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Play now 28 mins

Episode 1

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 22 July 2009

In July 1969 the Americans won the race to land on the moon. It was a political and technological triumph, but just how much was learnt scientifically? To mark the 40th anniversary of the moon landings Richard Hollingham tells the scientific story of the Apollo Program.

With the help of archive recordings he hears the experiences of some of the astronauts and looks at the science they achieved. And he meets some of the ‘backroom boys’, the geologists and lunar scientists who were eagerly awaiting the return of data and samples. In all, 392 kilograms of moon rock were returned by the six manned Apollo landers. But how much do we know about the geology of our companion world? And what are the big questions still to be answered about lunar science? They concern not only our Moon, but the early history of our own planet and the life upon it.

  • Richard Hollingham in the doorway to the Apollo Mobile Quarantine Facility on USS Hornet

    Richard Hollingham in the doorway to the Apollo Mobile Quarantine Facility on USS Hornet



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