Not to be outdone by History’s Aug. 28 celebration of Neil Armstrong’s life and accomplishments, Discovery Channel and Science have likewise announced a two-network tribute to the first human to set foot on the moon. At the center of this salute is the premiere of a new documentary, One Giant Leap: A Neil Armstrong Tribute, on Discovery Channel this Saturday, Sept. 1 at 8pm ET/PT, with an encore presentation on Science at 10pm ET/PT. But programming highlighting Armstrong’s life and achievements will be featured throughout the week:
Friday, Aug. 31:
The Planets (Science, 9am-5pm ET/PT) This eight-part series, to be shown in an all-day marathon, explores the origins of the planets that make up our solar system. With clues to their makeup and development strewn throughout the solar system, the search for answers hasn’t been easy — but science is making significant strides.
Moon Machines (Science, 5pm-11pm ET/PT) Immediately following The Planets, this series will honor not only Armstrong, but the men and women who designed and created the technology that got him and his fellow astronauts safely to the lunar surface and back again.
Saturday, Sept. 1:
When We Left Earth (Discovery Channel, 7pm ET/PT) Gary Sinise narrates Discovery’s one-hour special detailing the events leading up to the Apollo 11 mission, and the vast unknowns involved in the lunar landing prior to the event. Would the lunar module sink into the moon’s surface? Would the astronauts be besieged by lunar “germs”? And would they be able to leave the moon once the mission was accomplished?
One Giant Leap: A Neil Armstrong Tribute (Discovery Channel, 8pm ET/PT; Science, 10pm ET/PT) Through interviews with crewmates “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins, as well as special footage from the Apollo 11 archives, this special takes viewers through the complete journey as experienced by Armstrong and his colleagues, from their initial training to the first moonwalk and the return home.
In the Shadow of the Moon (Science, 8pm ET/PT) From 1968 to 1972, the world was captivated as American spacecraft landed 12 men on the lunar surface. These 12 men remain the only humans to have planted their feet on another world. Through interviews and vintage NASA footage, this documentary illustrates the daring, pride and passion of this extraordinary chapter in history.
Wednesday, Sept. 5
When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions (Science, 5-11pm ET/PT) Six episodes, each focusing on a single mission, tell the stories of each and place it in the bigger context of NASA’s history.
Photo: NASA/ZUMA Press/Newscom