Live from the Moon: Film, Television and the Space Race

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Man’s exploration of space and its climax in the American moon landings have provided the world with iconic sounds and images of the late twentieth century. Travelling across millions of miles, these sounds and images have become lodged in the public conscious as the most powerful of collective memories. They speak both of breathtaking technological achievement and of the courage of the men, and woman, who risked their lives in striving to be more than human and to be more than just of this Earth. As John F. Kennedy said, "We choose to go to the Moon, not because it is easy but because it is hard."

This is the first comprehensive exploration of the role played by film and television systems in enabling these feats of interplanetary exploration to be witnessed by audiences of hundreds of millions of people. Using material from the NASA archives, expert and enthusiast Michael Allen traces the parallel development and interdependency of space and media technologies during the Space Race -- of satellite surveillance and interplanetary probes, early Russian successes and the American missions that landed men on the moon. He also chronicles the part played by film and television in recording what was, and is, man’s greatest leap: the exploration of outer space and other planets.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This delightful, easy-to-read, detailed chronology of manned American and Soviet missions starts with the development of space photography. It proceeds to describe the politics, the contrasting openness and secrecy, the one-upmanship, the dedication/enthusiasm of the astronauts, and the US-USSR rivalries... [R]eaders will appreciate the challenges resulting from the deadline to land on the moon by the end of the 1960s and how they were met. Space enthusiast Allen provides fascinating descriptions of the waxing and waning interest of both the major news networks and the public when firsts were made, failures occurred, challenges were faced, and problems needed resolution. Summing Up: Highly recommended." --CHOICE

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845111694
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/15/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Allen is Lecturer in Film & Electronic Media at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is author of Family Secrets (1999), a study of D.W. Griffith's feature films, and Contemporary US Cinema (2002). He is also editor of Reading "CSI (I.B. Tauris, 2007). He has been a space enthusiast since he was ten years' old.

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Table of Contents

* Introduction
• Imaging Spaceflight
• NASA-wood USA
• All Around the World - the Development of Earth-orbiting Satellites
• To Robotically Go… - Interplanetary Satellites and Probes
• Heroes and Ideologies - Mercury and Vostok
• Upping the Orbital Ante - Gemini and Voskhod
• ‘From the Lovely Apollo Room, High Atop Everything’ - Apollo 7-10
• ‘One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Propaganda’ - Apollo 11
• Failure Is Not an Option……But Was Almost a Reality - Apollo 12-14
• Celestial Geologists - Apollo 15-17
• Coda and Conclusion
• Bibliography
• Index

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