Best Space Documentaries to Stream Before the Apollo 11 Anniversary

first_img Butter Sculptures Celebrate Apollo 11 AstronautsApollo 11 Tapes Sold For $1.82M at Sotheby’s Auction Stay on target As the nation (and the world) prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, space fans can pre-game with documentaries that relive the nail-biting mission, explore the wonders of space exploration, and honor the people who made (and continue to make) the giant leap for mankind.Here, we round up new and older documentaries, many featuring fascinating archival footage that bring audiences back to the most important moments of the space race.Apollo 11 (2019)If you can only watch one documentary this month, make it this one. Directed by Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11 features never-before-seen footage and audio recordings that take you straight into the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission as astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins embark on a historic trip to the moon. The stunning documentary, which aired on CNN in June, is available for rent on purchase on Amazon. Or you can catch it on CNN, which is airing it again on July 20, the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.Stream it on AmazonLast Man on the MoonThe Last Man on the Moon focuses on astronaut Gene Cernan, the commander of the Apollo 17 mission, and who, on December 14, 1972, became the last person (to date) to set foot on the lunar surface. Cernan’s story is a compelling one, and his NASA career shaped his life and (devastatingly) affected his relationships. In the documentary, Cernan, now in his 80s, serves as a tour guide of sorts to his own life, taking viewers through the heavy personal sacrifices that come with taking on the pioneering treks into space.Stream it on NetflixThe Farthest: Voyager in SpaceNASA’s Voyager mission is one of of humanity’s greatest achievements in exploration. The twin spacecraft —each with less computing power than a cell phone — used slingshot trajectories to visit Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. They captured images and sent back data that revolutionized our understanding of remote planets and their many peculiar moons. The Farthest tells the captivating tales of the people and events behind the Voyager, which, a billion years from now, will probably be the only remaining evidence that humanity ever existed.Stream it on NetflixMercury 13The so-called Mercury 13 was a group of women who trained to become astronauts for America’s first human spaceflight program in the early 1960, but were asked to step aside when only men are selected for spaceflight. Like the movie Hidden Figures, this documentary offers a glimpse of the challenges women faced during the space race, and shines a light on how the commitment of these women paved the way for others who followed.Stream it on NetflixIn the Shadow of the MoonIn the Shadow of the Moon brought together surviving crew members from every single Apollo mission that flew to the Moon to chronicle — in their own words — all the triumphs and disasters of the Apollo space program between 1968 and 1972. Director David Sington used amazing archival footage to revisit the 1960s and an optimistic country still stuck in the shame of the Vietnam war. With no narration, the documentary gives the spotlight to the astronauts (although Neil Armstrong did not participate), who let their humility and humor shine.Stream it on AmazonFight for SpaceHas the U.S. lost its direction in space? Why haven’t we gone back to the Moon in over 45 years? These are some of the questions in the heart of this 2016 documentary, which explains the economic and cultural benefits of human space exploration, and examines the historical political events that have led to the decline of NASA’s budget since 1968, and its struggle to return to the Moon and send humans to Mars.Stream it on AmazonHubble 3DThe Hubble Space Telescope is one of the towering scientific and technological achievements of our age and missions to repair and upgrade it have been some of NASA’s most difficult and important tasks. In this documentary narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, the jaw-dropping photography, which take advantage of 3D technology, is the highlight. The footage was compiled from multiple sources, including IMAX cameras taken into space on Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Missions by the Space Shuttle. This allowed the camera to shoot footage of the satellite close-up and during maintenance. IMAX cameras were taken to the Hubble Space Telescope on STS-61 (Servicing Mission 1 in December 1993) and on STS-125 (Servicing Mission 4 in May 2009) which carried an IMAX 3D camera.Stream it on AmazonMore on Apollo Moon Landing at NASA’s Restored Mission Control CenterApollo 11 Tapes Bought for $218 Could Fetch Millions at AuctionNASA: Share Your Memories of the Apollo 11 Moon Landinglast_img