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"In the Shadow of the Moon", New documentary gets a favorable review
John Whitehead
post Oct 17 2007, 07:17 PM
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The documentary was absolutely wonderful for what it showed, both the archival stuff and recent interviews. But should we worry about what the movie didn't really explain? How easy is it for the uninformed populace to believe that the technology and the engineering came out of nowhere, just because the President made an inspiring speech and rallied political support to spend the money? How easy is it for even the engineering community to overlook physical limits to what is possible, if the general consensus is that anything can be done if the President wants to?

John W.
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dvandorn
post Oct 18 2007, 05:03 AM
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Well, John -- I certainly can't speak for the uninformed populace of the 21st century. But back in the early 1960s, one of the points that Kennedy hammered over and over again was that he had made *this* committment precisely because it required us to expand the envelope in engineering and materials sciences. He didn't think that anyone, much less the engineers and scientists, were going to be able to pull new technologies out of the hat simply because their President said it was possible.

One of the main reasons for going to the Moon was to develop technologies, and moreso, to develop the technologists required to do the developing. Kennedy thought (and rightly so, IMHO) that America needed the new engineers and scientists that a Moon program would create more than it needed a political victory or a few hundred kg of Moon rocks.

-the other Doug


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John Whitehead
post Oct 18 2007, 07:16 PM
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Thanks for the encouraging comments oDoug. A friend who was a news photographer in the mid-20th Century reminded me that Life Magazine had an exclusive contract to run stories about Apollo (or perhaps just the astronauts?). His joke was that Life didn't realize at first that they couldn't keep other news orgs from capturing the launches on film. laugh.gif

I assume some of the footage in the documentary came from Life, because the part which shows the person crawling around between the F-1 engines on the back of the S-IC was shown as a still photograph in Life magazine, December 20 1968 (the week of the Apollo 8 launch). To close the loop here, that story, titled "Men and Machines," begins with a statement that the Saturn V was created by people out of metal and plastic and chemicals. In addition to the general public's lack of appreciation, I worry that the word "create" might not even be in the aerospace vocabulary anymore, as today's terminology suggests that everything "emerges" from a bureaucratic process. And engineers should spend their days doing the kinds of things that accountants do. Of course I want my cynical perspective to be wrong, terribly wrong.

John W.
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hendric
post Oct 19 2007, 03:41 PM
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Is the movie kid-friendly? I have a 5 year old who would love to go. I notice the poster had "Contains mild scenes of peril". smile.gif

As far as the difficulty of it all, I personally loved the "Spider" episode of From the Earth to the Moon. I suspect that captures some of difficulty and hardship the design teams had to go through to get it done. The time lapse of the little model changing over and over...Man, I can relate to that one!


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ugordan
post Oct 19 2007, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE (hendric @ Oct 19 2007, 05:41 PM) *
As far as the difficulty of it all, I personally loved the "Spider" episode of From the Earth to the Moon. I suspect that captures some of difficulty and hardship the design teams had to go through to get it done.

Great episode, but I kind of feel it's the "Apollo 1" episode that actually best captures the difficulties in designing a spacecraft and repercussions of certain design choices.


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dvandorn
post Oct 19 2007, 04:36 PM
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QUOTE (hendric @ Oct 19 2007, 10:41 AM) *
Is the movie kid-friendly? I have a 5 year old who would love to go. I notice the poster had "Contains mild scenes of peril". smile.gif

That was basically referencing the Apollo 13 discussion. The "peril" was in fact more than mild, but it's difficult to present it as such via documentary footage. smile.gif

-the other Doug


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stevesliva
post Oct 19 2007, 06:24 PM
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FYI-- It is possible to save this movie to your Netflix queue.
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As old as Voyage...
post Nov 3 2007, 10:35 PM
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UK screenings annonuced:

http://www.itsotm.com/itsotm.html

Hope there is one near you smile.gif


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djellison
post Nov 3 2007, 10:47 PM
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Phoenix in Leicester it is smile.gif

Doug
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djellison
post Nov 9 2007, 09:28 PM
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Imagine the scene - I walk into the Phoenix centre in Leicester, up to the Box Office

"Hi, I'd like to order two tickets for In the shadow of the moon for the 30th please"
"Hmm - not heard of that, just a minute."
tap tap tap tap tap
"No, sorry, we don't appear to be showing it"

W
T
F?

Fortunately, a theatre not to far away in Loughborough is showing it as well!

Doug
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RJG
post Nov 9 2007, 11:01 PM
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Hmm... The web site certainly indicated that it would be shown in Leicester.

I saw it in Kingston on Monday. Total audience of about 6 -though that's probably not bad for 2pm on a Monday afternoon.

FWIW I found it hugely interesting and would certainly rate it. Though for an undertaking as huge as Apollo, there's so much more that I wish could have been included.

Rob
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volcanopele
post Jul 10 2008, 12:32 AM
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Just got a chance to check out this documentary (from Netflix). I thought it was a very interesting film. There weren't a lot of details that I didn't know already (except for what Aldrin was doing right before he set foot on the moon), but a lot of the Apollo footage certainly was new to me, like the spent stage footage. A very nice prospective on this pivotal event in human history.


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dvandorn
post Jul 10 2008, 04:36 AM
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Yeah -- there are very few pieces of film in the documentary I had never seen The only thing I know I had never seen before was film of the escape tower and boost protective cover jetting off the vehicle, taken from inside the spacecraft.

Still, I think the best thing about this film is the commentary by Mike Collins, the best writer and most interesting storyteller of the first five astronaut groups.

BTW, Aldrin has said elsewhere that his First Whizz on the Moon took place just after he set foot on the surface, not just prior... rolleyes.gif

-the other Doug


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