On Christmas Eve 1968, one of the largest audiences in television history tuned in to an extraordinary sight: a live telecast
of the moon's surface as seen from Apollo 8, the first manned space flight
to leave Earth's gravitational pull and orbit the moon. The historic journey captivated people around the world; many welcomed a technological triumph in space after a year
marked by assassinations, riots and war. As this American Experience
production reveals, however, the mission's success was far from assured. The Apollo 8 astronauts
had just four months to prepare for the risky lunar orbit, and catastrophic failure would have brought a halt to America's goal of putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade.
With images and audio never before broadcast, this film recounts the flight many consider to be NASA's most daring and important. Interviews with Apollo 8 astronauts, their wives, mission control staff, and journalists take viewers inside the high-stakes space race of the late 1960s to reveal how a bold decision by NASA administrators put a struggling Apollo program back on track and allowed America to reach the moon before the Soviets. visit the website...