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One small step for man, a lot more leaps for technology. Space exploration has long been an important part of science and the advancement of life on Earth in general.
However, because not everyone in the world has higher grade science on their matric certificate, this kind of exploration and the machinery needed for it to be successful often goes over the heads of many people.
Shows like Moon Machines, which airs on Top TV’s Discovery Science, attempt to bridge the gap between those who don’t under- stand all there is to know about space and those who are fanatics.
They do this through putting the spotlight on the equipment needed and how it all works.
The Moon Machines miniseries is presented in a documentary style and features Aliens actor Bill Hope as the narrator.
Over six episodes, we get to check out the mission to land man on the moon that was set up as the Apollo Programme in the 1960s and ’70s.
The challenges encountered in the department of engineering are explored.
From the Lunar Rover to the Guidance and Control Computer, Saturn V, the Lunar Module, the Command Module and our favourite, the Space Suits – all kinds of aspects are taken into consideration.
Now if you’ve just said “What do those words mean?”, then this is the show for you.
It doesn’t take on a high-brow sensibility and assume everyone already knows what each term in space jargon means.
Instead, the team behind Moon Machines looks at the machines and then couples this with interviews with roughly 70 of the 400 000 engineers who were part of the Apollo Programme.
First up, you’ll get to learn about the Saturn V Rocket, which quickly earned iconic status in the field of space exploration.
As much as this is a lesson in the history of invention as well as the history of man’s voyages into space, the show also takes into account the technical aspects, such as the design and aero- dynamics of the machines that are meant to make it to the moon and back safely.
The Apollo Pressure Suit has become a cool choice for themed dress-up parties and, most notably, the actual award that is handed out at the MTV Video Music Awards, aptly named The Moonman.
So from pop culture to science, the moon is significant and nice to learn about, so take the opportunity to get familiar.
• Moon Machines is on Discovery Science (Top TV Channel 302) every Wednesday from 1pm