First Man on the Moon

He risked his life for the nation and became a world icon, but who was Neil Armstrong? Airing March 2, 2016 at 9 pm on PBS Aired March 2, 2016 on PBS

  • Originally aired 12.03.14

Program Description

Everyone knows Neil Armstrong was the first to set foot on the moon. But this modest and unassuming man was determined to stay out of the spotlight. Now, for the first time, NOVA presents an intimate portrait of Armstrong through interviews with his family and friends, many of whom have never spoken publicly before. Discover and relive Armstrong's achievements before and after Apollo, from his time as a Navy combat veteran and later as a pioneer of high-speed flight to his leading role in the inquiry into the Challenger disaster and his efforts to encourage young people to take to the skies. Along the way, we learn how Armstrong's life became the inspiring story of heroic risk-taking and humble dedication that ultimately advanced humanity's adventure in space.

Broadcast Credits

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Ben Bowie
PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
Christopher Riley
Duncan Copp
EDITED BY
David Fairhead
CAMERA
Chris Purcell
Mike Nolan
NARRATED BY
Corey Johnson
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Sarah Kinsella
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Lenka Menkynova
SOUND RECORDISTS
Jay Radosavljevic
Ivo Hanak
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Yuni Aziz
AUDIO MIX
Steve Cookman
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS
Julia Pearce
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Ulla Streib
HEAD OF ARCHIVE
Paul Gardner
ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
AP Archive
Artbeats
BBC Motion Gallery
Critical Past
Footage Farm
Footagevault
Getty Images
NASA
The Ohio Historical Society
Parsnip Productions
Pond 5
The Reagan Library
Risk © Hasbro. Used with permission.
The Society of Experimental Test Pilots
Stoney Jump Productions
University of Cincinnati Magazine
US National Archives
Wartime Press
Windsock Productions LLC
SPECIAL THANKS
The Cincinnati Observatory
Wende Doohan
Sky Conway
Hasbro
Andy Chaikin
James Hansen
Purdue University
NASA
Bert Ulrich
Sandra Johnson
Mike Gentry
Margaret Persinger
Jody Russell
Chris Mayberry
John Stoll
Kelly Humphries
Dryden Flight Research Center
Christian Gelzer
Alan Brown
Jim Round
Edwards Air Force Base
Jeannine Geiger
John Haire
Stephanie Smith
Eric Jones
Apollo Surface Journal
David Woods
Apollo Flight Journal
Keith Hagan
Craig Markley
Dorie Solacoff
The Swihart Family
John and Dawn Westheimer
Amy and Dennis Albers
Stephen Slater
SPECIAL THANKS
The Armstrong Family
NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS
yU + co.
NOVA THEME MUSIC
Walter Werzowa
John Luker
Musikvergnuegen, Inc.
ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC
Ray Loring
Rob Morsberger
CLOSED CAPTIONING
The Caption Center
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Jennifer Welsh
PUBLICITY
Eileen Campion
Eddie Ward
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Kate Becker
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Linda Callahan
PARALEGAL
Sarah Erlandson
TALENT RELATIONS
Janice Flood
LEGAL COUNSEL
Susan Rosen
DIGITAL MANAGING PRODUCER
Kristine Allington
SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR
Tim De Chant
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA
Lauren Aguirre
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
Lisa Leombruni
UNIT MANAGER
Ariam McCrary
POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Brittany Flynn
SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Kevin Young
BROADCAST MANAGER
Nathan Gunner
BUSINESS MANAGER
Elizabeth Benjes
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER
David Condon
PROJECT DIRECTOR
Pamela Rosenstein
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Laurie Cahalane
SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
SENIOR PRODUCERS
Julia Cort Chris Schmidt
SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER
Melanie Wallace
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Alan Ritsko
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

Produced by DSP for NOVA/WGBH Boston in association with BBC

© 2013 Darlow Smithson Productions Ltd.

All Rights Reserved

Additional Material © 2014 WGBH Educational Foundation

All rights reserved

This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.

IMAGE:

Image credit: (Neil Armstrong)
© Bettmann/CORBIS

Participants

Buzz Aldrin
Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot
Carol Armstrong
Neil's Second Wife
Dean Armstrong
Neil's Brother
Janet Armstrong
Neil's First Wife
Mark Armstrong
Neil's Younger Son
Rick Armstrong
Neil's Elder Son
Andrew Chaikin
Space Historian
Mike Collins
Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot
Pat Collins
Wife of Mike Collins
Charlie Duke
Apollo 11 CAPCOM
June Hoffman
Neil's Sister
Ron Huston
Neil's Director at UC
Kotcho Solacoff
Childhood Friend
Ralph Spitzen
Neil's Student at UC

Preview | 00:30

Full Program | 53:10

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