Skip to main content

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing with PBS and GPB

Ed White, the first American to walk in space, on Gemini 4 mission. Courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, June 1965

This summer PBS and GPB will present a multiplatform celestial programming spectacle sure to excite any space enthusiast with new history and science programs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. In anticipation of the official start of the Summer of Space, we’ve launched GPB to the Moon, our companion website and home to an astronomical collection of original content. Visit to watch video, read and listen to related stories from GPB News, find out about upcoming programs and community events, explore with GPB Education, and learn about Georgians making a mark in science and technology.

Right now at GPB to the Moon, you can watch FIRST LEGO League: From Georgia to Houston, following three young robotics teams from Georgia as they travel to Houston, Texas to compete in the 2019 FIRST LEGO League "Into Orbit" international competition. In the clip below, "Team Actually Sirius" raises funds for their trip to Houston and talks about their proposal, which uses dogs to help manage astronauts' stress levels in space.

You can also find out about GPB Education’s Live Exploration: Rocket Launch, live from the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia, a part of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Global Launch. Want to learn how to build your own rocket as a family or team? GPB Education has you covered with a downloadable activity guide.

Learn about and register for some of our upcoming screening events, including a Ready Jet Go! Screening Party at GPB on June 21, and the first of our Chasing the Moon preview screenings on July 11 at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center in Columbus. Our content will continue to grow as the Summer of Space kicks into high gear, so make sure to bookmark GPB to the Moon and check in with us as the countdown continues.

Summer of Space blasts off on Wednesday, July 8 with the premiere of Chasing the Moon: American Experience. The highly-anticipated six-hour, three-night series thoroughly reimagines the race to the moon for a new generation, upending much of the conventional mythology surrounding the effort, to recast the Space Age as a fascinating stew of scientific innovation and PR savvy, political calculation and media spectacle, visionary impulses and personal drama.

With no narration and using only archival footage — including a visual feast of previously lost or overlooked material culled from more than 90 different archives from around the world — Chasing the Moon features new interviews with a diverse cast of characters who played key roles in these historic events, including astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman and Bill Anders; the renowned futurist Freeman Dyson;  and Sergei Khrushchev, the son of former Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, who played a prominent role in the Soviet space program as a rocket engineer.

While other documentaries have largely painted a familiar narrative of goals set, obstacles overcome, disasters averted and missions accomplished, Chasing the Moon tells a vastly more entertaining and surprising story.

“When we think of that breathtaking moment of the 1969 moon landing, we forget what a turbulent time that was,” says Mark Samels, American Experience executive producer. “The country was dealing with huge problems — Vietnam, poverty, civil rights — and there was a lot of skepticism about the space program. Chasing the Moon explores the unbelievably complex challenges that NASA was able to overcome. Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t say, ‘Why can’t we do something today as ambitious, as grand as putting a man on the moon?’ It was a century-defining achievement, and our film tells a familiar story in an entirely new way.”

Chasing the Moon, written, produced and directed by Academy Award nominee Robert Stone, premieres Monday-Wednesday, July 8-10, 9:00-11:00 pm.


More Summer of Space programming from PBS and GPB:


GPB Education - FIRST LEGO League: From Georgia to Houston

Three Georgia robotics teams travel to Houston, Texas to compete in the 2019 FIRST LEGO League "Into Orbit" international competition.

Watch Now


GPB News - Meet Lonnie Johnson: Scientist And Inventor Of The Super Soaker

On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott spoke with Dr. Lonnie Johnson, the mechanical and nuclear engineer who, in addition to working with the U.S. Air force and with NASA on the project that sent Galileo to Jupiter, invented the Super Soaker.

Listen to their conversation here.


GPB News - NASA Study Shows Space Makes Identical Twins Less Identical

GPB’s Bill Nigut spoke with astronaut Scott Kelly, after spending a year in space, on NASA’s twin study in which he and his brother Mark participated. On Second Thought revisited their conversation after the results of the study were released.

Listen to their conversation here.


GPB News - This Atlanta Single Mom Will Intern For NASA With Help From Strangers

On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott spoke to Georgia State University doctoral student India Jackson, who raised more that $8,000 from strangers after being accepted to NASA’s prestigious internship program.

Listen to their conversation here.


GPB Originals – Future Moon Exploration

Georgia Tech is on the forefront- helping develop space age technologies to travel, to live and even build habitats on the moon.  We'll venture into their labs to see some of their groundbreaking work.

Watch Now


GPB Originals – Where Were You?

Where were you when Neal Armstrong took his first step on the moon? It's one of those moments many who were watching that moment on their black and white TV's will never forget.


GPB Originals  - Opening the Hatch

When Apollo 11 splashed down on July 24, 1969 the first person to greet Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins when the hatch was opened was John Wolfram. At that time he was a Navy Seal and he says he was one of the Navy's fastest swimmers.  Today Wolfram, a Vietnam war veteran is a preacher living in Georgia.  We'll talk with Wolfram about his memories of that historic day fifty years ago.


Astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, narrates “Race and the Space Race.” NASA

Race and the Space Race – Friday, July 5 at 9 am on GPB Radio 

The Space Age began when America was going through a wrenching battle over Civil Rights.  And because the heart of the old Confederacy was chosen as its base, NASA  played an unintended role in Civil Rights history.  In this program, hear how this happened and the stories of the people who broke the color line at NASA. Their stories of frustration and their stories of perseverance.


Antiques Roadshow: Out of this World – Monday, July 8 at 8 pm

Explore the universe of space-themed treasures, including NASA Space Program autographed photos, a 1737 celestial & terrestrial atlas, and a Star Trek treatment, script, and letters. Have the values of these stellar finds skyrocketed in the market?


NOVA: Back to the Moon – Wednesday, July 10 at 8 pm

Fifty 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.


GPB Education Live Exploration: Rocket Launch – Tuesday, July 16 at 9 am

On July 16th at 9 AM ET, join GPB Education and the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch to the moon! During the live-streamed program, learn about space exploration and watch kids from Georgia participate in a global rocket launch.

Click here for more information and to register.


Michael Collins (Patrick Kennedy), Neil Armstrong (Rufus Wright) and Buzz Aldrin (Jack Tarlton) looking out at the horizon. Courtesy of BBC Studios; Photographer - Gary Moyes Producer: Craig Hunter

8 Days: To the Moon and Back – Wednesday, July 17 at 9 pm

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 archive and stunning CGI to recreate the first moon landing.


Ancient Skies – Wednesday, July 24 at 8 pm

Discover how centuries of knowledge, experimentation and engineering helped our ancestors understand the mysteries of space. Expert contributors decode astronomical myths and uncover the science behind their origins.


NOVA: The Planets – Wednesday, July 24 at 9 pm

Among the stars in the night sky wander the eight-plus worlds of our own solar system—each home to truly awe-inspiring sights. Volcanoes three times higher than Everest, geysers erupting with icy plumes, cyclones larger than Earth lasting hundreds of years. Each of our celestial neighbors has a distinct personality and a unique story. In this five-part series, NOVA will explore the awesome beauty of The Planets, and reveal how each of them has affected our own planet: Earth.