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tv   Reel America The First Decade - 1968  CSPAN  July 28, 2019 11:35am-12:06pm EDT

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>> for major accomplishments of culminates with the loss, anticipating the apollo missions to the moon. >> at what time did man first embarked on his journey to the stars? gazed in awe at the infinite lights of the heavens, and wondered how different they were from his own earth. other men searched the night sky for religious signs or mathematical movements or imaginary inventions.
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for the earthbound astronomer, space was a lifetime of study beyond the window of his observatory. for countless centuries the exploration of space remained a dream in the mind of man. then, on the fourth day of the month of october 1957, it became a reality. the soviet union hurled the first man-made satellite into orbit 558 miles above the earth. the space age had begun. ♪ a year later congress created the national aeronautics and space administration, a new civilian agency with parallel
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missions, to continue research and improvement in aeronautics, and to build a team and technology capable of sending unmanned and demand craft to explore the new ocean of space. ♪ today, after a decade of research and discovery, america stands ready for the next step, a journey to the moon. [jet engines firing] ♪
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this day began on an island of the coast -- off the coast, a place where man explores the realm of space. over the past years, scientific instruments have been carried into the atmosphere, gathering data on high-altitude winds, ultraviolet rays, radiation
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belts and solar flares. for american and international experimenters have evaluated this data to expand vastly our knowledge of interspace. -- of inner space. [jet engines firing] at other nasa centers, scientists, engineers and technicians developed and tested new families of scientific satellites, unmanned spacecraft
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which would extend man's senses where he could not yet see, hear or touch, spacecraft which took scientific equipment and experiments into the unknown darkness and sent back the light of new knowledge. from these satellites, man has
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learned the nature of microscopic particles in space. he has measured air density at great altitudes, discovered how electrons deflect radio waves in the ionosphere, and where radiation belts and circle our planet. he has determined the true shape of the earth and mapped it more precisely, made new measurements of solar energy and sent telescopes into the night for a first clear look at the stars. ♪ some satellites were joint efforts to add to mann's knowledge, the combined scientific quest of other nations and the launch technology of our own. the early scientific satellites carried only instruments into space.
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later, they would carry life, plants and animals ranging from microorganisms to primates. these bio satellites told us how weightlessness, radiation, velocity and pressure affected life in the new environment called space. as man learns more about the earth and near space, he sought to know about his neighbors in the solar system. probes were hurled through entered planetary space near venus and mars. nearing venus, our spacecraft reported the atmosphere to be very dense, surface, hot enough
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to melt lead. these investigations told scientists that on venus, there is little likelihood of life as we know it. and one of the most expect -- one of the most spectacular feats of the decade, nasa sent a deep space probe across uncharted seas more than 360 miles for a brief but wondrous moment at our nearest planetary neighbor, mars. we learned mars is probably more like the moon than earth, pockmarked with craters with little-known magnetic field or gravity. as important as the return of
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scientific information was the new confidence gained in our technological material, that man could design and control such complex operations across millions of miles of interplanetary space. ♪ over the past decade, scientists also developed complex new instruments to probe the intimate secrets of the long mysterious moon. television cameras took us live" up to the lunar surface. -- took us live and close up to the lunar surface. our spacecraft landed softly in the lunar seas. they examined the moon's collar and sampled its chemical composition. -- the moon's color and sampled its chemical composition. man witnessed a sunset on the surface of the moon, saw the sun eclipsed by the earth, and looked back at his own planted a quarter of a million miles away. other spacecraft circled the moon, photographing its yawning
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craters and soaring peaks, mapping more than 95% of its surface. these studies proved man could land and walk upon the lunar soil. in this first decade of the space age, the science and technology which was used to explore outer space was also applied to practical benefits here on earth. now satellites provide a constant watch on the world's weather, serve as beacons for navigation by ship or plane, send voice and pictures from any point on earth to any other. ♪ in 10 years, we have come from a few experimental weather satellites to an operational system capable of night-and-day observations around the world. today satellites take portraits
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of storms that spanned half a continent and transmit them to meteorologists in many nations. they have detected hurricanes and typhoons, and given valuable hours of warning to those who live and work in their pathways. man has also learned to communicate by satellite, first with a great balloon that served as a reflector in the sky for earthbound transmitters. for most of the past decade, it provided millions around the world with their first glimpse of a man-made star zooming across the sky. ♪ other satellites followed. they could perform extremely complicated communications tasks. today, the technology from this first family of satellites has been put into commercial use in operational systems not only available to television networks and businesses, but to people everywhere. all the world has been united to witness this historic moment.
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communication satellites have provided a valuable bridge to scientists working at distance points in the world -- at distant points in the world. but space research was not the only mission of nasa. the first a in the name of this organization stands for aeronautics. an airplane without wings, the lifting body, and effort to link mann's continuing journey through air and space. someday, such a vehicle may be used to bring man back from space through the fiery rear entry of the earth's atmosphere, to a landing on the runway of tomorrow's airport. in 10 years, the field of aeronautics has cap pace with mann's desire to fly ever faster, higher and farther. research has led to the development of aircraft that fly many times the speed of sound. ♪ new planes have been developed that rise vertically and fly at jet speeds. man has attacked the problems of the new age of aeronautics, jet
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engine noise on the sonic boom. he has concerned himself with the safety of aircraft and their passengers. in 10 years, man has designed, built and tested sleek, new, hypersonic aircraft that today fly to the dark edges of space. [jet engines roaring] ♪ but the journey to the edge of space was not far enough. man long dreamed of bigger rockets and greater power, the ability to cross the threshold of space. in the 1960's, manned space travel became a reality.
