Horizon (1964) s00e56 Episode Script

40 Years on the Moon

1 The moon.
To get there you have to fly at 25,000 miles an hour.
You have to travel a quarter of a million miles there .
and a quarter of a million miles back.
And when you return to Earth, your spaceship has to survive re-entry temperatures of 2,500 degrees centigrade.
And we've done it.
I'm Professor Brian Cox.
I'm a physicist, and as long as I can remember, I've been captivated by the story of our journey to the moon.
Telling that story over the years, and inspiring me along the way, were BBC presenters like James Burke and Patrick Moore.
Patrick Moore, what did you think of that? Quite incredible.
From the early days of animals in space I'm at the foot of the ladder.
to Armstrong's momentous first steps There is Armstrong .
to the near tragedy of Apollo 13 'OK, Houston, we've had a problem.
' Say again, please? 'Houston, we've had a problem.
' .
the BBC covered the whole story.
And we've just heard that all over the world there are 33 countries that have stayed up to take these pictures live.
I believe that the Apollo moon landings were the greatest achievement in human history, the last time we reached for something beyond our grasp, and made it.
But that was 40 years ago.
So what was it about July 1969 that brought the moon within our reach, and why haven't we been back for 37 years? This is the story of how we walked on the moon, of the technology that enabled it to happen, the politics that demanded it happen, and the triumph of the human spirit that made it happen.
We've all got used to the remarkable fact that humans have walked on the moon.
And it's easy to forget that only fifty years ago, the moon was another world, technologically out of reach.
But then the Cold War began.
It created a climate of fear and insecurity, but also brought about the international competition that would drive humanity towards the stars.
In 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the Earth.
A new era had begun.
CHIRPING Until two days ago that sound had never been heard on this Earth.
Suddenly it has become as much a part of 20th century life as the whirr of your vacuum cleaner.
It's a report from man's farthest frontier, the radio signal transmitted by the Soviet Sputnik, the first man-made satellite as it passed over New York earlier today.
Right now, it's over Auckland, New Zealand.
According to the latest Soviet announcement the satellite is still maintaining its speed of 18,000 miles an hour, a dozen times faster than any man has ever flown.
But despite the achievement, the public couldn't help but see things through the prism of Cold War fear.
Do you admire the Russians for doing it? No, definitely not.
We should've been the first ones to have it, such things.
It gets the American people alarmed that a foreign country, especially an enemy country, can do this, and we fear this.
We fear that they have something that the majority of people don't know about.
Definitely alarmed.
What do you think about America not being able to do the same? Well, if I was in military service and fell down on the job like that, I could stand a court martial.
Somebody's falling down on the job, badly.
Sputnik's mocking beeps marked the beginning of the space race.
The cosy myth of American technological superiority over Soviet Russia was shattered overnight.
The Soviet Union had managed to launch Sputnik into orbit 500 miles above the surface of the Earth, travelling at 18,000 miles an hour.
It was an enormous challenge to America's pride, and a direct challenge to the supposed supremacy of the capitalist system.
For the next 15 years, space became the frontline of the Cold War, and, initially at least, America failed to dominate.
This was to be America's answer to Sputnik, the Explorer satellite.
To hurl it into space, the Vanguard, a navy research rocket.
The Soviets had used a military rocket, a missile, for their space shot.
President Eisenhower wanted the American's entry into space to have the appearance, at least, of a non-military enterprise.
But Vanguard gave the world another image of American technology.
'100 million dollars has just gone up in a huge, red orange ball of smoke.
'We don't know what caused the failure.
' My first reaction, I believe, is the normal reaction of every American.
I'm disappointed.
Disappointment alone wasn't enough to help them catch up, as the Russians soon reached another historic landmark.
The Soviet Union has launched a second Earth satellite.
The satellite is carrying a dog as experimental passenger.
Laika the dog had been launched into space with no possibility of returning to Earth.
Even in the '50s, animal rights activists were vocal.
The party from the canine defence league have now come out of the Embassy.
Are you going to take any further steps, Mr Johns? Well, we are asking dog lovers everywhere to observe a silent minute at 11 o'clock each morning, while this dog is in outer space.
Laika's loneliness was short-lived.
Though the Soviets claimed she had survived for several days, almost 50 years later, the truth came out.
In 2002, they admitted that the dog astronaut died within a few hours of take-off.
By now the Americans weren't far behind, and one year later they sent a chimp named Ham into space.
