A history of space flight.
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Episodes

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Years



1  
1987   1986   1985  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Martin Sheen ...  Narrator 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Frank Borman Frank Borman ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Scott Carpenter Scott Carpenter ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Gerald P. Carr Gerald P. Carr ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Eugene Cernan ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Michael Collins ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Charles Conrad Charles Conrad ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Gordon Cooper ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Robert L. Crippen Robert L. Crippen ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Walter Cronkite ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Scott Crossfield Scott Crossfield ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Walter Cunningham Walter Cunningham ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Krafft A. Ehricke Krafft A. Ehricke ...  Himself - German rocket scientist 4 episodes, 1985-1987
John Glenn ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Christopher Kraft ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Gene Kranz Gene Kranz ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Gentry Lee Gentry Lee ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
John M. Logsdon John M. Logsdon ...  Himself (author) 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Jim Lovell ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
George Nelson George Nelson ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Gerard K. O'Neill Gerard K. O'Neill ...  Himself (author) 4 episodes, 1985-1987
James E. Oberg James E. Oberg ...  Himself (author) 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Sally Ride ...  Herself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Roald Sagdeev Roald Sagdeev ...  Himself (Soviet space scientist) 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Wally Schirra Wally Schirra ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Russell Schweickart Russell Schweickart ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Robert Seamans Robert Seamans ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Alan Shepard ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Hugh Sidey Hugh Sidey ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Deke Slayton Deke Slayton ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Marcia Smith Marcia Smith ...  Herself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Robert Voas Robert Voas ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Tom Wolfe ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Chuck Yeager ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
John Young ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Dwight D. Eisenhower ...  Himself (archive footage) 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Robert H. Goddard Robert H. Goddard ...  Himself (archive footage) 4 episodes, 1985-1987
John F. Kennedy ...  Himself (archive footage) 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Sergei P. Korolev ...  Himself (Soviet space scientist) (archive footage) 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Christa McAuliffe Christa McAuliffe ...  Herself (archive footage) 4 episodes, 1985-1987
Wernher von Braun ...  Himself (archive footage) 4 episodes, 1985-1987
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Storyline

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1985 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

WETA, WYES See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

After the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in January 1986, the 4th episode of this 4-part mini-series was redone to include footage and interviews about the disaster. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent overview of space exploration and rocketry.
31 January 2002 | by jckruizeSee all my reviews

This accomplished documentary aired on PBS stations back in 1985 and would certainly be worth a repeat viewing now, perhaps on Discovery or The Learning Channel. Martin Sheen's eloquent yet spare narration (written by filmmaker Blaine Baggett) perfectly complements the superb imagery. As a longtime sci-fi fan and space aficionado, I remember being riveted by this one. An excellent musical score. Worth a look!


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