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What to Watch During Summer of Space

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission with space-related programs on KCTS 9 all summer long.

June 24, 2019

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Fifty years ago — on July 20, 1969 — Neil Armstrong uttered those words as America, and the world, watched his momentous moonwalk. KCTS 9 is celebrating this monumental Apollo 11 anniversary all summer long with brand-new series, documentaries and special episodes of your favorite programs. 

While the Summer of Space offers a robust schedule of programs, there are a few highlights that you won’t want to miss. Here’s what to watch during the Summer of Space.

Secrets of the Dead: Galileo’s Moon

When it was published in 1610, Galileo’s “Sidereus Nuncius” (translated as “Starry Messenger”) set in motion a scientific revolution. Using observations he made of both the Earth’s moon and Jupiter’s moons, Galileo proved that the Earth is not the center of the universe. In 2005, a seemingly original copy with the astronomer’s signature and watercolor paintings hit the market, causing a worldwide sensation. By 2012, however, this discovery was proven to be a fake. In this fascinating program, viewers join experts as they uncover the truth behind the alleged proof copy of Sidereus Nuncius. Galileo’s Moon airs Tuesday, July 2, at 8:00 p.m.

Antiques Roadshow: Out of This World

Antiques Roadshow celebrates the Summer of Space with this new compilation episode of space-related appraisals. This special episode premieres Monday, July 8, at 8:00 p.m.

Chasing the Moon: American Experience

Experience the thrilling era of the space race, from its earliest days to the 1969 moon landing. A fascinating mix of scientific innovation, political calculation, media spectacle and personal drama, this three-part series brings the Space Age to vivid life, beginning Monday, July 8, at 9:00 p.m. 

When We Were Apollo

This film is an intimate and personal look at the Apollo space program through the lives and experiences of some of its most inspiring behind-the-scenes figures: engineers, technicians, builders and contractors who spent the better part of a decade working to get us to the moon and back. When We Were Apollo airs Tuesday, July 9, at 1:00 p.m. 

NOVA: Back to the Moon

Join the next generation of engineers who aim to take us back to the moon – a stepping-stone for future human missions to Mars, the Asteroid Belt and beyond. Back to the Moon airs Wednesday, July 10, 8:00 p.m. 

8 Days: To the Moon and Back

This documentary combines audio recordings from the Apollo 11 mission – featuring candid conversations between Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – with new studio footage, telling this amazing story in a riveting new way. 8 Days: To the Moon and Back premieres Wednesday, July 17, at 9:00 p.m.

POV: Earthrise 

Earthrise tells the story of the first image captured of the Earth from space in 1968. Told solely by the Apollo 8 astronauts, the film recounts their experiences and memories and explores the beauty, awe and grandeur of the Earth against the blackness of space. This iconic image had a powerful impact on the astronauts and the world. Told 50 years later, Earthrise compels us to remember this shift and to reflect on the Earth as a shared home. This short documentary will air Wednesday, July 17, at 10:30 p.m.

Ancient Skies

Discover how centuries of knowledge, experimentation and engineering helped our ancestors understand the mysteries of space in this three-part series. Expert contributors decode astronomical myths and uncover the science behind their origins. Ancient Skies begins Wednesday, July 24, 8:00 p.m.

NOVA: The Planets

This fascinating series treats viewers to an up-close look at some faraway wonders, including the dark side of Pluto, an ancient Martian waterfall and a storm twice the size of Earth seen from high above Saturn. The series reveals how knowledge about each of the planets has expanded the understanding of our own planet. The five-part series premieres Wednesday, July 24, at 9:00 p.m.


More Summer of Space programming … 

NOVA: Black Hole Apocalypse, Wednesday, July 3, at 9:00 p.m. 

NOVA: Black Hole Universe, Wednesday, July 3, at 10:00 p.m. 

Space Men: American Experience, Tuesday, July 9, at 8:00 p.m. 

Space Chase USA, Wednesday, July 10, at 7:00 p.m. 

NOVA: Apollo’s Daring Mission, Tuesday, July 16, at 10:00 p.m. 

John Glenn A Life of Service, Wednesday, July 17, at 7:00 p.m. 

Year in Space, Wednesday, July 17, at 8:00 p.m.

Comet Encounter, Wednesday, July 24, at 3:00 p.m.

To Catch A Comet, Tuesday, July 30, at 3:00 p.m. 

Beyond a Year in Space, Tuesday, July 30, at 10:00 p.m. 

The Farthest Voyager in Space, Wednesday, July 31, at 10:00 p.m.

Check the television schedule for more information. 

Caroline Gerdes

Caroline Gerdes is the social media specialist at Cascade Public Media and a New Orleanian living in Seattle. She was also a National Geographic Young Explorer — which is totally a real job title. She recently published her first book, An Oral History of the New Orleans Ninth Ward

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