Press release

National Geographic Brings the World Back to the Golden Age of Space; APOLLO: MISSIONS TO THE MOON Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the First Manned Lunar Landing and Captures the Emotions and Stakes of Our Greatest Achievement

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On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong climbed down a small ladder to place a
foot onto the moon’s surface and proclaimed, “That’s one small step for
man, one giant leap for mankind.” On that fateful day, with more than
half a billion people worldwide watching on television, Apollo 11 became
the first spaceflight to land man on the moon. Led by astronauts
Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, the mission effectively
ended the Space Race and fulfilled a national goal set by President John
F. Kennedy. This historic feat changed the world forever.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary, National Geographic kicks off its Space
programming event with the epic two-hour feature documentary APOLLO:
. Airing globally in 172 countries and 43
languages, the film is executive produced and directed by acclaimed Emmy
and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Tom Jennings (“Challenger Disaster:
Lost Tapes,” “Diana: In Her Own Words”).

The film weaves together more than 500 hours of footage, 800 hours of
audio and 10,000 photos, using Jennings’ signature style of first-person
storytelling to take viewers behind the scenes. This intimate, immersive
account spans the full sweep of NASA’s Apollo Space Program — from the
ill-fated Apollo 1 mission, which claimed the lives of three astronauts,
to the final flight that brought the program to a close.

“Beyond audio and footage of the brave astronauts, APOLLO: MISSIONS
creates a tapestry of the collective sights and sounds
that brings us back to the golden age of space,” says Jennings.

The film features newly transferred film and never-before-heard audio to
recount the groundbreaking, key moments of America’s goal to land on the
moon before 1970. With no narration nor modern-day talking heads, the
missions are experienced entirely through archival TV footage,
never-before-heard radio broadcasts, home movies, NASA film and
mission-control audio to create an eyewitness-like experience. The film
includes several firsts, including the combination of NASA footage with
“black-box” recordings from Apollo capsules and the synchronization of
30-track audio from mission control.

APOLLO: MISSIONS TO THE MOON unveils what was happening not only
on the ground at mission control but also in the homes of the families
and friends who stood by as their loved ones took to the skies,” says
Jennings. “The whole world stopped for a moment to rejoice and take
pride in the boundless sense of courage and optimism that Apollo made

APOLLO: MISSIONS TO THE MOON is not just a show; it’s an
experience,” says Geoff Daniels, executive vice president of global
unscripted entertainment at National Geographic. “It’s filled with
intimate, exquisite moments that put you on the edge of your seat and
reveal the human face of heroism at a time when our country — and the
world — was deeply divided. Apollo renewed our purpose and passion for
space exploration, which is deeply woven into our human DNA and at the
core of National Geographic. Now, 50 years later, this film could not be
more relevant; it reminds us what we can achieve together and has the
power to transform us all.”

Composed by James Everingham for Bleeding Fingers Music and produced by
Academy Award, Golden Globe, Tony Award and Grammy Award winner Hans
Zimmer and Emmy-nominated Russell Emanuel, the film’s score captures the
spirit of the time. The predominantly orchestral score features
electronically manipulated sounds from the 1960’s heyday of NASA space
explorations, including the Apollo mission open radio frequencies, the
Kepler Star and Sputnik’s telemetry beacon.

APOLLO: MISSIONS TO THE MOON is produced by 1895 Films for
National Geographic Documentary Films. For 1895 Films, Jennings is
executive producer and director. For National Geographic Documentary
Films, Bernadette McDaid is executive producer and commissioning editor
and Hamish Mykura is executive vice president of programming and

In addition to APOLLO: MISSIONS TO THE MOON headlining National
Geographic’s Space Week, which has encore presentations Thursday,
July 11, at 8/7c, and at 11/10c, the special weeklong programming block
will feature the following:

Explorer: Journey to Europa
Monday, July 8, at 8/7c
— an icy moon of Jupiter 485 million miles away from Earth — may be our
best hope for finding alien life in our solar system. Today, an
innovative class of explorers and scientists is planning a trip to
Europa to answer the question — could there be life?

