1969 Moon Landing Heads Up ABC Documentary Series About That Memorable Year in the US

A new documentary series about the tumultuous year 1969 shows how the first human moon landing fit into a year also known for murder and music.

You can catch the premiere on Tuesday (April 23) at 10 p.m. EDT on the ABC television network; check your local listings if you live in a different time zone. The series is also available via streaming and on demand, according to a statement from ABC.

The series premiere, "Moon Shot," shows how the July 1969 moon voyage by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins got the world's attention, although it was also controversial among civil rights leaders because of the billions spent on sending three people to the moon and back again.

"Featured in the episode are interviews with Margaret Hamilton, a pioneering female software engineer whose coding made the moon landing possible; 'Hidden Figures' Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, [who were among a group of pioneering black women employed by NASA]; astronaut Michael Collins, who was among the three who strapped themselves to an explosive rocket and hurtled into the unknown; and Charlie Duke and Gerry Griffin, who provided the astronauts with a crucial lifeline to Mission Control as they dared to attempt the impossible," ABC representatives said in the statement.

The six-part series will cover such events as the moon landing, the Charles Manson murders, the mysterious death of a young woman at Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, and that most famous of music festivals, Woodstock. Also included is Nixon's first year in office, the Bed-Ins for Peace movement by Beatles singer John Lennon, conflicts between the FBI and black activists, and the LGBTQ-related Stonewall riots.

Jeanmarie Condon, for Lincoln Square Productions, is the series director and executive producer.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace