Programs Marking 50th Anniversary Of 1st Moon Landing To Air Sat. On MPT

It’s called a ‘Moon-A-Thon.’


Ownings Mills, Md (KM) It’s the ultimate in binge-watching, and you could learn something at the same time. Maryland Public Television is presenting 12-hours of programming  on Saturday covering the exploration of space. Kate Pearson, the Managing Director of Programming and Acquisition for MPT, says it’s a way to remember the the first landing on the Moon on July 20th, 1969, 50 years ago.

“There’s so much content out there. We really had the perfect opportunity; it was just the perfect opportunity to showcase these wonderful shows,” she says.

Some of the programs include “Ready, Jet, Go: One Small Step;” “American Experience: Space Men,” which is about the pilots and scientists who laid the groundwork for the US space program; “NOVA:Back to the Moon,” which is about the scientific discoveries fueling the excitement for a return trip to the Moon’ and “John Glenn, A Life of Service.”

Pearson says these programs will “remember a moment, pay homage to a moment,  when there was one thing happening that everybody in the entire nation was a proud of, no matter what your gender, or your politics or your age, everyone came together to watch that Apollo landing on the moon.”

She says this “Moon-A-Thon” is part of the “Summer of Space,” where public broadcasting stations were airing programs dealing with space and the first landing on the Moon. Reaction has been positive from viewers, according to Pearson. “It’s July. It’s an election year next year. There’s been so much discord and divisiveness in the nation. And that this 50th Anniversary and the entire ‘Summer of Space’ being devoted to that really brings us all together,” says Pearson.

The “Moon-A-Thon” will air on Saturday, July 20th beginning at 8:00 AM, and will continue until 8:00 that evening.

Pearson says there is so much material out there, about the first landing on the Moon, it was difficult to decide what shows to put on the air. “We had to stop at 12-hours. We could go on. We could have a ‘Moon-A-Thon’ probably for a week. It’s just too exciting for words,” she says.


Here are the list of programs for the “Moon-A-Thon” on MPT:

MPT Moon-A-Thon program lineup
12-hour marathon of space-related programs on MPT-HD

8 a.m. Ready Jet Go!: One Small Step
In this special, Jet and his Boxwood Terrace friends learn all about Neil Armstrong and the Apollo Space Program as they embark on a sleepover on the moon.

9 a.m. American Experience: Space Men
Meet the pioneering Air Force scientists and pilots whose Project Manhigh, which collected data about biological and technical factors required to support human activity in space, laid the groundwork for the U.S. space program.

10 a.m. NOVA: Back to the Moon
50 years after humans first set foot on the moon, new scientific discoveries are fueling excitement for a return to the lunar surface – this time, perhaps, to stay. Join the scientists and engineers working to make life on the moon a reality.

11 a.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 explores the beauty and grandeur of the Earth against the blackness of space.

11:30 a.m. 8 Days: To the Moon and Back
Join Apollo 11 on its historic journey. The film seamlessly blends mission audio featuring conversations among Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins with new footage, NASA archival footage, and stunning CGI to recreate the first moon landing.

1:30 p.m. A Year in Space
Follow astronaut Scott Kelly’s record-breaking 12-month mission on the International Space Station from launch to landing as NASA charts the effects of long-duration spaceflight by comparing him to his identical twin on Earth, fellow astronaut Mark Kelly.

2:30 p.m. Moonwalk One
First released in 1970, Moonwalk One is a digitally remastered version of the seminal documentary that was filmed over the course of the Apollo 11 mission. The film is a poetic and philosophic telling of how America achieved this incredible feat, bolstered by an avant-garde score and inspiring narration by Laurence Luckinbill.

4:30 p.m. NOVA: Apollo’s Daring Mission
Hear Apollo astronauts and engineers tell the inside story of how the first mission to the moon, Apollo 8, pioneered groundbreaking technologies that would pave the way to land a man on the moon and win the space race.

5:30 p.m. John Glenn: A Life of Service
Chronicling the extraordinary life and career of an American legend, John Glenn: A Life of Service, surveys Glenn’s distinguished military, NASA, and political careers through archival footage and interviews with lawmakers, journalists, historians, and NASA colleagues. This documentary captures the pivotal events of John Glenn’s life: his humble beginnings in Depression-era Ohio, his lifechanging ride-along with a barnstormer, his enlistment following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, his 122 combat missions during World War II, and his “small step” on the surface of the moon.

6:30 p.m. Osiris Rex: Countdown to Launch
Sitting on an asteroid more than 100 million miles away from Earth are a few ounces of soil scientists are anxious to get their hands on- a sample that just might contain the molecular precursors to the origin of life. Just how will these scientists accomplish such a feat? Osiris Rex Asteroid Sample Return Mission is a 14-year, one-billion-dollar study aimed at learning more about one of the most fascinating and potentially hazardous asteroids in the solar system – before it potentially collides with Earth more than 150 years from now.

7 p.m. Space Chase USA
Space Chase USA explores the extraordinary events that transformed the small town of Cocoa Beach, Florida into the bustling center of the American space program. Featuring a trove of archival material and interviews with longtime residents, former Apollo astronauts, and Cape Canaveral-based engineers and employees, the program charts the history of the space program in Florida during the 1950s and 1960s.
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By Kevin McManus