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More about the film Race to the Moon

The Apollo 8 space vehicle is launched on December 21, 1968 On Christmas Eve 1968, one of the largest audiences in television history tuned in to an extraordinary sight: a live telecast of the moon's surface as seen from Apollo 8, the first manned space flight to leave Earth's gravitational pull and orbit the moon. The historic journey captivated people around the world; many welcomed a technological triumph in space after a year marked by assassinations, riots and war.

As this American Experience production reveals, however, the mission's success was far from assured. The Apollo 8 astronauts had just four months to prepare for the risky lunar orbit, and catastrophic failure would have brought a halt to America's goal of putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade.

With images and audio never before broadcast, this film recounts the flight many consider to be NASA's most daring and important. Interviews with Apollo 8 astronauts, their wives, mission control staff, and journalists take viewers inside the high-stakes space race of the late 1960s to reveal how a bold decision by NASA administrators put a struggling Apollo program back on track and allowed America to reach the moon before the Soviets.

Film Description
A synopsis of the film, plus film credits.

Transcript
The program transcript.

Further Reading
A list of books, articles, and Web sites relating to the program topic.

Acknowledgements
Program interviewees and consultants.

Closed Caption Logo

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by The Caption Center at WGBH.

Descriptive Video Services Logo

A special narration track is added to the series by Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®), a service of WGBH to provide access to people who are blind or visually impaired. The DVS narration is available on the SAP channel of stereo TVs and VCRs.

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Race to the Moon American Experience

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