This was the first big venture of the newly-created National Aeronautics And Space Administration, NASA.
This time, the Red Stone rocket lobbed Ham safely into space.
He returned after a few minutes in that new environment apparently healthy, if a little confused.
In 1961, the Russians were once again the first to reach a major milestone when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.
This is the BBC Home Service.
Here is the news.
All Moscow is waiting to give a hero's welcome to the world's first spaceman, Major Gagarin of the Soviet Air Force.
Major Gagarin was sent up in his 4.
5 tonne spaceship from somewhere in the Soviet Union.
As he looked down on the Earth from the loneliness of space, he streaked across Asia, Africa, and South America, controlling the pitch and roll of the ship.
Shortly after the news was given of the flight, Tom German interviewed Sir Bernard Lovell at Jodrell Bank.
I think this is one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind.
It's remarkable when one realises that this success has been achieved by a nation that a generation ago was largely illiterate.
The Russians celebrated yet more proof of Soviet superiority.
And, finally, here was an achievement so momentous that it transcended earthly rivalries.
What do you think of the news? I think it's fantastic.
I can tell you he's now back, safe and sound.
Really? I didn't think he would get back.
What do you feel about this generally? Do you think the Russians have whacked us? Definitely, I really do.
I think it's a marvellous achievement.
There'll soon be a man on the moon at this rate.
Such was Gagarin's accomplishment that the BBC pushed the televisual boundaries of the time with a live broadcast of his triumphant homecoming.
This is Richard Dimbleby in the BBC TV studio in London.
You're looking, if you've just turned on your television sets today, at the first time, perhaps, to a live television picture from Soviet Russia.
And in spite of those flashes now and then, this is remarkable achievement, getting a picture, through all those different links and short waves, and other waves, and being able to show an aeroplane propeller whirling round as we were seeing it right in front of our faces just now from such a distance.
Here is a man who has done and seen things that no other living person has done or seen.
And there is Mr Kruschev.
HE SPEAKS FOREIGN LANGUAGE Mr Krushchev embraces him, kissing There's certainly enthusiasm, and I can well understand why they feel so enthusiastic.
Once again, America tasted humiliation in the space race.
But perhaps it was what the country needed.
Gagarin's obvious good health after his orbit of the Earth galvanised NASA's doctors.
The fact that Yuri Gagarin flew and flew successfully from a life scientist's point of view, in the way he'd gone up and come back and appeared to be in very good shape, I think was a very positive stimulus to the programme because it demonstrated clearly that this new environment was perhaps not quite so bad as everyone had anticipated, and I think it made it easier to put Alan Shepherd into flight, although quite frankly we would've done it in any case, whether Gagarin had flown or not.
Three weeks after Gagarin's flight, a Red Stone rocket awaited the arrival of American's first astronaut.
It was the early morning of 5 May, 1961.
Alan Shepherd's arrival at the launch pad was conspicuously different from Gagarin's.
America was to conduct its space programme in public.
Taken aback at first by this policy, the man who directed most of American's manned space flights, Christopher Craft.
For those of us who were working on the programme daily, it was inconceivable to us that we were going to have real time television of a missile launch from Cape Canaveral because of the dangers associated with that, the fact that we were going to be in a looking glass of the world, it never crossed our minds.
That's what happened the day we flew Alan Shepherd.
It was an exciting time, it was a time of competition with the Russians.
Just before we flew Alan Shepherd the Russians had flown Gagarin in space and put him in orbit and here we were just putting Shepherd into sub-orbital flight.
We were very disappointed that we'd lost that part of the race but at the same time even then we couldn't conceive the attention it was going to be given.
We thought maybe that'd taken some of the pressure off the situation but it hadn't.
Shepherd's five minute entry into space showed that an American, as well as a Russian, could survive there.
But before the first American even went into orbit around the Earth, the US was committed to the moon.
Kennedy's new administration, only four months old, was in trouble.
The economy, the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the Gagarin flight.
Kennedy urgently needed proof of his new frontier.
His Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, was an ardent supporter of the space programme.
In a memo to Johnson, Kennedy asked his Vice President to identify a goal in space that America had the best chance of reaching before the Russians.
Johnson's answer was prompt, the most difficult goal of all, allowing America time to overtake the Russian lead.
Johnson's response prompted President Kennedy to make one of the most memorable political speeches in history, and set America on course to a new world.
I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon, and returning him safely to the Earth.
No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long range exploration of space.
And none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.
