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PBS Announces SUMMER OF SPACE Lineup
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“Chasing the Moon” from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Anchors Programming Lineup Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

New Documentary 8 DAYS: THE JOURNEY OF APOLLO 11 (w.t) and Specials from NOVA and ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Will Also Premiere Along with Special Digital Collections that Celebrate the Wonder and Awe of Space Exploration


PASADENA, CA; FEBRUARY 2, 2019 -- During its presentation at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, PBS announced a celestial programming spectacle sure to excite any space enthusiast. A SUMMER OF SPACE multiplatform experience, anchored by the highly anticipated AMERICAN EXPERIENCE six-hour film “Chasing the Moon,” and including new science and history programs, will begin in July timed to the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Chasing the Moon,” written, produced and directed by Academy Award nominee Robert Stone, premieres Monday-Wednesday, July 8-10, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET. The film tells the story of the space race, from its earliest beginnings to the monumental achievement of the first lunar landing in 1969.

In addition to “Chasing the Moon,” the SUMMER OF SPACE lineup brings five new programs that cover different areas of space exploration combined with the best of PBS’ encore space-themed programming and PBS Digital Studios content. ANTIQUES ROADSHOW kicks off the lineup on July 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET, commemorating the 50th anniversary with the premiere of an all-new “Out of This World” special episode featuring stellar appraisals that include NASA memorabilia, space travel treasures, science fiction finds and more.

Viewers will take a unique journey with the crew of Apollo 11 for their eight-day, three-hour, 18-minute and 35-second mission in 8 DAYS: THE JOURNEY OF APOLLO 11 (w.t), a new documentary from BBC Studios, co-produced with PBS premiering July 17 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Rare mission audio takes viewers inside the spacecraft on its historic journey.  The film seamlessly blends this authentic mission audio, featuring candid conversations between Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins with newly shot studio footage, NASA and news archive, and stunning CGI recreation of the journey and landing to tell this amazing story in a riveting new way.

NOVA will present two new specials. On July 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET, join the next generation of engineers who aim to take us “Back to the Moon” as a stepping stone for future human missions to Mars, the Asteroid Belt and beyond. On July 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET, “The Planets” treats viewers to an up-close look at some faraway worlds, including the dark side of Pluto, an ancient Martian waterfall and the storm twice the size of Earth seen from high above Saturn, revealing how each of them has affected our own planet.

In the three-part ANCIENT SKIES, also beginning July 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET, audiences will discover how centuries of knowledge, experimentation and engineering helped our ancestors explore outer space. Expert contributors and indigenous storytellers demystify astronomical myths with scientific explanations.

“Our SUMMER OF SPACE programming lineup invites PBS viewers to visit the farthest reaches of the universe, blending past and present to celebrate both the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the latest advances in space exploration,” said Perry Simon, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming at PBS. “This exceptional collection of special programs will give viewers a historical understanding of the Apollo 11 moon landing, from its inception to execution with documentaries “Chasing the Moon” and “8 Days: The Journey of Apollo 11” (w.t.), as well as exploring the distant planets and deep mysteries of space that are well beyond human grasp with ANCIENT SKIES and NOVA programs.”

SUMMER OF SPACE programs will stream following each broadcast and be available on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video App, iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details). SUMMER OF SPACE classroom-ready materials will also be available for educators and students on PBS LearningMedia.

The SUMMER OF SPACE interactive hub will be housed on Throughout the summer, viewers are invited to submit videos, photographs, audio recordings, or text entries about how they experienced the Apollo mission and/or about their interest in space exploration in general.

“Chasing the Moon” will be supported by a multi-platform digital experience, anchored by an immersive web site featuring original short form video, collaborations with leading digital publishers and additional forms of experimental storytelling that will expand upon the characters and stories presented in the documentary. In addition, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE will host several high-profile public screening events in the months leading up to the premiere, and will partner with PBS member stations across the nation to create regional space-related content and host their own live preview events, further extending the reach of the film.

As part of the SUMMER OF SPACE, PBS KIDS will roll out new space-themed content beginning in June, including educational resources for families and educators to use all summer long. On June 17, PBS KIDS will premiere READY JET GO!: ONE SMALL STEP, a one-hour special featuring astronomy and scientific exploration. The new movie from READY JET GO! will take young viewers on far-flung adventures, as Jet and his friends journey to the moon, where they learn about Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 mission. The special will air on PBS stations and the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel, and stream on the free PBS KIDS Video app and


Encore Programs

Additional encore programs as part of PBS’ SUMMER OF SPACE are included below.  Visit for a listings document with all SUMMER OF SPACE titles.

Tuesday, July 9, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Learn about Project Manhigh, which laid the groundwork for the U.S. space program.

NOVA “First Man on the Moon”
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET
See an intimate portrait of Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Follow astronaut Scott Kelly’s 12-month mission on the International Space Station.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Meet the next generation of astronauts training to travel into deep space.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Learn how NASA’s Voyager mission revolutionized our understanding of distant planets.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
See Stephen Hawking’s greatest scientific discoveries and his rise to superstardom.

NOVA “Apollo’s Daring Mission”
Thursday, July 16, 2019, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Apollo 8’s astronauts and engineers recount the first manned mission to the moon.


About PBS
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 90 million people through television and 30 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.


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Michaé Godwin, PBS,


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