Saturday, August 22, 2015

Retro Saturday: Racing for the Moon

Click the arrow to watch the film. Video source: Dan Beaumont Space Museum YouTube channel.

CBS News had Walter Cronkite.

NBC News had Roy Neal and Jay Barbree.

ABC News had Jules Bergman.

This week's Retro Saturday is a 1988 ABC News documentary, Racing for the Moon: America's Glory Days in Space. It's a compilation of network film and video coverage of historic space events up through the end of the Apollo program. The one-hour documentary begins on October 4, 1982, with ABC News coverage of the 25th anniversary of the Sputnik 1 launch.

It's filled with fascinating historical nuggets, all the way back to Senator Lyndon B. Johnson commenting on Sputnik and President Dwight D. Eisenhower's nationwide address in response to the Soviet launch.

It's interesting that ABC News implied with its title that “America's Glory Days” were in the 1960s. At the time this aired, the Space Shuttle program was grounded due to the STS-51L Challenger accident on January 28, 1986. The next flight would not be until September 1988. I wonder if the title was meant to imply that NASA's best days were behind it.

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