While Congress applauded, and agreed to the moon commitment without even taking a vote, NASA now had a clear goal, and for the moment at least, a blank cheque.
NASA had pushed for the moon programme, but when Kennedy's challenge came, many in the Agency were aghast.
When he said that we were going to go land men on the moon and bring them back safely by the end of the decade, some of us thought that was biting off a little bit more than we could tolerate.
Here we were in the throws of still trying to fly our first orbital flight, and someone said we were going to go land men on the moon.
Kennedy's speech in 1961 was, in my opinion, one of the great political speeches.
"We choose to go to the moon not because it's easy, but because it's hard.
" How many politicians today can you imagine aiming for an almost unachievable goal? The plan was stunningly ambitious, and it presented NASA with numerous challenges, not least finding men who were made of the right stuff.
I'm going, I'm going! It's fantastic! It's unbelievable! It's the most extraordinary feeling! In 1979, James Burke, the face of BBC Science, looked back at the selection criteria.
Back in December 1958 if you had wanted to be an astronaut, the announcement made it sound simple.
Basic requirements, aged between 25-40, under 5'11", it was going to be a small spacecraft, science degree qualifications, qualified jet test pilot, healthy, experienced in dangerous and stressful situations.
The selectors also said they were looking for high intelligence, ability to command, ability to take orders, motivation, creativity, mathematical ability, sociability, adaptability, maturity, decency, psychological stability.
Could you sit absolutely still in a dangerous situation? How are you doing so far? But then candidates, and there were 508 of them, had to go through exhaustive interviews in Washington, followed by every known medical test, including sperm count, at the interestingly named Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
That cut them down to 31, and then it was off to secret midnight rendezvous in groups of five in Dayton, Ohio for what was known as stress testing.
Your foot was in a bucket of ice water, there was a flash of light in your eye, very painful, you spent ten hours in a darkened room.
Some of the stuff, today we realise was unnecessary.
I think, though, that the doctors didn't know what the people would get into in space so they were trying to make sure we were immune to just about anything.
They also dropped them, spun them, heated them, tilted them, made them run on treadmills, and vibrated them until they indicated that they'd had enough.
As somebody said at the time, once you've chosen your supermen, that only leaves you about 10,000 other problems to solve.
Let's take a look at some of the major ones.
Not least, how do you get men to the moon? The trouble with that is that what goes up tends to come down.
At the time they were doing a bigger version of that with inter-continental ballistic missiles, which is why they thought they could go to the moon at all.
All they had to do was to stop the rocket falling back to Earth.
And that's where the idea of an orbit comes in.
If you fire with sufficient power, the rocket will come down halfway across the world but at an angle.
Reach a speed of over 17,000 miles an hour and the rocket will fall, but miss the Earth and go on missing it like this.
Next, you boost your speed to over 25,000 miles an hour, and the rocket will follow a new orbit, still trying to fall to Earth, but going out over 250,000 miles into space before doing so, like this.
If the rocket's intercepted at this point by the moon, the moon's gravitational field attracts the rocket just enough to change its orbit, swing it round the back of the moon and head to Earth.
A touch on the break pedal, as it were, and you stay in orbit around the moon.
Another touch, and you land.
All you have to have to be able to do that is one of these, a Saturn V.
And that is your next major problem.
How do you build one of these monsters safe enough and accurate enough to risk putting men on top and shooting them at the moon? The answer to that question is that you give it to many different people to each build and test one part.
The figures on the Saturn V were astronomical.
This first stage, made by Boeing, carried 530,000 gallons of fuel and accelerated to 6,000 miles an hour in two and half minutes.
Stage two, built by North American Aviation, increased the speed to over 15,000 miles an hour and went up to 600,000 feet.
The third stage, built by McDonnell Douglas, would eventually take the speed up to 25,000 miles an hour, escape velocity.
With the housing for the lunar module, the mother spacecraft and the launch escape tower, the whole stack reached a mind-boggling 363 feet end to end.
In 1967, there was still a long way to go before anyone would land on the moon, and as the space race stepped up a gear, corners were cut.
As training was underway for the first manned Apollo mission, there were already concerns about the dangers.
Apollo 1.
Its crew, Gus Grissom, veteran of Mercury and Gemini, Ed White, the space walker of Gemini IV, novice astronaut Roger Chaffee.
A few weeks before the first test of Apollo in Earth orbit, the Apollo 1 crew meets the press at Pad 34.
