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 ...
Did You Know?
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