Chasing the Moon (PBS)
I had just turned 11-years-old when the crew of Apollo 11 walked on the moon. I was a serious NASA fan, clipping newspaper articles on the flights and waking up my folks to watch launches on TV from my earliest memories. I had more than a passing interest in the Space program growing up.
These past few months, leading up to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, has been an embarrassment of riches as far as movies and documentaries on NASA and Apollo 11 in particular. The three-episode series, “Chasing the Moon” on your local PBS station, has been a great re-connection and update of all the things that I remember and many that I was totally unaware of. At the time, as an eleven-years-old, I guess I was totally focused on the persons involved, Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins and the voice narrating this story, Walter Cronkite. I was completely unaware of the whole move to work with the Russians or the politics of who was in the second group chosen to become astronauts or the Ralph Abernathy “why spend money on space when there’s so much poverty here” movement. I would hear the space vs. poverty shouts pretty much the rest of my life, but wasn’t aware of any of it at the time.
I highly recommend “Chasing the Moon” between now and the 50th anniversary. Whether you were there during the event or are just curious about this incredible achievement, if you want to understand what we can achieve, even when the motives are a bit skewed, it is worth the six hours of your time. Also, if you use the PBS app you can watch the episodes right on your device, wherever you want. Really, run, don’t walk to view the series.
Also, I don’t believe that such a monumental event can be captured by one single media thing, so I suggest consuming as many movies as possible. This is my list:
- From the Earth to the Moon
- First Man
- Chasing the Moon
- The Mighty Saturn V
- Project Gemini
- Apollo 11 (2019)
- Apollo 11: Men on the Moon