They show off their new space suits in front of the Saturn Rocket already on the Pad.
Three years remain before the decade is out, and the moon now seems very close.
Grissom, White and Chaffee clown self-consciously with the water wings built into their suits, but not everyone at NASA was happy.
A scathing assessment of the quality of the work being done on the Apollo spacecraft had been delivered to the industry contractor a year earlier by Apollo programme director, General Samuel Phillips.
General Phillips had pointed out a number of deficiencies in the spacecraft.
There isn't any engineering development some areas that are not designed as well or do not function as well as others.
These were not being changed mainly because of a schedule that had to be maintained.
And the schedule was dictated by political pressure to beat the Russians to the moon.
We must always keep this in focus.
And now the price was to be paid.
On Pad 34, the Apollo 1 crew was nearing the end of a simulated countdown.
This film of the crew was taken a few days earlier during a similar test of the spacecraft.
During the countdown several minor but irritating problems had cropped up.
Then, there was a surge of electrical current, followed by voices in the spacecraft calling out that a fire had started.
We interrupt this programme for a special CBS news report.
Astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee, were killed tonight in flash fire, during tests of the Apollo Saturn 204 Vehicle at Cape Kennedy Air Force base.
The fire occurred while the astronauts were in the spacecraft, at T minus 10 minutes prior to the planned simulated lift-off.
When the hatch was opened you could see just a void, it was dark.
The Pad leader reported to me that he could see no-one in there.
What had happened was that the .
fire, which had reached a pressure point in 19 seconds and burst the bottom part of the spacecraft, had blackened everything.
We tried to get the medics up there but there really wasn't anything we could do.
It was over so fast.
Smoke and fire had erupted through the wall of the spacecraft.
Workers on the platform struggled to open the hatches and to fight the fire with hopelessly inadequate equipment.
It took five minutes to get the hatches open.
Inside the charred smoke-filled interior, Grissom, White, and Chaffee lay dead of asphyxiation.
The charred spacecraft, wrapped to keep it from the eyes of newsmen, was removed from Pad 34 a few days later.
At the moment the fire happened, the craft was being filled with the atmosphere of pure oxygen the crew would breathe in space.
It was incredibly vulnerable to fire.
It wasn't only Americans who were dying for their lunar dream.
Just three months later, cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov crash-landed when his parachutes failed to deploy.
The first announcement of the cosmonaut's death came from the Taj Press Agency.
Moscow Radio interrupted its early morning bulletin to read it and followed the reading by solemn music.
Despite the tragedies, the space race continued.
In 1968, the Russians seemed about to take a last-minute gamble on sending someone to the moon, despite the fact that their space programme had been lagging behind.
It wasn't until 1990 that Horizon was allowed a glimpse inside a 1960s Soviet lunar lander.
It looked more like the inside of a steam train than a spaceship.
This was where the cosmonaut would stand, clutching two levers.
It was surprisingly primitive.
But rumours of a Russian lunar voyage were enough to scare the Americans, who accelerated their own plans.
The Russian intention, proclaimed on the front page of Pravda, was one reason for a change of plan.
This was another, work on the lunar landing module, the LEM, had fallen behind schedule.
The LEM had been due to fly on the Saturn V and be tested in Earth orbit.
With the LEM not ready, and the Russians threatening, NASA re-thought the mission.
The first Saturn V to carry men would take them not just around the Earth, but around the moon.
That initial suggestion was sort of awesome to think about, because we had not been working to go to the moon at that point, we were going to at best another six months later.
Just a few days before Christmas in 1968, Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon.
Three, two, one, zero.
We have lift-off, lift-off at 7:51 am Eastern Standard Time.
Now until that time, the furthest any human had been from the surface of the Earth was a few hundred miles, but Apollo 8 was to journey a quarter of a million miles further.
And as the spacecraft passed behind the dark side of the moon, Borman, Lovell and Anders would become the first humans to lose sight completely of their home.
The journey to the moon would take almost three days.
In mission control in Houston, Director of Flight Operations Craft and his colleagues could do little but wait and watch.
On board, Jim Lovell's navigation was pinpoint accurate.
At 4am, Houston time, the 24 December, Apollo 8 went behind the moon and fired its engine to drop into lunar orbit.
We've got it, we've got it, Apollo 8 now in lunar orbit, there's a cheer in this room, this is Apollo Control Houston, switching to the voice of Jim Lovell.
Apollo 8, Houston, what does the old moon look like from 60 miles? Over.
