December 18, 2018 / Modified dec 21, 2018 11:47 a.m.

NOVA: Apollo's Daring Mission

Apollo astronauts and engineers tell the inside story of the first manned mission to the moon.

Apollo astronauts and engineers tell the inside story of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon. The U.S. space program suffered a bitter setback when Apollo 1 ended in a deadly fire during a pre-launch run-through. In disarray, and threatened by the prospect of a Soviet Union victory in the space race, NASA decided upon a radical and risky change of plan: turn Apollo 8 from an earth-orbit mission into a daring sprint to the moon while relying on untried new technologies. Suddenly everything hinged on Apollo 8. Fifty years after the historic mission, the Apollo 8 astronauts and engineers recount the feats of engineering that paved the way to the moon.

NOVA: Apollo's Daring Mission, Wednesday at 9 p.m. on PBS 6.

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