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many men on earth helped ready the systems that would take a few men across that frontier. the astronauts, star sailors on a formidable sea, conditioned themselves for the new phenomena of space. then came the day when the first man was ready. >> five, four, three, 2, 1,
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ignition. >> the clock has started. >> roger. >> reading you loud and clear. narrator: many astronauts would follow, on longer voyages in space. the experience of each added more knowledge to the textbook of all those who would come after them. >> systems go. >> amr telemetry. >> three, two.
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>> you are underway. [jet engines firing] >> standby for 20 seconds. >> roger. ♪ narrator: from these first flights came important information about the men, their spacecraft, and the facilities and personnel who supported them. man could withstand a force of gravity many times his own weight. he could live for extended periods weightless in the vacuum of space. ♪ man could maneuver his own
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spacecraft in orbit, make scientific measurements, take photographs of the space around him and the earth below. >> 76, houston is standing by. >> roger. >> roger, understand, keeping at 120 feet. narrator: man could locate other spacecraft, hundreds of miles across the ocean of space. >> i have a weird-looking machine here. ed is like an alligator's jaw has fully opened and extended. >> roger. ♪
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narrator: man could rendezvous and dock with spacecraft sent into orbit ahead of him. man could perform complex scientific and technological experiments in space. man could walk and work outside his spacecraft.
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the astronauts could meet successfully all their objectives, and safely sail back home to the earth below. >> there it is, there it is. that's it. [helicopter flying overhead]
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>> a bearing of 005 degrees. narrator: these first steps into space have taken man 800 miles above the earth, yet he dreams of more distant and demanding voyages, expeditions which would require bigger outfits and more sophisticated spacecraft, larger cruise on longer times. and so man began his rehearsal for the moon, and the nation was ready to meet the challenge. ♪ facilities of many kinds were constructed throughout our country to support the space program's future. offices, research laboratories, testing chambers, clean rooms, carpentry shops, packing stations, block houses and launch pads. most were designed and built to house the science and technology that did not exist 10 years ago. to meet the new demands of the space program, basic research
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was expanded and strengthened at institutions throughout the nation. at universities and nasa research centers, space sciences moved forward along a broad front of accomplishment. ♪ [heavy machinery operating] ♪ narrator: behind the space men have stood thousands of engineers, scientists and
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-- [heavy machinery operating] ♪ narrator: behind the space men have stood thousands of engineers, scientists and technicians, all part of the team dedicated to building and testing the many components. america called upon its industry and institutions, placed new demands and offered new challenges to the establishments of our time. education contribute ideas and experiments, scientific expertise and trained manpower. industry solved thousands of insolvable problems, found new methods and materials when they were needed, achieved new heights of quality control and rates of performance. sometimes there were failures, and accidents that claimed men's lives.
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[jet engines firing] the astronaut pilot of this research vehicle landed safely. [explosion] but we learned from our failures, corrected the faults, and continued the work to be
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done. witnessing the culmination of a dream. here at cape kennedy, the mighty saturn v rocket is ready. soon, three americans will be thrust to the moon in the greatest voyage of the century.
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and now, a new rocket is rolled out for another test of our mission capabilities. the men who will fly the missions of tomorrow train for their challenge in space. ♪
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>> that is closing, is that right? >> that's correct. >> switching to critical position. >> server critical. ♪ >> in 10 short years, america has come a long way. , itas explored new space has developed weather watchers and space communicators. dispatched explorers to study the moon into nearby planets. the past decades have seen man -- it has provided new
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with spinoff benefits to earth, and confidence in our ability to explore the solar system as we wish. what has been done and what has been learned belongs to all who live now and in the future in this age of space. >> ready for launch. t -20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, ignition sequence starts, 5, 4, we have ignition, all engines, we have liftoff.
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we have liftoff. [jet engines firing] narrator: and now, at the end of the first decade in space, america stands ready. the men are ready, the machines are ready. man is prepared for the next great step in his continuing journey, the exploration of tomorrow. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] contingency is down.
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it's a little difficult to dig through. very soft surface but here the contingency sample, i run into a very hard surface. it appears to be very cohesive material of the same sort. >> i will try to get a rock in here. >> and now you are watching american history tv. every weekend beginning saturday at 8:00 a.m. eastern, we bring you 48 hours of unique programming exploring our nation's past. >> i believe they are setting up the flag.
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this is houston, radio check, over. >> roger. loud and clear. >> roger that. >> next on lectures in history, university of texas at austin professor peniel joseph teaches a class on the life and career of civil rights pioneer ronald walters. in 1958, walters organized a desegregation sit in, and was influential in the spread of african-american studies as a scholarly field. he also served as advisor to the founding members of the congressional black caucus, and was campaign manager and consultant for jesse jackson in his 1984 and 1988 presidential caai


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