OK, Houston, the moon is essentially grey, no colour, looks like plaster of Paris, the craters are all rounded off, there's quite a few of them, some of them are newer.
I think that each one of us carries his own impression of what he's seen today.
I know my own impression is that it's a vast, lonely, forbidding expanse of nothing.
It certainly would not appear to be an inviting place to live or work.
And BBC One have just joined us, I'd like to welcome their viewers.
As you heard, they're signing off in order to get on with preparations for the second burn on the other side of the moon to bring them into circular orbit and much closer to the moon.
Patrick Moore, what did you think of that? Quite incredible.
One thing we've got to bear in mind, they were magnificent pictures, I'm not sure they show us more detail than the orbiters, probably not.
But people were seeing them for the first time, and this is bound to add to our knowledge.
Sir Bernard, a comment from you? It was absolutely marvellous.
I did hear that description and I thought it was quite extraordinary, one of the most remarkable few minutes that I've ever lived through, the realisation that there was a human being there only 60 or 70 miles above the lunar surface giving that wonderful description of what he was seeing.
On Christmas Eve, 1968, the world received a message and a set of images, the likes of which we had never seen before.
For centuries we had peered into space from the Earth.
Now, we could see ourselves as the rest of the universe would see us.
We're now approaching a lunar sunrise.
And for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we'd like to send to you.
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the Earth, and the Earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and God said, "Let there be light," and there was light, and God saw the light, that it was good.
And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a merry Christmas, and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.
The largest TV audience to date watched the transmission.
The world was hooked on the story of the moon.
But the year ends for America, and come to that the world, with the staggering triumph of the Apollo 8 moonshot.
So despite the disappointments and frustrations, 1968 culminated in one great success.
Maybe this will be the signpost for 1969.
Perhaps when the final assessment is made of 1968, it will go down as the year when the reality of scientific achievement at long last caught up with the fiction.
From Stanley Kubrick's dazzling cinematic release to pop music to children's TV, space was the latest craze.
Certainly wouldn't like to meet him on a dark night in space! Possibly the first man on the moon will be an American and it's nice to think that we've helped him on his way with our specially made British cooling suit.
The side doors open and out comes the astronaut, takes a look, quick bit of filming, back in he goes, up goes the hatch, and away we go.
Well, I feel quite comfortable and free in this suit.
It is getting a bit cold and I'm going to switch it off before I freeze to death because it's not too warm in here at the moment.
Off the table he goes, this is the sort of thing that can happen to astronauts.
Even some scientists started getting carried away.
We'll develop what you might call space communities, branches of the human civilisation which are no longer located on Earth, but are located in orbits around Earth or even orbits around the sun or other planets.
But who is going to want to live out there, it seems such an alien environment? That is very true, but who on Earth wanted to go to Australia? Research had already begun on the practicalities of how humans could survive in space for long periods of time.
It's hygiene which is most affected by weightlessness.
The confined conditions require such things as a vacuum razor, which does not fill the cabin with choking stubble dust.
A special technique for clipping fingernails, and extremely short hair to reduce problems of dandruff.
Recovery of waste matter has also not been necessary for short missions, but now urine has to be purified to conserve water.
Filtering it through this wick is so successful that during a blind trial the result was preferred to tap water.
The preparation of food also presented problems, and scientists were working on alternatives to the freeze-dried meals of earlier missions.
This is bacon-flavoured protein, strawberry-flavoured protein, chicken, and here's pepperoni-flavoured protein.
To this we can add, let's say, a glycerol solution .
to produce a rather soft, somewhat tasty, material.
And it doesn't taste particularly sweet either, it tastes quite a bit like regular pepperoni.
We could provide the astronauts with just pure flavour and they could take the sugar and convert it into a starch material and end up with things like pancakes or spaghetti, or even bread for that matter, that they manufacture or cook for themselves on these very long duration missions.
It might even be fun to do that on a boring trip to Mars, shall we say.
Mars could wait.
The moon could not.
Only a few months remained before Kennedy's deadline would expire.
This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.
By the end of the '60s, even though it was engaged in an increasingly unpopular and expensive war in Vietnam, America stood ready to achieve Kennedy's dream.
We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained and new rights to be won.
We choose to go to the moon! We choose to go to the moon! We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
Well, another perfect launch of the kind we've come to expect.
I think it's really rather to staggering to remember the first men on the moon are really on their way.
