s through the mid-1980s. The first episode, "Thunder in the Skies", begins with the theories of the Russian schoolteacher Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, followed by the liquid-fueled rocket experiments of the American scientist Robert Goddard. The Nazis in World War II construct the V-2 ballistic missile, and after the war German scientists such as Krafft Ehricke and Wernher von Braun come to the United States to continue their rocket work. Meanwhile, the experimental X-series aircraft being tested at Edwards Air Force Base fly closer and closer to the edge of space. But the Soviets beat the United States into space through the efforts of the mysterious "Chief Designer", Sergei Korolev. The United States must play catch-up; they abandon the slow progress of the X-planes in favor of missiles, and NASA and Project Mercury are born. The second episode, "The Wings of Mercury", looks at ... Written by yortsnave

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non-fiction programming at its best
12 July 2005 | by (arizona) – See all my reviews

In the sixties my father worked for a NASA sub-contractor and thus had a small role in the American space program. He would bring home NASA film clips (PR stuff) and show them on our 8mm projector for the neighborhood. Watching this series in 1985 brought back a lot of good memories of that amazing time. It was marvelously done, with archive footage both familiar and lesser-known, combined with new interviews with a stellar list of individuals, many of whom are no longer with us. It captured the excitement and uncertainty and humanity of the endeavor. And the music was spine-tingling good! Top it with Martin Sheen's narration and you have a corker of a documentary series that puts most modern efforts to shame. It's hard to believe this series was first broadcast twenty years ago!

This would be a marvelous series to have on DVD, unfortunately it appears to only be available on VHS for now.

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