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  Tom Brokaw's "Space Race" Olympic special (NBC)

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Author Topic:   Tom Brokaw's "Space Race" Olympic special (NBC)
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 29058
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-15-2014 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NBC release
Tom Brokaw's "Space Race" Olympic special

Program Chronicles Cold War Space Race between United States & Soviet Union

Former Astronauts John Glenn, Jim Lovell, Tom Stafford & Alexei Leonov Interviewed

With the Olympic Winter Games taking place in Sochi, Russia, NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw chronicles the Cold War space race that took place during the 1950s, 60s and 70s between the United States and the Soviet Union in a special, Space Race, that will Saturday afternoon (Feb. 15) within NBC's Olympic coverage, which begins at 3 p.m. ET/PT.

The special examines the most memorable moments of the space race, including Sputnik; Alexei Leonov's first-ever spacewalk; the Apollo 11 moon landing; and the joint U.S.-Soviet "Apollo-Soyuz" mission in 1975 that, according to astronaut Tom Stafford, ended the race.

Brokaw and NBC Olympics' production team interviewed former U.S. astronauts John Glenn, Jim Lovell, and Stafford; former Soviet cosmonaut Leonov; and Natalya Koroleva, the daughter of Sergei Korolev, the man behind the Soviet space program.

"It has become a tradition for us to recount a major news story that occurred between the U.S. and Olympic host country, and the space race was one of the defining events of the 20th century," says NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell. "Tom Brokaw is the perfect voice to guide us through this journey, telling a powerful story through interviews with astronauts, cosmonauts, historians, and family members of those intimately involved in this epic contest. 'Space Race' will give our audience a fresh perspective on how the Russian people experienced the race and, to a degree, the Cold War."

The program also recounts the story of Stafford and Leonov, who maintain the most unlikely of friendships. The two men were enemy fighter pilots on the opposite side of the Berlin Wall, traveled into space for their respective countries, and then built a profound friendship through the journey they took together for the "Apollo-Soyuz" mission, which culminated with their shaking hands in space, 144 miles above Earth.

"The joint American-Soviet space mission was a perfect symbol of the historic changes in the world of deeply divided ideologies and nuclear threats," says Brokaw. "We went from pointing missiles at each other to exploring the heavens together – and the men who pulled it off, cosmonauts and astronauts, all had the right stuff. They became life-long friends. It's how the world should work all the time."

"Space Race" is the latest installment of NBC Olympics' tradition of producing a news-themed special involving the United States and the host country. For Vancouver, NBC Olympics produced "Operation Yellow Ribbon," which chronicled the story of Canadians in Gander, Newfoundland, who took in stranded passengers when nearly 40 jumbo jets landed in their small town of 10,000 on 9/11. "Their Finest Hour" aired during the London Olympics and told the story of how the U.S. and Britain came together in WWII, including the British resolve during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29058
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-15-2014 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not sure how many caught the broadcast, but I thought it was a rather good review — and likely introduction for many watchers — to the history of the Space Race.

Great to see Tom Stafford and Alexei Leonov together (though moose hunting?), as well as Natalya Koroleva (the shots inside the Russian space museum — was that the Memorial Cosmonautics Museum in Moscow? — were quite nice in HD).

I only slightly cringed at Brokaw saying that the U.S. human space program was entirely reliant on the Russian space program, without also noting that Russia relies on the United States equally so, just for different reasons.

But overall, the message was one of international cooperation, which was good to see — especially given the target mass audience.

Hopefully, NBC will post the special online (in its entirety) so more can watch.

Jurg Bolli
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Posts: 561
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 02-15-2014 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I enjoyed it as well.

MCroft04
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Posts: 1256
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 02-15-2014 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree; with a couple exceptions I thought it was very well done.

GoesTo11
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Posts: 1124
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 02-15-2014 07:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I caught this segment tonight, and I thought it was pretty well done, in the context of the subject being covered by a major television network. I especially enjoyed the Stafford and Leonov clips... hopefully this will pique the curiosity of some casual viewers, and encourage them to learn more.

mode1charlie
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Posts: 570
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 02-15-2014 11:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been on travel so missed this, but if it goes to YouTube or other online viewing I'd be most interested to see this segment.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29058
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-16-2014 01:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The full program doesn't appear to be online as of yet, but NBC has posted 1:44 clip from the half-hour documentary: Space Race: Striving for space supremacy
Tom Brokaw sits down with John Glenn, the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth and his Soviet counterpart who pushed the limits, Aleksei Leonov, the first man to walk in space 'among the stars.'

Astro Rich
New Member

Posts: 8
From: Houston, Texas
Registered: Feb 2014

posted 02-16-2014 09:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Rich   Click Here to Email Astro Rich     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Caught the Special yesterday afternoon. NBC did a pretty good Job.

SpaceyInMN
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Posts: 19
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Registered: Dec 2013

posted 02-17-2014 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceyInMN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This special is now available online. I just started watching it. It's 18:59 without the commercials.

mode1charlie
Member

Posts: 570
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 03-05-2014 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for posting the link to the full segment. I thought they did a pretty good job for an Olympics segment.

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