A few days later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left Michael Collins alone in the command module and made their final descent in the lunar lander.
It would later emerge that the mission nearly ended in catastrophe.
Unfortunately, we had started the LEM guidance computer off with a navigational error.
It was approximately 14 mph.
What that means is the guidance computer thinks that it is going toward the moon 14 miles an hour slower than it really is.
'Capcom we're go for landing' Eagle Houston, you're go for landing.
'12:01 alarm.
' 12:01 alarm.
'Set time for go flight.
' We're go.
We're go.
When they looked out of the LEM window, Armstrong and Aldrin expected to see a flat landing area.
Instead, they found themselves looking at a boulder field.
In mission control, the flight surgeon watched Armstrong's heart rate jump from 77 to 156.
The LEM would have to clear the boulders to avoid a crash landing.
Armstrong fired his thrusters to look for somewhere to touch down.
But this wasn't part of the plan, and the Eagle had limited fuel.
Eventually they found a site, but by now they had only 30 seconds to land, or they would have to abort.
'30 seconds.
' 30 seconds.
'Contact light.
OK, engine stop.
' We copy you down, Eagle.
'Houston, er 'Tranquillity Bay here, the Eagle has landed.
' Roger, Tranquillity, we copy you on the ground.
You've got a bunch of guys here about to turn blue, we're breathing again, thanks a lot.
I was one year old when Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and I watched it.
Now, I don't whether there are any of the tiniest fragments of the memories that still remain, but I still find it an incredibly powerful experience to watch it back today.
That night, all around the world, televisions were ready to screen the final step in a journey that began with Kennedy's speech eight years previously.
Well, this is the moment, if there ever was a moment, for Patrick Moore.
I really feel overcome.
I've lived with this idea all my life.
Now that it's really happened I can hardly believe it.
No admiration can be too great for those magnificent men who brought this strange, spidery module down on the moon.
This, obviously, is a moment that humanity is never going to forget.
Here's the picture! We're getting a picture on the TV.
There's a great deal of contrast, and currently it's upside down on our monitor, but we can make out a fair amount of detail.
There is Armstrong, you can see him moving.
'I'm at the foot of the ladder.
'The LEM footbeds are only 'depressed in the surface about one or two inches.
'I'm going to step off the LEM now.
'That's one small step for man, 'one giant leap for mankind.
' There's Aldrin.
Armstrong's going to try and guide Aldrin out as he comes backwards.
'How far are my feet from the edge?' 'You're right at the edge of the porch.
' 'Making sure not to lock it on my way out.
' HE LAUGHS 'There you go.
' 'Beautiful view.
' 'Isn't that something?' 'Magnificent sight out here.
' 'Magnificent desolation.
'OK, Houston I'm going to change lenses on you.
' A moment while Neil Armstrong changes lens on the television camera.
When he takes it out to its distant position, we'll get a wide view of everything that's going on.
NASA covered their spacecrafts with cameras, allowing an adoring audience to follow every minute of the story.
It turned astronauts into heroes, and their voyages into dramas.
'Why don't you turn around and let them get a view from there? 'Let them see what the view looks like.
' There it is.
The lunar module.
The sea of tranquillity.
'OK, I'm going to move it.
' 'OK, here's another good one.
' The blackness of the sky.
'OK, we got that one.
' 'Roger, and we see Buzz going about his work.
' 'OK, it looks good there, Neil.
' We've just heard that all over the world there are 33 countries that have stayed up to take these pictures live.
Once again, an Apollo mission notched up the largest ever TV audience, with over half a billion people tuning in.
After less than 24 hours on the moon's surface, the lunar module blasted off to rendezvous with the command module in lunar orbit.
We've come to the conclusion that this has been far more than three men on a voyage to the moon.
We feel that this stands as a symbol of the insatiable curiosity of all of mankind to explore the unknown.
The acceptance of this challenge was inevitable.
Upon their return, the Apollo 11 heroes were placed in quarantine due to fears of lunar germs.
But that didn't stop President Nixon from personally welcoming them home and reaping the political rewards of the seeds sown by his Democrat predecessors, Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.
Gee, you look great.
Do you feel as good as you look? We feel just perfect, Mr President.
I was thinking as you came down, and we knew it was a success, and it'd only been eight days, just a long week .
that this is the greatest week in the history of the world since the creation.
As a result of what you've done, the world's never been closer together before.
The crew of Apollo 11 had achieved something that united the world in admiration.
There is a great deal of interest here in the flight of Apollo 11.
