Eugene Cernan planting flag on Moon during Apollo 17. (NASA/National Archives and Records Administration)
Eugene Cernan planting flag on Moon during Apollo 17. (NASA/National Archives and Records Administration)

Relive the 1969 Apollo Space Mission on Nat Geo

By Alyssia Birjalal Time of article published Jul 6, 2019

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A two-hour documentary on National Geographic on Sunday, July 7 at 8pm, will feature never heard before recordings of the 1969 NASA Apollo Space Program.

Executive produced and directed by Tom Jennings, the doccy also reveals new footage and rare photographs of all 12 crew, to tell the complete story of their journey to the moon. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the milestone, and commemorate - National Geographic declared July Space Month. 

The film weaves together more than 500 hours of footage, 800 hours of audio and 10,000 photos, using Jennings’ signature style of first-person storytelling to take viewers behind the scenes. This intimate, immersive account spans the full sweep of NASA’s Apollo Space Program — from the ill-fated Apollo 1 mission, which claimed the lives of three astronauts, to the final flight that brought the program to a close. 

We chatted with Tom Jennings to share more about the Apollo: Mission to the Moon. 

Tell us more about Apollo: Mission to the Moon?

It’s the 50th anniversary of mission and we wanted to make people relive that moment. So the documentary covers the time period from the launch to the end. We’ve got stills of the moon and footage of the journey. It’s without narration so it makes it more like a movie rather than a doccy. We wanted viewers to get the feeling of being transported back, and we’ve managed to create that. 

What was the most interesting part of the process for you? 

It took close to 8 months to gather all the footage, sift through voice recordings and complete the vision board. What was most interesting was when we took the footage and turned it into a motion picture. We created character arcs for the astronauts and their families who gave interviews. It’s an emotional journey. 

Where did the footage come from? 

NASA, the government and we found people who took footage of the event. 

What’s your favourite genre to film? 

History. I like to tell people stories and show them what happened. There is a lot of events that happened and people know a lot, but there is also a lot that they don’t know, and that’s what I like telling. 

* Apollo: Mission to the Moon will air on National Geographic on Sunday, July 7 at 8pm. 

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