Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 July 2019

New documentary 'Apollo: Missions to The Moon' to headline NatGeo's Space Week

NatGeo channels plan a week of space-themed programming to celebrate Moon landings anniversary

July 20 is the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings. Courtesy National Geographic
July 20 is the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings. Courtesy National Geographic

The brand new, two-hour feature documentary Apollo: Missions to The Moon will conclude Space Week, a week of space-themed documentaries from National Geographic’s archives when it airs on the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings on July 20.

Directed by Emmy Award-winner Tom Jennings, the film weaves together more than 500 hours of footage, 800 hours of audio and 10,000 photos, using Jennings’ signature style of first-person storytelling to take viewers behind the scenes. This intimate, immersive account spans the full sweep of Nasa’s Apollo Space Program – from the ill-fated Apollo 1 mission, which claimed the lives of three astronauts, to the final flight that brought the programme to a close.

“Beyond audio and footage of the brave astronauts, Apollo: Missions to The Moon creates a tapestry of the collective sights and sounds that brings us back to the golden age of space,” says Jennings.

The film features newly transferred film and never-before-heard audio to recount the key moments of America’s mission to land on the moon before 1970. With no narration or talking heads, the missions are experienced entirely through archival TV footage, never-before-heard radio broadcasts, home movies, Nasa film and mission control audio to create an eyewitness-like experience. The film includes several firsts, including the combination of Nasa footage with “black-box” recordings from Apollo capsules and the synchronization of 30-track audio from mission control.

Jennings adds: “Apollo: Missions to The Moon unveils what was happening not only on the ground at mission control but also in the homes of the families and friends who stood by as their loved ones took to the skies. The whole world stopped for a moment to rejoice and take pride in the boundless sense of courage and optimism that Apollo made possible.”

The documentary also features a score composed by James Everingham and produced by Egot (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) winner, Hans Zimmer, and Emmy-nominated Russell Emanuel. The predominantly orchestral score features electronically manipulated sounds from the 1960s heyday of Nasa space exploration, including the Apollo mission open radio frequencies, the Kepler Star and Sputnik’s telemetry beacon.

Space Week comes as the UAE intensifies its efforts to become a leading figure in space exploration. The nation launched its first home-grown satellite, KhalifaSat into space last year, while the first Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri, is set to join the International Space Station in September. The UAE also has plans to place a probe on Mars by 2021.

Apollo: Missions to The Moon will air on Saturday July 20 at 8pm. Space Week begins on July 13, both on National Geographic and National Geographic Abu Dhabi

Updated: July 10, 2019 02:43 PM

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