When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions

When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions

2008, Science  -   45 Comments
Ratings: 9.12/10 from 183 users.

Prepare for lift-off with this stunning, high-definition six-part series chronicling the inside story of NASA's most epic endeavors. Commemorating the space agency's 50th anniversary, follow John Glenn's Mercury mission to orbit the earth, Neil Armstrong's first historic steps on the moon, unprecedented spacewalks to repair the Hubble stories, and more!

Celebrate mankind's greatest missions with stories that are literally out of this world, shown in stunning clarity and told by the astronauts and engineers who were there, including exclusive interviews with celebrated astronauts such as John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin and Charlie Duke, plus newly-digitized, original mission footage from NASA's secret film vaults.

Ordinary Supermen - NASA selects seven men to become the first astronauts, all test pilots who are prepared to risk their lives. No one has ever survived a vertical launch on top of a rocket, but it's believed to be the only way to put an astronaut into earth orbit. NASA and America's first astronauts, the Mercury Seven, are on a journey into the unknown. Six of the men ride into space, each launch taking NASA further forward in their quest to conquer the cosmos.

Friends and Rivals - Nine new astronauts arrive at NASA. Their mission? Test all of the procedures required to land men on the moon and bring them safely back to earth. Each Gemini mission launches two men into space, leading to some of NASA's greatest moments: Ed White's spacewalk, the first orbital rendezvous of Gemini 6 and 7, and Neil Armstrong's first space docking.

Landing the Eagle - The Apollo program is set to achieve the ultimate prize of the Space Race, landing men on the moon. But a fire breaks out in the pressurized capsule of Apollo 1, resulting in the deaths of three beloved astronauts. However, NASA rebounds, launching men into deep space and landing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.

The Explorers - Apollo 13 puts the astronauts to the ultimate test, returning a damaged spacecraft back safely to earth. Apollo 17 sends man for the longest mission yet to the surface of the moon, but it's the last lunar mission for generations. Now, it's time for a new phase in the program: converting an unused Saturn V rocket, NASA launches Skylab, America's first space-station.

The Shuttle - For its first 20 years, NASA launches capsules carrying a maximum of three people. But new requirements for a bigger cargo bay prompt a breakthrough in spacecraft design. The development of the re-usable shuttle leads to a revolutionary approach to space travel. Meanwhile, the pioneers of NASA's manned programs are leading the way into the modern era of the space-age.

A Home In Space - One of the most complex instruments ever built, the Hubble Space Telescope is expected to transform our understanding of the Universe. But once it is in orbit NASA discovers a serious problem, a defective main mirror. NASA sends a team of astronauts to fix the problem in its greatest and highest profile mission since the Apollo era. It gives NASA the confidence to begin construction on the International Space Station.

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45 Comments / User Reviews

  1. fatarse

    The people watching to rockets takeoff get fatter and fatter

  2. Ghost of Christmas Past

    Putting men on the moon was a political stunt but also one of mankind's greatest technical achievements. Why do so many of he citizens of the US want to deny it ever happened?
    We gained much knowledge from the journey, which has spawned many thousands of technologies we all take for granted today as well as many engineering and scientific discoveries made by those who were enthralled by the space program. If very little from the destination (as with all things in life).
    Poverty and unfairness was not caused by the space program and neither could it be solved by it. You need to look in other directions if you want to understand why poverty is still the stain on humanity that it is and why people do not value intelligence.
    This was one time the US really harnessed what it could do with its intellectual might (the other being the Manhattan Project) and you think the space program was a waste of time and money? Imagine what could be achieved by the US if it could get itself together and work toward a common goal again in modern times? You would be so far advanced beyond the rest of the world you would have nothing to fear and even perhaps deal with those old intractable issues of poverty and hunger.
    How great would it be if the people of the US were united again? Those who foster division within your society are the those who belittle your nation and exploit your people. Save your vitriol for them not for the achievements that made you great. Education is the key, otherwise you are doomed to be lambs to the slaughter for evil people who treat humans as animals to be farmed for the money they can generate like Zuckerberg and Bezos. Feed your mind and free your nation or forever be a tool to make the few rich while many suffer and go hungry in a land of plenty.
    Now China is chasing you and taking many of the technologies the US created and proved in concept back in the days of the space race when the feeling was the US could achieve anything. But it was squandered through greed and myopic desperation for internal power.
    Look at every dynasty or empire in history, they all go through the same stages. They all rise through being united and fall through being divided. You are now falling and it's a long way down from the moon.


    ''stunning high definition video''? at 240P? !

