American public broadcaster PBS has unveiled plans to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing with an array of multi-platform programming, under the “A Summer of Space” banner.
The programming, set to begin in July, is anchored by the six-hour, ‘American Experience’ film Chasing the Moon from Robert Stone. Airing from July 8-10, from 9-11 p.m. EST, the project documents the space race from its earliest origins to the first lunar landing in 1969.
Also, 8 Days: The Journey of Apollo 11, is slated to air on July 17 at 9 p.m. EST. The BBC Studios/PBS doc copro ties together rare audio and visual archive from NASA and news sources with CGI recreations of the mission, new studio footage and interviews with such principal figures as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
The three-part Ancient Skies, meanwhile, will begin on July 24 at 8 p.m. EST and will combine wisdom from expert science contributors and Indigenous storytellers to reveal how astronomical exploration has developed over the centuries.
Two PBS mainstays are also getting in on the action, with science strand ‘Nova’ premiering two specials: Back to the Moon (July 10, 8 p.m. EST) and The Planets (July 24, 9 p.m. EST). Also, Antiques Roadshow will feature a special edition, “Out of This World”, on July 8 at 8 p.m. EST. This episode of the “artifactual” series will highlight NASA memorabilia, as well as space travel and science fiction treasures.
An interactive hub for the space programming will be housed on PBS.org, and the programming will be streamed following its linear broadcasts on all station-branded platforms.
Revealing the special space event at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, PBS chief programming executive and general manager of general audience programming, Perry Simon, said in a statement: “”Our ‘Summer of Space’ programming lineup invites PBS viewers to visit the farthest reaches of the universe, blending past and present to celebrate both the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the latest advances in space exploration.”