Release Date: June 4, 2019
Available on VOD & DVD on Amazon
Space, the final frontier… The 60s was a time filled with uncertainty. The Vietnam War, civil unrest and a dream—Kennedy promised to put a man on the moon and Russia put a man in space. It was a race to be the First to the Moon.
Director Paul Hildebrandt explains why America had to take chances during the Cold War in order to boldly go where no man has gone before and the result was inspiring. His two-hour documentary covers a lot of ground and has to dwell on the socio-political problems of the time to explain what everyone was facing. Despite a few setbacks, the Apollo mission was still a go and the result is inspiring.
To find the pilots with the right stuff makes up act one. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders recount their lives before getting accepted into NASA. Each of them had their childhood dreams and they involved getting into careers that would eventually lead them to fly higher than ever before. Most of them involved aviation and without this skill, to navigate a strange new world (of the upper atmosphere and beyond) would’ve been far more difficult.
Their flight of Apollo 8 took on the challenge to orbit the moon. While two more missions were required to test the hardware (the lunar module specifically) before man could step onto it, this look back at history nicely recounts some of the fears they had and yet reflects upon how hopeful they became when launch date was closer. These concerns were ingrained in the American psyche. To beat them down was easy and that meant staying positive. As part of this documentary recounts these astronaut’s early lives, their training for this mission and their experiences, what I hear are anecdotal.
Apollo 8 was a mission involving many firsts. Without this mission, we would not see the very photographs taken by a human of the earth rise. Without these early missions to test the equipment, Apollo 11 would not have happened.
4 Stars out of 5