A new Smithsonian Channel series celebrates the artifacts that led to the triumphant moon landing of Apollo 11 in July 50 years ago, and reports the mission behind the scenes.
"Apollo's Moon Shot," premiering on Sunday (June 16), tells the story of NASA's lunar-weft program through archive footage, interviews, and artifacts from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum . The series airs weekly at 8 pm on Sundays. EDT (at the same time in PDT).
"This six-part series tells the entire history of the American lunar program through newly restored archive film and unique access to the artifacts of Apollo," the Smithsonian Channel said in a statement.
Related: Apollo 1
Some of the artifacts shown on the screen include the Glenn camera used by John the first American astronaut to reach orbit in 1963 during the Mercury program; the command module of Apollo 11 currently touring for its anniversary at the Seattle Museum of Flight; and spaceships worn in 1972 during Apollo 17 the last manned mission to land on the moon.
"The series reveals the stories of the men and women who made the mission possible," added Smithsonian. "Breathtaking, rarely seen footage from each mission is combined with NASA's oral reports directly from the astronaut's debriefing on Earth's return."
The series will also feature an Apollo Moon Shot augmented reality app that shows the full chronology of the Apollo program in terms of the key moments depicted in the series.
The premiere episode "Rocket Fever" on Sunday will recall the spectators into the beginning of the space race in 1957, when the Soviet Union launched its space race first satellite, Sputnik . This event spurred the United States to rapidly enter space, and in 1961 led to President John F. Kennedy's call for US astronauts to land on the lunar surface by the end of the decade.
"The beginnings of the space race were full of urgency, uncertainty, tremendous risks and even greater rewards," said Smithsonian in another statement . "NASA's first astronaut team is undergoing a crash course in space exploration, featuring rare archive footage, interviews, and exhibits, as well as in the vaults of the Smithsonian National Aerospace Museum."