On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human being to travel in space, sparking one of the most momentous events in human history. Though just over half a month passes before an American astronaut named Alan B. Shepard is launched into a very brief spaceflight of his own, President John Kennedy announces a new goal for the American space program – to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. This objective will require knowledge, technology and materials that don’t even exist yet, and hundreds or thousands of people will be required to create them…and this pledge has been made on the heels of a single fifteen-minute spaceflight, while the Soviets continue to leap ahead of their American counterparts at every turn. The Mercury flights continue, along with the successful two-man Gemini launches, braving new risks and developing new techniques (despite the Gemini 8 mission, which almost kills Dave Scott and Neil Armstrong). But before an American will walk on the moon, NASA will face its darkest hour and its first launch pad fatalities.
Cast: David Andrews (Frank Borman), George Bartenieff (Hugh Dryden), Robert Curtis Brown (Gavin O’Rourke), Robert John Burke (Bill Anders), Andrew Chaikin (“Meet The Press” host), Kelly Collins (Hotel clerk), David Cooper (Businessman), Bryan Cranston (Edwin Aldrin), Brett Cullen (Dave Scott), Tim Daly (Jim Lovell), James Detmar (Engineer two), Cullen Douglas (Booster), Cary Elwes (Michael Collins), Al Franken (Jerome Weisner), Jack Gilpin (Ted Sorenson), Tony Goldwyn (Neil Armstrong), Steve Hofvendahl (Thomas Stafford), Mary Thompson Hunt (Teacher), Chris Isaak (Ed White), Daniel Hugh Kelly (Gene Cernan), Fredric Lane (Walt Cunningham), Dan Lauria (James Webb), Jim Leavy (C.C. Williams), Ted Levine (Alan Shepard), Lamont Lofton (Engineer one), John Carroll Lynch (Bob Gilruth), Ben Marley (Roger Chaffee), Deborah May (Miss Hedges), John Mese (Donn Eisele), Kieran Mulroney (Rusty Schweickart), Greg Neff (Chamber President), Tom Nowicki (David Bell), Terry Odem (Screaming woman), Conor O’Farrell (James McDivitt), Jim Piddock (John Hodge), Mike Pniewski (Surgeon), John Posey (John Young), David Preuss (Procedures), Robert Quinn (EECOM), Steven Raulerson (Recovery), Mark Rolston (Gus Grissom), Stephen Root (Chris Kraft), Linwood Sasser (Press rep.), Peter Scolari (Pete Conrad), Nick Searcy (Deke Slayton), Lane Smith (Emmett Seaborn), Hank Stone (Hotel manager), Bruce Taylor (Staff member), Tom Verica (Dick Gordon), John Wickersham (FIDO), Ralph Wilcox (V.I.P.), Rich Williams (Shreveportian), Steve Zahn (Elliot See)
LogBook entry by Earl Green