Search - The Race to the Moon (History Channel) on DVD

The Race to the Moon (History Channel)
The Race to the Moon
History Channel
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2004     3hr 52min


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Movie Details

Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Space Exploration
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/25/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 3hr 52min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Great Set From The History Channel
Robert I. Hedges | 07/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As I write this it is the 36th anniversary of Armstrong and Aldrin's moonwalk. In honor of that I thought it would be a good time to review this fine DVD set from the History Channel. This set is really a conglomeration of four separate programs on space, but one of them shines above all the rest. There are programs on Project Orion and the Space Shuttle, which I found to be modestly interesting, a quite good special on Apollo 13 (from the "Modern Marvels" series), and the absolutely thrilling view of the Apollo program through the eyes of Flight Control legend Gene Kranz, "Failure is not an Option." If you haven't read the book of the same title by Kranz, by all means purchase it immediately; your next order of business should then be to watch this documentary.

Much of the documentary footage has been seen before, but the interview footage of Kranz and others involved in Apollo is extremely well done and is frequently more emotional than might be expected (especially when discussing Apollo 1 and Apollo 13.) The Apollo 11 landing (program alarm) drama is told better here than anywhere else I have ever seen, and really underscores the value of the training program NASA had in place for Apollo (especially the simulator training.)

There is no doubt that the Kranz piece is the reason to buy this set, though the rest of the material is also interesting. If you have any interest in manned spaceflight whatsoever, you will love this set, especially "Failure is not an Option."
A. Genard | Pittsburgh, PA | 06/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First off let me say that the price is extremely low considering that the History Channel and A&E sells their videos at ridiculously high prices. Failure is not an Option is the whole reason that I bought it 'cuz I loved it so much when it was on TV. It's very different from other spaceflight documentaries in the sense that it relates the stories of the flights through the flight controllers on the ground and the drama they went through. I really recommend listening to the commentary track as well because it is just as informative as the regular program. Apollo 13 was equally good and is very distinct and clear about what happened - something alot of other documentaries do not do. Project Orion was almost too ambitious to be real (for example, humans traveling to the outer planets) and interesting simply because of how ludicris the whole idea is. I am not really into the space shuttle that much so that program was just alright and average. If you like this I highly recommend Nova's "To the Moon" or the PBS mini-series "Spaceflight" (currently only on VHS) and the movies "Apollo 13" and "The Right Stuff.""
Uneven collection but "Failure" worth the price alone
Kevin W. Parker | Greenbelt, MD | 06/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If this collection just contained "Failure Is Not An Option," I would unhesitatingly give it five stars. Gene Kranz's personal retelling of the space race provides enthralling insight into what went on behind the scenes, what life was like in Mission Control, and how decisions were made.

Unfortunately, the remaining items in the set aren't of the same caliber. "Project Orion" is decent coverage of a bizarre effort to use exploding atomic bombs to propel spacecraft. "Space Shuttle" is nothing special, and if you want to see a good documentary about "Apollo 13", get PBS's "Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back", not this one.

That being said, "Failure" is worth the price of the set all by itself. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in how we got men to the Moon."
MOCR the Movie
Dsinned | Northern California | 06/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

""MOCR" is an acronym for Mission Operations Control Room and the 90 minute segment, "Failure Is Not An Option", is mainly about the people that worked behind the scenes in Mission Control.

Other than the dozens of Astronauts themselves, these men were working as a highly motivated team in Mission Control, as the NASA brain trust that made President Kennedy's vision to land a man on the Moon an astonishing reality.

I can't get enough of this kind of memorabilia from the space race era, and there are several excellent videos on this subject, but this one tells the story from the perspective of the Flight Director in Mission Control. The manned spacecraft flight controllers - all now long since retired NASA Engineers -guided the Astronauts 24/7 during the trials and tribulations of every mission, from Project Mercury to Apollo. These are the men featured individually and collectively in this DVD.

Their enthusiasium and sometimes apprehensions too, coupled with many emotional highs and lows, during those hectic space race years, are all well presented in this documentary; Gene Krantz, perhaps more well known if not leading Flight Director, most of all. Chris Kraft - Mr. Krantz's mentor - is also featured as quite instrumental in setting up a phenomenally bright group of often nerdish looking (personified by pocket protector wearing, slide rule touting and surprisingly young) Engineers.

All these MOCR Engineers with such specialty positions as EECON, FIDO, GNC, and the like, also clearly had the makings of the "right stuff". When this DVD was produced, these men, all in their late 60s or 70s, were extensively interviewed throughout the video. By today's standards, back in the late 60s, they were NASA's not-so-well-paid brightest spaceflight experts who literally wrote the book on how to get a rocket ship to the Moon. They planned, calculated, simulated, training step by step, right alongside the astronauts until the job was done. The men behind the dazzling lights and consoles in MOCR had to function under the most stressful, mentally challenging conditions, often making life and death decisions and perform all their jobs as a team absolutely superbly.

This movie is a tribute to these men and all of their extremely hard work and untiring dedication to putting not only one, but 12 different Americans on the Moon. BRAVO to all of these men for a job WELL DONE!"