WGBH Openvault

American Experience; Race To The Moon


Home Video Master

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

American Experience
Race To The Moon
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

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. 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 Frank Borman, James Lovell and Bill Anders, their wives ,mission control staff, and journalists, such as Walter Cronkite, who covered the event for CBS News, Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon; and John Logsdon, director, Space Policy Institute at George Washington University 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.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Race To The Moon,” 10/12/2005, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 21, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_1910BCB7CAC843B29D206FC91FC9FF6C.
MLA: “American Experience; Race To The Moon.” 10/12/2005. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 21, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_1910BCB7CAC843B29D206FC91FC9FF6C>.
APA: American Experience; Race To The Moon. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_1910BCB7CAC843B29D206FC91FC9FF6C
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.