Saturday, April 11, 2015

Retro Saturday: Seeds of Discovery

Click the arrow to view the film. Video source: wdtvlive42 YouTube Channel.

This week's Retro Saturday film is a 1970 documentary titled Seeds of Discovery. Narrated by actor James Franciscus, it's a 26-minute film produced for NASA by MRC Films.

The film focuses primarily on the path for robotic space exploration of the solar system in the 1970s, although humans would be part of the planetary sciences program using Skylab.

The Mariner program had been flying since 1962, and at this point had two missions left.

The Viking missions would be the first U.S. spacecraft to safely land on the Mars surface, return images and conduct biology experiments.

The Voyager missions still fly today. Launched from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 41 in 1977, the Voyagers are now on the brink of interstellar space.

James Franciscus had an extensive television career before starring roles in two science fiction films, Marooned (1969) and Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), which probably explains why he was chosen to narrate this film. Many scenes in Marooned were filmed at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (then known as Cape Kennedy).

Franciscus died from emphysema in 1991.

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