The half million American servicemen on duty in South Vietnam have been reading about it for weeks in Stars and Stripes, the daily military newspaper, and in several English language Saigon papers.
It really didn't impress me too much until today, when I was talking to a former Vietcong who works for my company.
I was talking to him through an interpreter, and we were trying to explain to him that the United States is putting a man on the moon.
As much as we explained to him, he just refused to believe it was possible, and it really hit home at this time that the United States is accomplishing a fantastic feat.
'Soyuz, this is Apollo.
'Three metres One metre 'Docking completed.
' For a brief moment in time, it seemed as though the vision of Earth from space might really allow earthly rivalries to be transcended.
In 1975, at the height of the Cold War, America and Russia extended a hand of peace in space.
I want to express my very great admiration for your hard work, your total dedication in preparing for this first joint flight.
(FOREIGN ACCENT) Old philosopher says the best part of a good dinner is not what you eat, but with whom you eat.
# You may say I'm a dreamer # But I'm not the only one # I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one.
Once we had got to the moon, interest in space exploration began to fade.
But in 1970, a drama would unfold that would once again put Apollo centre stage.
This is the crew of Apollo 13, wishing everybody there a nice evening.
Altogether there were seven attempts to land men on the moon.
And they all went pretty much according to plan, except one, when for a few days, the world waited with bated breath to see what fate would befall the three astronauts of Apollo 13.
'Houston, we have a problem here.
' This is Houston.
Say again, please.
'Houston, we have a problem.
We've had a main B Bus undervolt.
Roger, main B undervolt.
'We had a pretty large bang associated with the warning there.
' OK, now let's everybody keep cool.
We got LEM still attached.
Let's make sure we don't blow the whole mission.
One of Apollo 13's oxygen tanks had exploded, and the other was leaking into space.
The lunar landing was abandoned, but there wasn't enough air to get the crew back to Earth.
The pressure in O2 tank one is all the way down to 297.
You better think about getting in the LEM.
Their only hope was to move into the attached lunar module, which had a separate oxygen supply.
They would have to spend the four-day journey back to Earth using as little power as possible.
I want you to get some guys figuring out minimum power in the LEM to sustain life.
For a reason as yet unknown, some kind of explosion occurred in the spacecraft's main engine.
Houston says they'll get back to Earth alive only if the lunar module's systems work perfectly all the way.
So for the first time in the history of American space flight, there is no back-up system to save them if anything goes wrong.
The lunar landing has, of course, been called off.
At this moment, about 30,000 miles out from the moon, and accelerating fast towards it, the crew are aiming to curve in behind the moon, and out of contact with Earth, and fire the only engine they have left the lunar module's descent engine.
We're now coming to the moment, the last moments of Apollo 13 as it comes in, as it begins its re-entry.
The best thing we can do now is just to listen and hope.
We'll only know whether or not that heat shield was damaged by the explosion three days ago when they come out of radio blackout.
All anyone can do now is cross their fingers.
This is Houston.
We've just had loss of signal from Honeysuckle with Apollo 13.
Just about now they should be going through the moment of maximum heat.
30 seconds to gofor blackout.
We will attempt to contact Apollo 13 through one of the Oria aircraft.
Continuing to monitor, this is Apollo Control Houston.
Apollo 13 should be out of blackout at this time.
We're standing by for any reports of Oria acquisition.
It should be out.
We've had a report that Oria four aircraft has acquisition of signal.
There they are! They've made it! Extremely loud applause here in Mission Control Extremely loud applause for Apollo 13 now the main chutes come through on the television display here.
# A rat done bit my sister Nell # With Whitey on the moon # Her face and arms began to swell, and Whitey's on the moon # I can't pay no doctor bills but Whitey's on the moon Ten years from now I'll be paying still, while Whitey's on the moon Throughout the Apollo programme, America was a nation in social turmoil.
With many Americans fighting for basic human rights on Earth, the idea of spending billions of dollars travelling to the moon was, for many, offensive.
And in Vietnam, the Cold War had turned bloody.
The spirit of exploration and possibility of the '60s had faded, replaced by the grim reality of young men in coffins.
Amidst such problems, Americans were becoming disillusioned with space exploration.
There's a state of apathy in the United States now.
People just don't care one way or another.
I think we're spending too much money on the moon.
They could use the time, the energy and the money to better advantage here in the United States.
There's lots of room for improvement here.
