Re: looking for space history video recommendations

John Muller (john.muller@SONOMA.EDU)
Tue, 4 Feb 2003 20:24:11 -0800 (PST)

on 2/4/03 6:38 PM, Renee Zurn at wrote:

> Hello everyone!
> Oce again I am looking for recommendations, this time videos on the history of
> space flight. I have the older videos but don't have a recent series on the
> subject. Does one exist? Thanks for any help you can give me.
> Renee Zurn
> Duluth Public Library
> Duluth MN

A comprehensive history? Not too much out there produced in the last ten
years that comes to mind. Frankly, Blaine Baggett's massive four-hour 1985
PBS series "Spaceflight" (revised/updated in 1987 to include the Challenger
incident) is probably the best overview produced. Noteworthy in particular
because it covers from Russian perspective, too. 15 years out of date, tho.
I wish Baggett would add an episode.

Many overviews, like 1992's "Space Age", are uninspired clip-fests of stock
footage, but there are several fantastic documentaries that focus on
individual incidents or aspects of space flight.

Nova & Discovery channel have produced dozens of great ones ranging from the
Mir fire to Apollo 13 to the construction of the International Space
Station. Check their websites to see what titles are available. The IMAX
docs like "The Dream is Alive", "Blue Planet" or "Destiny in Space" are
always eye-poppers, too.

My vote for most lyrical and different space documentary is Al Reinert's
1989 Oscar-nominated "For All Mankind". Edited as a single representative
lunar mission, it is narrated by most of the Apollo astronauts in their own
words set to the music of Brian Eno. Much of the archived footage used had
not been seen by the public, and it looks great. Critereon has the DVD;
check it out...

Some more product lists here:

Lastly, slightly off-topic, just a quick plug for the Encylopedia
Astronautica, a mind boggling web-based assembly of 7000+ pages of space
history -

John F. Müller
Sonoma State University Library
Jean & Charles Schulz Information Center - Multimedia Department
1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone:  (707) 664-2590
FAX:    (707) 664-2090