The Armstrong Tapes
Monday, July 8, at 9/8c
Monday, July 8, at 11/10c and Thursday, July 11, at 10/9c

one-hour documentary provides a personal and in-depth look at Neil
Armstrong, the first man on the moon. Armstrong’s sole authorized
biographer, family members and colleagues sit down with National
Geographic to reveal an intimate look at one of the world’s greatest and
least-known heroes.

Challenger Disaster: The Final Mission
Monday, July 8, at

The film follows the tragic story of the historic space
shuttle Challenger and its crew. The events of the days leading up to
the disaster are detailed using no narration or new interviews; instead,
the story is told through journalists’ reports, rarely seen images,
extensive recordings from NASA and interviews with those who were part
of the one-of-a-kind mission.

Mars: Inside SpaceX
Tuesday, July 9, at 8/7c
special goes inside SpaceX’s plan to get humanity to Mars and provides
an unprecedented glimpse into one of the world’s most revolutionary
companies. Taking us behind the scenes with Elon Musk and his engineers,
we get an inside look as they persevere amid both disheartening setbacks
and huge triumphs.

Apollo: Back to the Moon
Tuesday, July 9, at 9/8c
Tuesday, July 9, at 10/9c, 11/10c and 12/11c

Using a fresh
perspective and driven by the production processes and techniques that
have evolved rapidly, this documentary describes the epic adventure to
the moon. This immersive account details the journey of those who
contributed to the Apollo 11 mission.

Hubble’s Amazing Journey
Wednesday, July 10, at 8/7c
Wednesday, July 10, at 11/10c

For more than 25 years the Hubble
Space Telescope has told us about the creation of stars and planets, the
glory of supernovas and the formation of supermassive black holes. It
has changed forever our understanding of reality itself. In this updated
version, we reveal some of Hubble’s latest observations: exoplanets,
astrophysical jets and the bubble nebula.

Mission Pluto and Beyond
Wednesday, July 10, at 9/8c
unprecedented access to NASA’s spacecraft New Horizons team, this
landmark film takes viewers inside the daring mission of reaching the
last great uncharted realm of our solar system — Pluto.

Mission Saturn: Inside the Rings
Wednesday, July 10, at

This one-hour special gives viewers an incredible look at
the planet and an inside examination of the team that dreamed to explore
it. The robotic spacecraft Cassini dives into Saturn’s atmosphere and
attempts to survive its elements as it descends into the planet. After a
valiant three and a half hours, Cassini sends its final signal.

National Geographic Magazine

The July issue of National Geographic magazine looks at the history and
future of space exploration, including original photography and
extensive graphics. The issue features an up-to-date lunar map,
following in the tradition of the iconic 1969 version that, at the time,
was the first of its kind. The map is based on some 15,000 images and
height data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has surveyed
the entire lunar surface. Look out for the July issue online at beginning June
13 and on print newsstands on June 25th.

About National Geographic Documentary Films:

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between the
National Geographic Society and Disney, is committed to bringing the
world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an
unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National
Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo
WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media
and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines;
National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms;
books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include
travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and
e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our
world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 131 years,
and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going
further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the
world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP
returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic
Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation
and education. For more information visit
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About 1895 Films

1895 Films is a Peabody Award-winning, Emmy-nominated documentary
production company based in Los Angeles, California. Headed by
journalist-turned-filmmaker Tom Jennings, 1895 Films specializes in
creating and producing high-quality documentary programming for most of
the major television cable networks. The company’s films feature dynamic
storytelling on topics ranging from politics and religion to history,
crime, sports, mystery and travel. 1895 has produced documentary films
around the globe, from major world capitals to some of the most remote
places on earth — always looking for new ways to tell stories that are
both informative and entertaining.