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Space Race

Premier :: 2005-09-14

on BBC

Genre :: Documentary

Space Race poster
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4 part mini seriesFrom the author of Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, another highly anticipated TV tie-in charting the shocking but true story behind the space race and the ruthless, brilliant scientists who fuelled it.The end of the Cold War finally reveals a generation of secrets and cover-ups, bringing a historical opportunity: the unmasking of the true heroes and villains behind the biggest race of mankind. This is one of the greatest stories in world history, beginning in the bloody throes of the Second World War and spanning through to the moon landings. With the two superpowers pitched against one another during the Cold War, this is the race to create the most powerful rocket and dominate the world, culminating in 1969's 'giant leap for mankind'. The most pioneering and high-risk experiments ever undertaken cost untold millions and hundreds of lives as mistakes were made, some too horrific to be made public. It is a tale that plays out against a backdrop of communism and espionage. Buried within this multi-million-dollar battle between nations are the dramatic accounts of the individuals whose passion to be the winner of this dream at any cost. With ex-Nazi Wernher von Braun on the American side pitted against the enigmatic Sergei Korolev on the Soviet side, this revealing new history shows the extent to which politics and personal ambition combined to create an explosive race for the glory of victory.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 4 - Race for the Moon
Aired - 05 October 2005

Episode summary:

Race To The Moon, spans 1964-1969. Both sides now plan to put a man on the Moon - while the Soviets struggle, the Americans pull ahead in the space race with Project Gemini, but then suffer a disaster with the Apollo 1 fire. The Soviet space programme suffers its own blows: Sergei Korolev dies when his heart fails during an operation, Soyuz 1 crashes and kills cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, and their planned moon rocket, the N-1 rocket, fails to successfully launch. In America, von Braun has difficulties with the Saturn V, but they are overcome, and the rocket successfully launches the first manned lunar mission, Apollo 8, and the first manned lunar landing, Apollo 11.

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 1

+ Episode - 4 Race for the Moon Aired - 05 October 2005
+ Episode - 3 Race for Survival Aired - 28 September 2005
+ Episode - 2 Race for Satellites Aired - 21 September 2005
+ Episode - 1 Race for Rockets Aired - 14 September 2005

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