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Premieres July 8, 2019

Chasing the Moon

Film Description

“Chasing the Moon,” a film by Robert Stone, reimagines the race to the moon for a new generation, upending much of the conventional mythology surrounding the effort. The series recasts the Space Age as a fascinating stew of scientific innovation, political calculation, media spectacle, visionary impulses and personal drama. Utilizing a visual feast of previously overlooked and lost archival material — much of which has never before been seen by the public — the film features a diverse cast of characters who played key roles in these historic events. Among those included are astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman and Bill Anders; Sergei Khrushchev, son of the former Soviet premier and a leading Soviet rocket engineer; Poppy Northcutt, a 25-year old “mathematics whiz” who gained worldwide attention as the first woman to serve in the all-male bastion of NASA’s Mission Control; and Ed Dwight, the Air Force pilot selected by the Kennedy administration to train as America’s first black astronaut.


Get a Sneak Peek of Chasing the Moon
Join American Experience for special preview screenings of the upcoming miniseries. Each event includes a screening of an excerpt from the film, followed by a panel discussion with special guests.

All screenings are free — reserve your seats now!

Ingleside, IL
May 20, 23, 29 and 30
Big Hollow Middle School #38
Learn more: Big Hollow Middle School #38

Boston, MA
Thursday, May 23
JFK Presidential Library
Learn more: JFK Library

Dodge, NE
Wednesday, May 29
John Rogers Memorial Library
Learn more: John Rogers Memorial Library

Sandy, OR
Friday, May 31
Sandy and Hoodland Public Libraries
Learn more: Sandy and Hoodland Public Libraries

Alliance, NE
Thursday, May 28
Alliance High School
Learn more: Alliance High School

Syracuse, NY
Saturday, June 1
Onondaga Free Library
Learn more: Onondaga Free Library

Mamaroneck, NY
Sunday, June 2
Mamaroneck Public Library
Learn more: Mamaroneck Library

Eustis, FL
Wednesday, June 5
Eustis Memorial Library
Learn more: Eustis Memorial Library

Fargo, ND
Thursday, June 6
Fargo Public Library
Learn more: Fargo Public Library


Robert Stone headshot
Robert Stone

Writer, Director & Producer
Robert Stone is a multi-award-winning, Oscar-nominated and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. Born in England, he grew up in both Europe and America. After graduating with a degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he moved to New York City in 1983 to pursue a career in filmmaking. He gained considerable recognition for his first film, Radio Bikini (1987), which premiered at Sundance, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary and was the first of his seven films to premiere on American Experience. His best-known works includes Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (2004), which premiered at Sundance and went on to become one of the most highly acclaimed theatrical documentaries of the year. That was followed by the documentary feature Oswald’s Ghost (2007), for which Stone earned a second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Non-Fiction Filmmaking. Earth Dayswas the Closing Night Film at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically to wide critical acclaim. His next film, Pandora’s Promise, premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, won the prestigious Green Award at the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival and was broadcast on CNN in 2013. In addition toRadio BikiniGuerrilla, Oswald’s Ghost and Earth Days, Stone also produced The Satellite Sky, Civilian Conservation Corps and Cold War Roadshow for American Experience.

Mark Samels headshot
Mark Samels

Executive Producer, American Experience
Mark Samels conceives, commissions and oversees all films for the PBS flagship history series American Experience. Samels has overseen more than 130 films, expanding both the breadth of subjects and the filmmaking style embraced by the series, allowing for more contemporary topics and witness-driven storytelling. Beginning his career as an independent documentary filmmaker, he held production executive positions at public television stations in West Virginia and Pennsylvania before joining WGBH. Samels is a founding member of the International Documentary Association and has served as a governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Samels holds honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Emerson College and Elizabethtown College.

Susan Bellows headshot
Susan Bellows

Senior Producer, American Experience
Susan Bellows is an award-winning producer and writer with more than 20 years of experience producing national programs for public television. Bellows most recently served as the writer, director and producer for The Bombing of Wall Street, which premiered on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE in February 2018. She was also the producer and director on the four-hour JFK, which premiered in 2013. Since joining the series in 2003, she has provided editorial support and guidance to its broadcast and new media work. Previously, Bellows served as senior producer for the Peabody and Emmy-Award winning series Africans in America. Her other producing credits include films for The Great Depression, for which she received an Emmy nomination, and America’s War On Poverty, both productions of Blackside, Inc. Bellows also co-produced New Worlds, New Forms for the WNET-produced series Dancing, an eight-hour landmark series on dance forms around the world.

Premieres across three nights, beginning July 8 on PBS.

Major funding for Chasing the Moon provided by

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Additional funding for Chasing the Moon provided by

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