Rather than spend all that money exploring space when people are starving here and that money could be put to very good use improving life here.
Against a background of these chronic social problems and the needs of a violent war, the apparent short-term goals in space seem flimsy, the long-term ones too far off to be relevant.
Yet still the National Aeronautics And Space Administration NASA retain a budget higher than that for the rest of the country's scientific research put together.
More and more Americans who had been elated at the Saturn launchings and the Apollo landings are now obsessed by American failures on Earth, ands proclaim themselves bored by space.
Fewer and fewer congressmen feel free to make lyrical speeches about the challenge of outer space to that blue gem, planet Earth.
More and more are inclined to listen to colleagues like the New York congressman who said this year that he couldn't justify voting funds to find out whether there were microbes on Mars so long as he knew that there were rats and cockroaches alive in the apartments of Harlem.
In the face of budget cuts, the final three Apollo missions were cancelled.
When Apollo 17's lunar lander took off on December 15 1972, the camera operator in Houston timed it perfectly to film man leaving the moon for the last time.
If NASA hadn't paid such attention to filming, it's possible we would never have got to the moon.
It was the television images of heroes and their unfolding dramas that appealed to the public.
Without TV, we may never have fallen in love with the story.
And without public support, Congress would never have committed the funding.
It was over a decade later, in the mid-80s, that a new mission was announced with the hope of recapturing the public's imagination.
America has always been greatest when we dared to be great.
We can reach for greatness again.
We can follow our dreams to distant stars, living and working in space for peaceful economic and scientific gain.
Tonight I'm directing NASA to develop a permanently manned space station, and to do it within a decade.
APPLAUSE NASA claimed that one advantage of the space station would be its use as a base to service satellites in orbit.
During a test run repair of the Solamax satellite, using the shuttle, NASA produced more incredible images for the world's TV screens.
Nelson on his way, one hour and two minutes.
But it wasn't enough to persuade the public that space travel was worthwhile.
There was still no story to rival the lunar missions.
Reagan's space station was never completed as envisaged.
He just couldn't get the money from Congress.
And perhaps those journeys into near-Earth orbit would never capture the public imagination in the way that the Apollo journeys to another world always did.
Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.
In 2004, a new President would finally try to reignite the lunar dreams originally inspired by Kennedy.
Please, be seated.
Today I announce a new plan to extend a human presence across our solar system.
Beginning no later than 2008, we will send a series of robotic missions to the lunar surface to research and prepare for future human exploration .
with the goal of living and working there for increasingly extended periods of time.
Bush's announcement committed NASA to returning a man to the moon by 2020 and building long-term lunar settlements.
We're talking about going back to the moon.
We're not just talking about going there to stay three days and come home with some scientific samples, we're talking about the idea of staying, learning to live there, learning to actually live off the land using the resources we find, and expanding the whole sphere of influence where human activity exists, not only to be on the Earth, but to be in the solar system.
I'm coming out of there.
Too high, too high That's fundamentally different to the missions we flew during the Apollo era.
We've literally only scratched the surface on the moon.
We've gone there, we've dug little trenches, we've made cores a few metres deep, but we don't know what the moon is really about.
We don't know what's in the permanently sheltered craters at the south pole, we don't know what's more than a few metres below the surface.
We don't even know if the core of the moon is liquid or solid.
As America begins the process of colonising the moon, the rest of the world has also realised it might be missing out on something important.
One country with very definite plans of its own is China.
The Chinese have already successfully launched two manned space missions, and are talking about putting astronaut on the moon by 2025.
Russia has also expressed interest.
For nearly 50 years it's been one of the world's leading space powers.
And there are well developed lunar missions from India, Japan, and Europe.
The race to the moon is back on.
The question is, do we have the public appetite to pay for it? I hope so, because going to the moon isn't just a great story, and it doesn't matter that we've already done it.
It's worth doing, like Kennedy said, not because it's easy, but because it's hard.
It tests us and it drives our civilisation forward.
For me, the moon represents so much more than just a piece of rock to go and stand on.
It represents the frontier, it represents the spirit of exploration.
Apollo was the inspiration for me to become a scientist.
I feel like our pioneering spirit died with Apollo, and that immeasurably diminishes us.
So I'm delighted that we're going back to the moon, and I'd like to see it as the first step to the exploration of a new frontier out into the solar system and beyond.
'OK, Houston.
As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown, 'I realise there's a fundamental truth to our nature.
'Man must explore, and this is exploration at its greatest.