NASA: National Priority (03:26)
President Lyndon B. Johnson states the U.S. will not orbit weapons of mass destruction. NASA does not support the Kennedy initiative of joint lunar missions. Wernher von Braun discusses Soviet lunar progress. (Credits)
Lunar Programs (04:41)
Nikita Khrushchev does not approve a preliminary program design until August 1964; the lunar race begins after Khrushchev's removal from power. The U.S. Gemini Program will prove the lunar orbit rendezvous. Walter Cronkite explains elements of manned space flight.
NASA Space Program (05:24)
Support for the cost of the program wanes; NASA uses astronauts to promote the program. Mark Bloom discusses press obligations. James Webb meets with congressmen about budget.
Gemini Program (06:45)
The program institutes 10 launches in 12 months. In June 1965, Ed White becomes the first American to conduct a spacewalk. Ed Dwight recalls confusion with his and White's names.
Earth Orbit Rendezvous (03:15)
Gemini's main purpose is to demonstrate EOR; Buzz Aldrin is an expert. Aldrin recalls seeing a MiG pilot use the ejection seat and his MIT thesis.
Gemini 8 (03:15)
Astronauts experience the first emergency in space when a thruster becomes stuck in the open position after docking. Neil Armstrong proves his expertise.
Gemini 12 (02:45)
Aldrin and James Lovell fly the last Gemini mission. Astronauts discuss spacewalking in the Gemini program.
Apollo 1 (08:46)
Crewmen include Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee; White cites reasons to go to the moon. Michael Collins discusses the attitudes of spacecraft assembly workers. Astronauts reflect on their mission; tragedy occurs on January 27, 1967.
Astronaut Deaths (08:05)
Bill Anders recalls learning about the Apollo 1 tragedy and informing White's wife. News stations report the flash fire; George Alexander recalls examining the spacecraft. See footage of the astronaut's funerals.
Accident Investigation (03:39)
Experts remove the Apollo 1 from the launch pad and examine the spacecraft. A frayed wire is likely the cause of the fire, but the spacecraft has many problems.
Government Committee Hearings (05:40)
NASA officials testify about the Apollo 1 disaster; senators and congressmen struggle to ask questions. Frank Borman heads a review that leads to better built spacecraft.
Public Interest and Rockets (09:04)
The U.S. experiences an era of social strife in the 1960s. Experts discuss the Saturn V rocket. Wernher von Braun supports extensive testing; George Miller implements the "all-up" test.
Space Race (08:17)
Von Braun discusses the Soviet space program and Zond 5. NASA accelerates the schedule of Apollo flights and Apollo 8 receives the Saturn 5. Poppy Northcutt discusses the Return to Earth Program and working in a male dominated field.
Apollo 8 (10:48)
ABC News covers the mission and cameras enter Frank Borman's home during the flight; his wife is anxious. Borman recalls the violence of the liftoff and going TLI.
Life in Space (06:16)
Anders recalls testing personal items, like the fecal containment device, before flight and Borman's bout with the stomach flu during the mission. Onboard television cameras provide images to viewers on Earth.
Lunar Orbit (08:57)
Anders recalls entering the shadow of the moon. Apollo 8 orbits the moon and loses radio contact with Mission Control on the back side. Cameras capture footage of the moon and Earth.
Christmas in Space (02:57)
The Apollo 8 crew has the largest televised audience on Christmas Eve. They read a passage of Genesis to the people on Earth.
Apollo 8's Return (08:54)
Anders has a different view of Earth after having been in space. The crew returns to Earth and a triumphant welcome; Northcutt receives hundreds of letters. The crew reflects on their journey and future missions.
Credits: Earthrise (01:59)
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