Destination Space (2000)

National Geographic

Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin deploys a foil sheet for collecting solar particles near the Eagle lunar lander in July 1969. July 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. Today Aldrin advocates a return to space targeted at Mars and other long-distance exploration missions.
Apollo 11 photograph courtesy NASA
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Date Added: 12 years ago.

Documentary Description

Beginning with the Apollo 11 mission and covering 30 years of space research and development, National Geographic: Destination Space examines the past, present, and future explorations of the final frontier. An uplifting documentary, it recounts the wild history of space travel while providing computer-generated projections of future space missions. Archival footage and interviews play a pivotal role in painting a comprehensive historical picture of the space industry: Various astronauts relate a slew of space stories, which range from silly to frightening to triumphant, and tragedies such as the Challenger disaster are recalled in horrific detail. The documentary emphasizes that, along with the few publicized failures, there have been a myriad of successes in space exploration, and scientists enthusiastically stress the bright prospects for important future expeditions. ~ John Schietinger, All Movie Guide

Cross the threshold of the final frontier as mankind embarks on the greatest adventure of all time: space travel. From heroic space pioneers to modern-day cliff-hanger missions, it's a thrilling look at humanity's quest to conquer space.

- Be there with astronaut Michael Foale as he survives a harrowing orbital collision onboard the Russian space station Mir.

- Relive the triumphs and tragedies of space exploration, and see how Cold War adversaries are now combining their expertise in projects like the floating Sea Launch platform. Watch science fiction become fact as scientists develop plans for exploring the red planet, including habitats that might one day allow people to live on Mars. From Sputnik to state-of-the-art computer-animated visions of the extraordinary spacecraft that may explore the nearest star system, go where no National Geographic program has gone before, in DESTINATION SPACE.


Are we ever going to leave this rock we call Earth? National Geographic's Destination Space looks at our prospects for space exploration and colonization, starting with Apollo 11 and reporting on 30 years of research and missions. Through archival footage; interviews with astronauts, astronomers, and earthbound folks whose fascination fuels the public's rekindled enthusiasm; and computer graphics modeling the future lives of space travelers, we find a new optimism that is irresistibly infectious. When Neil DeGrasse Tyson talks about sipping a martini while looking down at Earth or Shannon Lucid describes the sheer fun of living weightlessly, it's hard not to smile and wonder what the next generation holds. This confidence is well supported by technological reality; for every Challenger disaster and Mars orbiter loss we've had hundreds of successful but less-reported missions. This literally uplifting video is followed by a shorter but even more hopeful program: A View of Mars. Interviews with NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin and other boosters, more slick computer graphics, and footage from prior Mars missions make the prospect of imminent exploration and not-too-distant human arrival real and exciting. Even cynics will find themselves ready to pack after viewing. --Rob Lightner


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