The Armstrong Tapes

Watch The Armstrong Tapes

  • 2019
  • 1 Season
  • 7.0  (60)

The Armstrong Tapes, a captivating documentary series from National Geographic (US), premiered in 2019 and featured exclusive interviews with the family and close friends of legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to step onto the moon's surface. The show primarily followed Carol Armstrong, the widow of Neil Armstrong, as she delved deep into the vast collection of personal archives and tapes that her husband left behind. These archives were stored at Purdue University and had never before been seen by the public.

The series was a unique opportunity for the audience to witness never-before-seen footage and hear unheard-of stories from the Armstrong family and friends. James R. Hansen, the biographer of Neil Armstrong, and June Hoffman, the head of archives at Purdue University, provided valuable insights into Neil Armstrong's personal life and his professional achievements. The show aimed to bring alive the man who remained an enigmatic and reserved figure even in the public eye.

Through an array of interviews, Neil Armstrong's life was presented to the audience in a way that had never been seen before. The series chronicled various moments from Armstrong's life, including his time as a naval aviator and test pilot, his historic voyage to the moon, and his later life as a private citizen. The audiences were treated to an exclusive peek into the personality that was Neil Armstrong, his motivations, and what drove him.

The Armstrong Tapes exposed the audience to an endless array of new information and the stories associated with the life of Neil Armstrong. The show helped dispel certain myths related to the moon landing and provided the audience an insight about the human behind a popular figure. The interviews, combined with never-before-seen footage from archives, provided the audience with an emotional connection with Armstrong, making the story much more personal.

Through archival video footage, the series also offered audiences a glimpse into American history during the 1960s and 1970s, a time of political turmoil but also a time of great technological advancement. The series uses the vast depository of archival footage to offer audiences access to the historic moments in American history that led up to the moon landing, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the race to put a human into orbit.

One particularly captivating moment in the documentary series The Armstrong Tapes is the scene where Carol Armstrong is seen rummaging through Neil's personal storage units. Her emotion and grief are palpable as she recalls memories with her husband, accompanied by footage of home videos, photographs, and personal effects. After going through Neil's personal effects, Carol came to the realization that, contrary to popular belief, Neil was not a man who lacked, but a man who valued depth of relationships.

Another striking scene from the series is one that Greg H. Johnson, a former astronaut and friend of Neil Armstrong, recounts. Johnson described the moment on the shuttle launchpad when he heard Neil Armstrong's voice in his ear as he was moments away from lifting off. Listening to Johnson's detailed description of Neil's words, pauses, and pace, one gets a clear insight into a man whose words were chosen carefully and delivered with purpose.

In conclusion, The Armstrong Tapes from National Geographic is a must-watch for both history buffs and those interested in humanizing legendary figures of the scientific and technological world. The show provides a thoroughly comprehensive look into the life of one of America's most well-known figures, offering never-before-seen footage, archived materials, interviews with trusted friends, and family members. It does an impressive job of humanizing the former astronaut while simultaneously maintaining a strong sense of history. Ultimately, it is a well-rounded and complex look into the life of Neil Armstrong, who was undoubtedly a complex individual.

The Armstrong Tapes is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (1 episodes). The series first aired on July 8, 2019.

The Armstrong Tapes
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Episode 1
1. Episode 1
July 8, 2019
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Where to Watch The Armstrong Tapes
The Armstrong Tapes is available for streaming on the National Geographic (US) website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Armstrong Tapes on demand at and National Geographic.
  • Premiere Date
    July 8, 2019
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (60)