Mission manual to Summer of Space on NPT

In a summer full of significant anniversaries, we’re particularly excited about the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first moon landing. To celebrate, we’ve launched #SpaceNPT, part of PBS’ Summer of Space, which includes special programming, a dedicated website (wnpt.org/space), and a free screening event highlighting Chasing the Moon, a six-hour American Experience series chronicling the moon shot.

Join NPT and the Tennessee State Museum on Saturday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a free Space Day featuring space-themed activities and giveaways and a 2 p.m. preview of Chasing the Moon.


Here’s a step-by-step guide to space-themed shows to enjoy this month.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Secrets of the Dead: Galileo’s Moon at 7 p.m.
When a copy of Galileo’s of Sidereus Nuncius (also known as the Starry Messenger) was discovered, scientists and antiquarians were blown away, particularly by the astronomer’s watercolor notations of the phases of the moon. Was it too good to be true?

Space Chase U.S.A. at 8 p.m.
Interviews and archival footage show the space race changed Cocoa Beach, Florida, from a sleepy beach town into an astro-boomtown.

Wednesday, July 3
NOVA: Black Hole Apocalypse at 8 p.m.; Black Hole Universe at 9 p.m.
Earlier this year, the first photo of a black hole was taken, a feat that will expand our knowledge of these mysterious phenomena. In this two-part NOVA program, astrophysicist Janna Levin takes viewers on a mind-bending journey to the frontiers of black hole research.

Monday, July 8
Antiques Roadshow: Out of This World at 7 p.m.
Find out whether space-themed items ranging from a 1737 celestial & terrestrial atlas to autographed NASA photos to Star Trek memorabilia are worth astronomical amounts of money.

Chasing the Moon: American Experience at 8 p.m.
PBS’ signature space program of the summer premieres tonight! Chasing the Moon is a six-hour look at the space race that adds to the familiar story by using archival footage ‒ much of it hitherto unseen ‒ and new interviews. New themes explored in director Robert Stone’s treatment include the role of women, the toll taken on astronaut families and minority involvement in the space program.

Part 1: A Place Beyond the Sky tells the backstory of the space race, born out of the cold war of the 1950s, and how the U.S. struggled to catch up with the Soviet Union.

Tuesday, July 9
Space Men: American Experience at 7 p.m.
An encore presentation of a documentary about Project Excelsior, the Air Force program that led to important discoveries about human’s ability to withstand gravitational forces.

Chasing the Moon: American Experience at 8 p.m.
Part 2: Earthrise covers the 1960s Apollo program, from the tragedy of Apollo 1 in late January 1967 to the triumphant comeback of Apollo 8 in December 1968.

Wednesday, July 10
NOVA: Back to the Moon at 7 p.m.
A new program explores efforts to return to the moon by 2024 ‒ and the lunar minerals providing the impetus for the return.

Chasing the Moon: American Experience at 8 p.m.
Part 3: Magnificent Desolation, the conclusion of the series, ends with Apollo 11 and the first successful landing on the moon. This episode includes various perspectives about what the U.S. space program and the lunar milestone meant for society. The series repeats Tuesdays at 7 p.m., beginning July 16.

Sunday, July 14
POV Shorts: Earthrise at 10 p.m.
The iconic image of beautiful, blue Earth suspended in the black void of space over the ashen surface of the moon is another gift from 1968’s Apollo 8. It wasn’t the first image of the Earth taken from space, but it was the first color image. This 30-minute show re-airs Wednesday, July 17, at 9:30 p.m.

When We Were Apollo at 10:30 p.m.
An exploration of the Apollo program through the experiences of engineers, technicians builders and contractors.

Tuesday, July 16
Chasing the Moon: Part 1 at 7 p.m.

NOVA: Apollo’s Daring Mission at 9 p.m.
After the devastating Apollo 1 fire, the U.S. space program scrambled to get back on track to beat President Kennedy’s end-of-decade challenge to reach the moon. Apollo 8 provided crucial momentum.

Wednesday, July 17
A Year in Space at 7 p.m.
Astronaut Scott Kelly’s year-long mission aboard the International Space Station. Encore Tuesday, July 23, at 9 p.m.

8 Days: To the Moon and Back at 8 p.m.
This new documentary was co-produced by BBC Studios and combines authentic Apollo 11 mission audio, archival footage from NASA and news organizations and new dramatizations. Stunning CGI video takes viewers along for the journey from the Earth to the moon. Earthrise follows at 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 23
Chasing the Moon: Part 2 at 7 p.m.

A Year in Space at 9 p.m.

Wednesday, July 24
Ancient Skies at 7 p.m.
Gods and Monsters. This new series explores what happened when mythology and astronomy collided to expand our understanding of the universe.

NOVA: The Planets at 8 and 9 p.m.
A new NOVA miniseries traverses our Solar System; the journey begins with back-to-back episodes tonight. Inner Worlds focuses on the four planets nearest to the sun (Mercury, Venus, Mars and Earth); next, Mars is all about the red planet.

Tuesday, July 30
Chasing the Moon: Part 3 at 7 p.m.

Beyond A Year in Space at 9 p.m.
Find out what returning to Earth after a year on the International Space Station felt like to Scott Kelly.

Wednesday, July 31
Ancient Skies at 7 p.m.
Finding the Center. Flat Earth theories give way in light of Galileo’s telescope and other developments. Ancient Skies concludes Aug. 7.

NOVA: The Planets at 8 p.m.
Our Solar System’s largest planet is featured in Jupiter. The remaining three episodes of The Planets air Wednesdays through Aug. 14.

The Farthest Voyager in Space at 9 p.m.
An encore broadcast of the thought-provoking look at the ambitious Voyager missions, first launched in the 1970s, and the astronomical amount of information they have yielded.

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