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The Space Age: NASA’s Story: From The Ground Up

Airs Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Astronaut Edwin E.

Credit: Creator/Photographer: NASA Neil A. Armstrong

Above: Astronaut Edwin E."Buzz" Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module pilot, is photographed during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the Moon. He has just deployed the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package (EASEP). In the foreground is the Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP); beyond it is the Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector (LR-3); in the center background is the United States flag; in the left background is the black and white lunar surface television camera; in the far right background is the Lunar Module "Eagle". Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander, took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera.

"The Space Age: NASA's Story" offers a fresh look at an amazing organization and mankind's quest to understand the universe. Blending stunningly restored footage with revealing, insightful and engaging interviews with the people who were there - the astronauts, family members and journalists - this is an epic story of the heroes, the triumphs and the tragedies of space exploration.

Starting with NASA's beginnings in the Cold War, this four-part series follows the iconic moments of space exploration from the race to get the first man in space to the first steps on the moon. And with triumph and achievement comes risk and disaster, as the series follows the white-knuckle suspense of Apollo 13 and the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. Intelligent, inspiring and accessible, "The Space Age" is a complete history of mankind's journey into space.

"From The Ground Up" - Examining the massive challenges to get the first man in space, this episode shows how, despite many setbacks and six epic flights later, the astronauts proved the most important component of any NASA mission would be a human being.

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