National Geographic to commemorate moon landing with special programmingBy Ryan Noik 7 June 2019 | Categories: news
One of the defining ventures that captured the imagination of the world in the previous century was NASA’s success in landing the first man on the moon. Fifty years on, come this 20th July, and National Geographic will be commemorating the “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” with a Space Week of special programming. Leading the charge is a two-hour feature documentary called Apollo: Missions to the Moon.
The movie has some serious directorial street creed to its name, with Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Tom Jennings (“Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes,” “Diana: In Her Own Words”) taking the helm as both director and producer.
The film weaves together more than 500 hours of footage, 800 hours of audio and 10 000 photos, using Jennings’ signature style of first-person storytelling to take viewers behind the scenes. This immersive account spans the full sweep of NASA’s Apollo Space Program — from the ill-fated Apollo 1 mission, which claimed the lives of three astronauts, to the final flight that brought the program to a close.
More particularly, the film features newly transferred film and never-before-heard audio to recount the key moments of America’s goal to land on the moon before 1970. The missions are experienced entirely through archival TV footage, never-before-heard radio broadcasts, home movies, NASA film and mission-control audio to create an eyewitness-like experience. The film includes several firsts, including the combination of NASA footage with “black-box” recordings from Apollo capsules and the synchronization of 30-track audio from mission control.
Furthermore, there is some considerable talent involved in the film’s score, which is composed by James Everingham for Bleeding Fingers Music and produced by Academy Award, Golden Globe, Tony Award and Grammy Award winner Hans Zimmer and Emmy-nominated Russell Emanuel.
As if Zimmer’s input wasn’t enough, the predominantly orchestral score will also boast electronically manipulated sounds from the 1960’s heyday of NASA space explorations, including the Apollo mission open radio frequencies, the Kepler Star and Sputnik’s telemetry beacon.
Apollo: Missions to the Moon, however, is just the beginning of what National Geographic has lined up, to, we hope, reignite the wonder and shared sense of purpose that the space voyage evoked. Also on the agenda for space and science is the following:
Explorer: Journey to Europa
Europa — an icy moon of Jupiter 780 million kilometres away from Earth — may be our best hope for finding alien life in our solar system. Today, an innovative class of explorers and scientists is planning a trip to Europa to answer the question — could there be life?
The Armstrong Tapes
This one-hour documentary provides a personal and in-depth look at Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. Armstrong's sole authorized biographer, family members and colleagues sit down with National Geographic to reveal an intimate look at one of the world's greatest and least-known heroes.
Challenger Disaster: The Final Mission
The film follows the tragic story of the historic space shuttle Challenger and its crew. The events of the days leading up to the disaster are detailed using no narration or new interviews; instead, the story is told through journalists’ reports, rarely seen images, extensive recordings from NASA and interviews with those who were part of the one-of-a-kind mission.
Mars: Inside SpaceX
The special goes inside SpaceX’s plan to get humanity to Mars and provides an unprecedented glimpse into one of the world’s most revolutionary companies. Taking us behind the scenes with Elon Musk and his engineers, we get an inside look as they persevere amid both disheartening setbacks and huge triumphs.
Apollo: Back to the Moon
Using a fresh perspective and driven by the production processes and techniques that have evolved rapidly, this documentary describes the epic adventure to the moon. This immersive account details the journey of those who contributed to the Apollo 11 mission.
Hubble’s Amazing Journey
For more than 25 years the Hubble Space Telescope has told us about the creation of stars and planets, the glory of supernovas and the formation of supermassive black holes. It has changed forever our understanding of reality itself. In this updated version, we reveal some of Hubble’s latest observations: exoplanets, astrophysical jets and the bubble nebula.
Mission Pluto and Beyond
With unprecedented access to NASA’s spacecraft New Horizons team, this landmark film takes viewers inside the daring mission of reaching the last great uncharted realm of our solar system — Pluto.
Mission Saturn: Inside the Rings
This one-hour special gives viewers an incredible look at the planet and an inside examination of the team that dreamed to explore it. The robotic spacecraft Cassini dives into Saturn’s atmosphere and attempts to survive its elements as it descends into the planet. After a valiant three and a half hours, Cassini sends its final signal.
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