Watch Time of Apollo
- 28 min
The movie Time of Apollo from 1975 is a documentary film that follows the Apollo space program starting from President John F. Kennedy's announcement in 1961 to land a man on the moon and ending with the successful mission of Apollo 17 in 1972. The film is narrated by American actor Burgess Meredith and features rare footage from NASA archives, interviews with astronauts, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the space program.
The film begins by highlighting the Cold War context in which the Apollo program was developed. The United States was in a race against the Soviet Union to prove technological superiority, and the space race was one way to demonstrate this. President Kennedy's announcement of the goal to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade set the stage for a massive effort by NASA to develop the necessary technology and expertise to make this possible.
Through interviews with astronauts, including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin who were part of the historic Apollo 11 mission, the viewer gains insight into the incredible risks and challenges associated with going to the moon. They describe the physical and mental demands of training for months on end, the fear of the unknown, and the awe-inspiring experience of being on the lunar surface.
One of the remarkable aspects of the film is the attention given to the technological innovations that made the moon landing possible. The viewer gets a tour of mission control and sees the massive supercomputers that were used to calculate trajectories and monitor various aspects of the spacecraft. The film also highlights the engineering feats that had to be achieved, such as developing a spacecraft that could land softly on the uneven lunar surface and figuring out how to get it back off the ground once it had landed.
Another fascinating element of the film is its portrayal of the culture of NASA during this time period. The viewer sees astronauts in their training and in candid moments, such as humorous skits performed for each other that reveal a camaraderie and sense of community among these elite astronaut teams. We also see the intense pressure that comes with the responsibility of being part of such a high-stakes mission and the ways in which NASA scientists and engineers balanced this with a commitment to safety and caution.
Throughout the film, Burgess Meredith's voice provides context and insight into the events being depicted on screen. His narration is both informative and engaging, and he strikes a tone that conveys both the excitement and the seriousness of the events being portrayed. The film's pacing is well-tuned, with the chronological progression of the Apollo program interspersed with interviews and moments of humor that keep the viewer engaged.
The movie ends with a celebration of the success of the Apollo program, but also with a sense of loss. The lunar program was eventually cancelled due to budget cuts, and the film reflects on the fact that we have not returned to the moon since the early '70s. This sense of awe and wonder at what was accomplished, but also a longing for further exploration of the unknown, gives the film a poignant ending.
Overall, Time of Apollo is a fascinating documentary that provides an in-depth look at one of the most important achievements in human history. Its use of footage from NASA archives, interviews with key figures, and clear narration combine to make it an informative and engaging film that inspires a sense of wonder at the ingenuity and resilience of the human spirit.