  4. swift foetus

    it's not rocket science

  5. Michel Polnicky

    I'm against all space mission's, the common man doesn't benefit from them at all, what have you got out of the moon rock's...nothing some have seen them...so what ? It wasn't a life changing experience was it, all the money's that are spent for those mission's is a total waste of money and we have a space srapyard, if the money's of one single mission was spent on feeding the hungry, cleaning up the banks of rivers, planting trees where logging company's clean cut forest's etc etc...the world were living in would be a much better place. apparently they found water on mars who the hell cares....water means life do we actually want critters from there as small as they might be ? I sure as hell don't.
    We should take care of our blue planet and the people on it and not by raging wars. the fact is we already hate what earth can produce in one year so now were eating on credit seem's to me that we should address that before anything else.
    Think it's not illegal yet !

  6. George

    Nobody has gone back in 45 years, despite great technological advances since the 1970's. Not China. Not Russia. Not India. Not USA. Nobody even considers going back.

    We have no pictures of the vehicles, etc left on the moon. Nothing but distant & blurry "tracks". In 2016? Time to be skeptical, folks. We should see images that prove beyond doubt the landings. Where are they?

  7. anthony

    Of course the moon landing was a hoax, didn't you know that the nazi's found the fountain of youth and we had to fly the lot of them out there, now go see chariots of the gods so you will believe that alien's came to earth to help us brain dead earth folk's put up the pyramids. Psss by the was did you know hulk hogan was really Anna nicole Smith !! have you ever seen a photo of the too of them together? nooo

  8. soffig

    Half way through and all that endless overblown in your face music is getting really tiring! Just quiet down and tell me what happened, it should be exciting enough without trying to hack into my emotions!

  9. Richard Neva

    The Hoax of the Moon Landing. How could they include that travesty in this Documentary? I don't believe any of it because of that flaw!

    1. jackmax

      Are you saying the moon landing was a hoax mate, and if so how have you come to form that opinion?

  10. Dan Hill

    The Hubble can't see that far...? Then what is it there for. The moon is the closest planetary object to earth... When you look at the moon through a good pair of binoculars, or a powerful store bought telescope, you can see clearly the craters on the moon of all sizes, it gives you goose bumps...But Hubble can't zero in on 6 landing sites. It sounds like an excuse. It would make sense that NASA wouldn't point it's telescopes at the moon "In search of history" if that history never existed. The only proof we have of manned moon landings are media from 40 years ago, all of which has been scrutinized and found to be suspicious. You would think that NASA would send robot cameras to the moon to revisit these historical sites not only to prove the conspiracy theorists wrong but to allow "Great Americans" a rekindling of pride. Just think how powerful that doc. would be!

    1. yahoo-352W6YIXCTIJJB3THQH2GP7TOY

      I am not trying to criticize but there are other theories about the moon landing.. such as meetings with e.t's etc.. so misinformation of whether or not we went to the moon seems smart.. they get some millions of dollars every budget and it hasnt really decreased since some time before 2000.. they spend it on something.. honestly i have heard theories of architecture on mars and such.. im sure NASA sent robots to mars

    2. virtualmatrix

      God what fools you are. When you're designed to see distances 7,500 light years away, it's kind of hard to see something that close. I understand you're just a nobody on the internet, but please, try to use common sense. Let me kindergarden it down for you, your eyes (if you're not blind) can see distances in good detail 3.1 miles, or 5 kilometers. Now, focus on looking at your nose. Blurry? Same thing with Hubble. With a good telescope you can indeed see landers, and we've seen them with Moon satellites as well.

      Go rethink your claim.

    3. Bri

      Granted that the Hobble's view of the moon will be impaired due to it's magnification powers. There are other telescopic technologies to 'see clearly' in great details any part of the moon visible from this planet. For me "Fools" are the ones that usually question things intelligently....This comment is not intended to offend.

  11. Daryl Walters

    Great doc!

  12. Matt Kukowski

    The GREATEST real story of modern times. Watch it and be on the edge of your seat the WHOLE FREAKIN TIME. It is like watching a block buster hollywood movie...only it was all REAL. Talk about REALITY TV!

  13. Mikael Berg

    watched from episode 1 here on youtube. i cannot describe in words the joy and appreciation i feel towards the uploaders and makers of this doc series. the ending brought a well-deserved tear to my eye!

    love, from sweden!

  14. tanzanos

    Gagarin went into orbit, Sheppard went into sub orbital.

  15. artpelleyandson

    One of the most well done docs I have seen. It is up there with miricle planet and others. A must see film

  16. Joseph Carl Ruger

    NASA, it would be nice if it wasn't a US government agency. But it is, so this dose of propaganda was scrutinized and edited to sway our allegiance and admiration for the well done work of our heroic patriots. If it highlighted the international space station's other member countries and mentioned what was contributed by each one, I'd feel a little more warm and fuzzy. U.S., it's always about US

    1. Darwin

      To suggest all documentaries on NASA should mention the ESA is, to be frank, absurd. Facts are facts... I'm so tired of left-wing Americans and their self-loathing apologetic attitudes.

