From the Earth to the Moon

HBO (ended 1998)


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Episode Guide


  • Season 1
    • 5/10/98
      Throughout history, the moon has always fascinated humanity. In 1954, Jean-Luc Despont recalls working on 1902's Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon). He, star/writer/director Georges Méliès and everyone else involved did their best to make an interesting movie. Flashing ahead, Gene Cernan, Jack Schmitt and others recall 1972's Apollo 17 – the last moon mission. Details like how Schmitt got his chance to go to the moon, mission details and what went on up there are covered. How are these two moments related? More importantly, will humanity ever walk on the moon again?moreless
    • 5/10/98
      Throughout the entire space program, astronauts and everyone else at NASA were asked a lot from their jobs. They practically always came through no matter what, but they weren't the only ones. While the astronauts went into space, their wives had to wait for them to come home. Being the wife of an astronaut allowed them to see and do more than almost anyone else. Houses, clothes and being in the spotlight could make this a blessing. Unfortunately, given the dangerous nature of an astronaut's job, this could also be a curse.moreless
    • Galileo Was Right
      Episode 10
      Scientists are eager for particular rock samples from the moon – meaning the astronauts have to get geology crash courses. In the Apollo 15 mission, the primary and backup crews find it all so boring, which doesn't do much for the teachers in response. Jake Schmitt goes to an old friend, Professor Lee Silver, who offers a different style of teaching. In the meantime, Alfred Worden gets further help from Doctor Farouk El-Baz. All of these lessons and field trips make an impression on the astronauts – helping to determine what will be brought along with them and where the landing site will be. Will the Apollo 15 crew be ready when the time comes, though?moreless
    • 5/3/98
      Even by 1963, Alan Shepard is still riding high after making American history in 1961. He is due to return to space as part of the Gemini program, but a case of Ménière's disease prevented that chance and grounded him. Having a cushy administrative job instead just isn't the same. By 1968, however, a new type of surgery fixes his condition and the flight surgeons give him a clean bill of health. Shepard wants to be an astronaut again, and he manages to make it into the Apollo program – assigned to a crew with Stuart Rossa and Edgar Mitchell. Problem is, he has a lot of learning and training to catch up on. In order to walk on the moon for Apollo 14, Shepard must work and train hard – possibly harder than any other astronaut.moreless
    • 4/26/98
      Apollo 13 was intended to take astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert to the moon, but a sudden accident in mid-flight put their lives in doubt. Much is now known of how the crew and the people at NASA handled this situation and worked to resolve it, but there is another side to the story. Throughout the incident, the press works to find out what exactly is going on and inform the public. A clash of ethics emerges, as Emmett Seaborn seeks actual details about the astronauts' situation and Brett Hutchins questionably seeks the family angle.moreless
    • 4/26/98
      On November 24, 1969, the Apollo 12 crew – Pete Conrad, Al Bean and Dick Gordon – returned from the moon. Certainly, this mission had a different feel to it when compared to Apollo 11. Bean recounts everything he can, including his luck in joining the crew, how he helped out when lightning struck the shuttle during launch, his favorite moments and his bad luck with cameras. According to him, though, the real thrill through it all was enjoying a close friendship with Conrad and Gordon.moreless
    • 4/19/98
      It is July 1969, and years of testing, flights and controversy have all been building to this moment. The Apollo 11 mission is ready to begin and everyone on Earth knows what its purpose is. Reporter Emmett Seaborn presents a special to commemorate this event – featuring a group interview with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Issues of simulations, testing, the decision of which man got to set foot on the moon first, and more are touched on. Flashbacks offer further elaboration, as well. Finally, on July 20, 1969, the world watches as Neil and Buzz take that historic "small step."moreless
    • Spider
      Episode 5
      While the first four episodes told sequential events, this episode starts at the original plans for a moon landing. In a parallel story line, this episode shows the design, development and production of the lunar module.
    • 1968
      Episode 4
      1968 is proving eventful for the United States and the world, but not for any good reasons. Virtually each month sees something horrific happen – further violence in the Vietnam War; protests turning violent; the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy; and more. Concurrently, NASA is continuing their work as planned. However, word spreads of the Soviet Union preparing a new spacecraft for testing and launch for a lunar orbit – prompting a change of plans. A decision is made to have Apollo 8 and its crew – astronauts Jim Lovell, Bill Anders and Frank Borman – perform ten lunar orbits in late December. As work and the mission itself proceed, the United States and the world – such as the Borman family – wait in suspense.moreless
    • 4/12/98
      Nineteen months and six unmanned flights after the Apollo 1 tragedy, Wally Schirra, Don Eisele and Walt Cunningham are set to become the first Apollo astronauts to go into space. Their preparations are followed every step of the way by a documentary film crew. With the countdown under way, every element is in place, every safety precaution checked and double-checked, and every member of the crew prepared - body and soul - for the mission they are about to undertake. No one can afford to make a mistake that might endanger the life of the mission...or the lives of the men.moreless
    • Apollo 1
      Episode 2
      January 27, 1967. In preparation for the flight of Apollo 1, astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee undergo a routine "plug-out" test in their space capsule. But their routine test turns to disaster when a small electrical fire explodes into a raging inferno, taking the lives of three men before their ship can even leave the ground. A nation mourns, but a watchful Senate Committee - anxious over the extreme haste and massive expenditure involved in fulfilling the late President Kennedy's dream - may pull their own plug from the entire Apollo project.moreless
    • Can We Do This?
      Episode 1
      On April 12, 1961, the Soviet Union accomplishes the unthinkable – Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin has orbited the Earth. Though Alan Shepard soon achieves the same feat in the Mercury program, Sputnik and other Soviet space accomplishments show that the United States is running far behind in the space race. Suggested by Hugh Dryden and committed to by President Kennedy, the ultimate goal and finish line will be a man setting foot on the moon. This puts NASA under extreme pressure, as they must figure out how to perform EVA, rendezvous, docking, long duration and spaceflight. Nine new astronauts must also be trained. In order to complete the Gemini program, work must be done and tragic problems must be weathered.moreless