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When We Left Earth is the story of mankind's greatest adventure, leaving the earth and living in space. For the first time this series has digitally re-mastered the original film and audio recordings from NASA's vaults, including and all the key on-board footage filmed by the astronauts themselves. From John Glenn's Mercury mission to orbit the earth, to Neil Armstrong's first historic steps on the moon, to the unprecedented spacewalks required to repair the Hubble telescope, these epic stories are shown in stunning clarity and told by the astronauts and engineers who were there.
Produced by Dangerous Films Ltd for Discovery Channel
Copyright MMVIII Discovery Communications, Inc
ORDINARY SUPERMAN First aired: 6/8/2008
NASA selects seven men to become the first astronauts. They're all test pilots, prepared to risk their lives. No one has ever survived a vertical launch on top of a rocket, but it's the only way they know to put an astronaut into earth orbit. The Mercury astronauts and engineers need to figure out how to launch a man into space on top of a converted intercontinental ballistic missile.
FRIENDS AND RIVALS First aired: 6/8/2008
For Project Gemini, a new generation of astronauts arrive at NASA -- their mission, to test all the procedures required to land men on the moon and bring them safely back to earth. Each Gemini mission launches two men into space.
LANDING THE EAGLE First aired: 6/15/2008
The Apollo program is set to achieve the ultimate prize of the Space Race, landing men on the moon. NASA's triumphs with the first manned launch of the formidable Saturn V rocket, lifting three astronauts into deep space for the first time. Two missions later and NASA is ready to land men on the moon in the ultimate test of America's spacefaring vision.
THE EXPLORERS First aired: 6/15/2008
Now that NASA has mastered the lunar round trip, they want to explore more of the moon's mysteries. With Apollo 13, they face their biggest crisis in space. Undaunted, NASA launches more moon missions. Apollo 17 is the longest moon mission and the last time man would set foot on the moon for generations. In a new phase of the space program, NASA converts an unused Saturn V rocket into Skylab, America's first space-station.
THE SHUTTLE First aired: 6/22/2008
For its first 20 years, NASA launches capsules carrying a maximum of three people. But new requirements for a bigger cargo bay prompt a breakthrough in spacecraft design. The development of the reusable shuttle leads to a revolutionary approach to space travel, but somebody has to test fly it in space for the first time. NASA's manned programs are again leading the way, but space travel remains as dangerous as ever.
HOME IN SPACE First aired: 6/22/2008
One of the most complex instruments ever built, the Hubble Space Telescope is expected to transform our understanding of the Universe. It is NASA's greatest and highest profile mission since the Apollo era. It gives NASA the confidence to begin construction on the International Space Station. More astronauts are in space simultaneously than ever before.
Episodes were originally shown as these double bills (2 episodes in 1 airing).
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