    2. Johnny Armageddon

      To suggest that Joseph suggested ALL NASA documentries should mention ESA is absurd. I'm so tired of teatarded rightwing blowhards and their superior attitudes.

    3. Joseph Carl Ruger

      That wasn't my suggestion at all. Just goes to show how well American propaganda works. I'v been an expat for 23 years and have escaped that many years of media propaganda, and have developed my opinions living a different reality, not influenced by outside agendas. I encourage my fellow citizens to experience a high level of freedom by living outside the borders of the good 'ol US of A for an extended period of time.
      It's contrary to 80% of Americans to venture outside their borders, which appears to me to be by design.

    4. Michael Jay Burns

      quite so, observations of things I've experienced many times; of course I am from Texas which is "all that" on steroids. Afterall, we made a letter of the alphabet synonimous with "learning challenged."

    5. Darwin

      You clearly don't like the U.S.A and have chosen to leave it, that's your choice. That doesn't mean that you are any more enlightened than someone who chooses to stay and love their own country.

      I think you've been affected by Anti-US propoganda, but that's just an opinion; one that is every bit as valid as your assumption and ever so subtle suggestion that US citizens are mindless automatons incapable of finding information beyond that which is offered by mainstream media. Any way you slice it, one Person's "News" regardless of source, is Someone Else's "Propoganda." The argument looses all merit due to the fact that it is purely subjective.

      NASA has many great accomplishments in its past and I, for one, am proud of NASA's past. It saddens me that the agency is being turned into a glorified version of NOAA and shifting its Space Mission to the very questionable science of Climate Change, formerly known as 'Global Warming,' and known before that as 'Global Cooling.'

      Perhaps there is one thing we can agree on, NASA's best days seem to be behind it.

    6. Adam K Bice

      Why would a documentary about NASA Missions, as stated in the title, need to go into a section detailing the contributions of each and every member country on the ISS? On that subject, why would you assume that the ISS would even warrant a substantial section of this documentary? The ISS was a very small part of NASA's space exploration.

      So yes, in a documentary detailing the accomplishments of an American organization, it will be all about us. Like Darwin said, you're clearly affected by propaganda of a different sort, and your self-styled "open mind" is actually a mind which interprets any celebration of American achievement as an expression of American arrogance and superiority. Which is too bad, since this is a great documentary and I'm sorry that you haven't watched it.

  17. Guest

    Agree with @over the edge:
    An object 4 meters (4:37yards) across. Would be approx. 0.002 arcsec in size for Hubble. The highest resolution for Hubble is 0.03 arcsec. So the moon landings would only appear as a dot for Hubble.

  18. Arnold Vinette

    After I watched the documentary on the possible fictitious moon landing it has kind of ruined the whole space program for me. I was quite happy when I was ignorant of the possible truth. Kinda of like the myth of Santa Claus. Who really wants to hear the truth and ruin all the fun.

    This is a great series on the United States and Russian space programs, which lead to some great projects of man exploring space and working in space. Whether or not man actually landed on the moon, since then the United States and Russian space programs have done some great work with the shuttle program, the Hubble Space telescope, and the International Space Station.

    If the first United States moon landing was actually faked because of the extreme danger of the mission and lack of technology at that time in history, then future generations look forward to a REAL landing on the moon that will be equally dramatic and exciting. I will not hold this against NASA as many times in history governments will tell their employees to do things and keep their mouths quiet. It happens all the time.

    However to put this question to rest the Hubble Space telescope should be pointed at the moon to reveal the landing sites of all the Apollo moon missions. If NASA cannot do this then the US Moon landings really did not occur.

    I really liked the music in this series that is very high energy and go go go!

    Thanks for adding this documentary series.

    Everyday there is something new and great to watch!

    Arnold Vinette
    Ottawa, Canada

    1. over the edge

      the hubble telescope doesn't have the resolution to see detail of something that small and that close as the landing sites on the moon. kind of like looking through binoculars at something inches away there will be no detail.now jaxa (japans space program) has sent selene their low orbit moon orbiter . now as far as i know it hasn't reached its lowest orbits yet and its mission isn't to photograph the landing sites, but it has taken some pictures of the sites from high orbit with more detailed to come as the mission allows. if you wish to see the photos visit the jaxa site

  19. Guest

    They already had 6 manned missions. What is there to accomplish by more Moon missions.

    Van Allen belts and all the other Moon conspiracy that the conspiracy Moon nuts spout has all been put to rest by countless comments and evidence on all the Moon docs. here on TDF.

    The unbelievers can look them up for themselves!

  20. oddsrhuge

    To this day, a trip to moon isn't even considered. Why is this? And:

    @Ramus73 but the US can STILL afford two wars of aggression.....awesome use of resources.

    Allow me to be the the first to chant USA, USA!

    1. Ramus73

      There is no profit in exploring space. There is, however, a lot of profit in war.

  21. oddsrhuge

    But, why we still go into space, and only go about 300 miles away doesn't explain why we don't have regular shuttle missions to the moon... I mean cmon?

    It's all about profit, no?

  22. Ramus73

    The reason America doesn't go back to the moon is a) It doesn't want a PR disaster of astronauts dying and b) It can't afford it. All the while the media and currency rule modern society there will be no significant advances.

    @Achems I always wondered why "Achems" and not Ockhams?

  23. oddsrhuge

    wow I have to stay out of another argument... oh what the heck...lets do it...

    My only point here, is the Achems, has a point and the US had a mission and a lot of money.

  24. Guest

    Finished the first part, will continue on with this great doc leading up to the 6 manned moon landings, by total of 12 astronauts.

    @Pozzimystic: Yes, can say Van Allen radiation belts, so what? And if you have something to add to that, better make it good, its old hat. Already been explained many times. And that is something I ain't going to argue about!

    1. Guest

      How about arguing with someone who was stationed on a NASA Base during the Apollo Flights? Yes, that's right. Can you tell where it was

      The Moon landings are complete propaganda.

      You tell me the answer to a typical NASA subject: Who designed the booster rocket engines for the Apollo program? And if you know ... Why?

      Van Allen "radiation belts" so what? People deserve the myths they believe. Tell me about your experience with Apollo. I'm really curious
      about what you know.

      Occam's Razor? It just means that the simplest answer is probably the right one. With the complexity of space technology, it certainly
      goes against your reasoning of the "Razor".

    2. Ramus73

      Actually, technically, Ockhams Razor does not mean the simplest answer is the right one. William Ockham stated "Entities must not be multiplied unnecessarily". The "Razor" shaves away the unimportant parts. It has little to do with complexity as a small amount of entities could still be complex, like the population of humans compared to the population of ants. I liken Ockhams maxim to the other maxim "Too many cooks spoil the broth".

    3. Guest

      I am Tigereye,

      "Hubble Telescope - Facts and Figures on the Hubble Space Telescope"

      Hubbles Space Telescope Size:

      * Length: 43.5 ft (13.2 m)
      * Weight: 24,500 lb (11,110 kg)
      * Maximum Diameter: 14 ft (4.2 m)

      Hubble is nearly the size of a large school bus—but it can fit inside a space shuttle cargo bay.

      Cost at Launch: $1.5 billion

      Spaceflight Statistics:

      * The Hubble Space Telescope whirls "around" Earth at a speed of 5 miles per second.
      * Orbit: At an altitude "307 nautical miles" (569 km, or 353 miles), inclined 28.5 degrees to the equator (low-Earth orbit)
      * Time to Complete One Orbit: 97 minutes
      * Speed: 17,500 mph (28,000 kph)

      Notice: Hubble is well under the Van Allen Belt and therefore Radiation is not a major concern.

  25. 1perspective

    wow just watched the 4 hrs straight through really inspiring stuff.
    humans have so much potential to be great and all that seems to hold us back is when we start to become complacent as this doc shows.

    thanks for another top doc vlat.


    in the Movie a funny thing happened on the way to the moon, The astronauts are " exposed faking the whole moon landing! I am not going to argue this with anyone! Watch the movie and try to explain that away. can you say Van allen radiation belt

    1. Jack1952

      The radiation belts are like having your teeth x-rayed. Short term exposure is moderately dangerous but don't expose yourself for long periods of time. That is why the x-ray technician stands behind a shield until the x-ray is completed. Read the science literature if you want to know about the dangers of the van allen belts. Don't rely on the pseudo scientists.


      not that easy Jack! Have you seen the Movie in Question?

    3. Jack1952

      I did watch the movie and watched again after your post. The movie is well done but it does have its discrepancies. If the radiation in the van allen belts was that strong it would also have knocked out electrical components, yet the movie admits the Russians crash landed on the moon one month before the American moon landing. How could this be if they had to go through the same radiation Apollo went through. Also, I have spent many nights camping under the stars watching satellites moving across the skies. If Apollo spacecrafts were in near orbit, they would have been visible to any one who cared to look. I'm sure the Russians were looking. Nixon couldn't keep Watergate a secret, yet Nasa and the American government has hidden all documents and kept quiet all those who were involved in the moon landing hoax(?). The film suggests that Armstrong feels guilt over his role and he may yet admit his guilt before he dies. There are many others who were involved and have passed away since then. Is Armstrong the only one who has a conscience.

  27. kiokio23

    Just the begining is already f.ing epic.
    Grat one