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When We Left The Earth: The NASA Missions -

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(generated from captions) And this, right here,

believe it or not, just
where you can see that line of rocks
and the water trickling through,

is where the mighty Mississippi
begins its life.

Following the river through
many small towns and large cities

has provided many surprises
because of its staggering beauty.

And many a shock too, because of
its awesome destructive force.

The river has been a witness to some
of the most turbulent times in
early American history.

And a witness too to the changing
face of contemporary American life.

Following this mighty river

has been a most extraordinary

itfc subtitles

Hello, I'm Ricardo Goncalves. Plan B is now off the table as the fiscal cliff deadline quickly approaches in the US. In Washington - a vote was cancelled on a controversial Republican plan after it failed to win enough support within its own ranks.We don't just have a fiscal cliff, we have a fiscal abyss in front of us, and that is the debt crisis that is on our horizon.A budgetary deal needs to be agreed on by the end of the year to avoid automatic tax hikes and spending cuts in the United States. The Opposition has accused the Federal Government of betraying the public's trust after abandoning a budget surplus but economic analysts have welcomed the move. The United Nations is investigating allegations an Australian aid worker was raped by a UN peacekeeper in East Timor earlier this year. No apocalypse - the world still turning, despite the end of the ancient Mayan calendar. More news in one hour.

NARRATOR: In 1969, a group
of astronauts changed the world.

They ride
the biggest rocket ever built

to the moon.

It's the culmination of more than
10 years of space pioneering

and the foundation

for more than four decades
of exploring worlds beyond our own.

This is the story
of our greatest adventure.

I believe that this nation

should commit itself
to achieving the goal,

before this decade is out,

of landing a man on the moon

and returning him safely
to the earth.

The Mercury missions
proved man can fly in space.

In Project Gemini, they'll learn
how to fly to the moon.

The flights to the moon
were going to take 10 days.

We had to learn
how to live in space.

MAN: Could they operate alright
in zero gravity?

You know,
how do we even get to the moon?

Gemini missions will carry two men -
something NASA has never attempted.

NASA announces
a second group of astronauts.

They call themselves the 'New Nine'.

MAN: There were nine of us -

four from the air force, three
from the navy, and two civilians.

And they were
a really good group of people.

Great bunch of guys.
I liked all of them.

We really had a great group.

Many of America's
most famous astronauts

start out in Project Gemini -

Jim Lovell, Buzz Aldrin

and Neil Armstrong.

10 Gemini missions are planned,

each more challenging
and more dangerous than the last.

MAN: Throughout this entire process,

the risk was constantly escalating
on each one of these missions.

So is the competition
among the astronauts.

At stake, the ultimate prize -
to be the first man on the moon.

McDIVITT: We were all
extremely competitive.

And so,
from a competition standpoint,

I mean, we were right in there
all the time, you know?

MAN 2: I was bulletproof,

You know, there's nothing
I couldn't do.

You have to be a little arrogant.

NASA announces the crew

for America's first two-man flight
into space...

..rookie astronaut John Young.

YOUNG: My wife didn't want me to
fly. She thought I'd get killed.

I didn't think I would.

Flying in space next to Young -
Project Mercury veteran Gus Grissom.

YOUNG: My friend, this great guy,

he and I first spent time together

when we were doing survival training
down in Panama.

MAN: John Young and Gus Grissom -

two of the most perfectly-paired
crew members that I have ever seen.

They seemed to have
a zest for space.

It's almost like they were going off
on a joyride there.

To lift the new two-man capsule
into space,

NASA needs a more powerful rocket.

The air force is developing
a new Titan missile.

But adapting it for Gemini missions
won't be easy.

One out of every five Titans fails.

An 80% success rate
isn't good enough

if men are going to ride it
into space.

LUNNEY: The rocket is like
a controlled explosion

that is looking for any weakness
that it can find to get out.

Engineers check and recheck
every part,

and install redundant systems
throughout the rocket

to make it more reliable.

Finally, NASA launches two rockets
that don't explode.

Gus Grissom and John Young will ride
the next Titan missile into space.

Gemini III's mission objectives -

the new rocket and capsule

and return to Earth alive.

Thousands of people across
the country - various places -

they're all going through
this building of the excitement

heading towards the launch,

and this examination of conscience

as to whether all that
should be done has been done,

and nothing has been forgotten.

It's almost like
the Force is with you.

MAN: (OVER RADIO) H23 valve
is coming open in five seconds.

Minus 20 seconds to mark.

MAN 3: We were all kind of
holding our breath

to make sure they got up there

and did all the things
they were supposed to do.

KRANZ: It was white-knuckle time
at Mission Control.

Anything goes wrong, and Grissom
and Young will be killed

with millions of people watching.

Gemini III is a go for launch.

MAN: (OVER RADIO) Ten, nine, eight

seven, six, five, four...

LUNNEY: And you think about your
procedures that you're gonna run.

Frightened? Never thought about it.

..two, one.



We got a roll program.

MAN 2: Roger, roll.

MAN 3: Good lift-off.

YOUNG: It was a pretty good launch.

I had quite a few g's
going into orbit.

Piece of cake.

MAN: It was as close
as we could get to perfection.

The launch went perfectly.
The spacecraft performed admirably.

It went swimmingly.

Grissom and Young
ride a converted ballistic missile.

For the first time,
two Americans fly together in space.

They practise
changing altitude and orbit -

critical manoeuvres
on a trip to the moon.

Waiting for the capsule
in the Atlantic,

the Recovery Task Force...

..27 ships, 126 aircraft.

And we screwed up on re-entry.

When we fired the retro-rockets,

we forgot that the earth
rotated under us.

We forgot to put the rotation
of the earth into the equation.

As a result, Gemini III
splashes down off-target.

YOUNG: We were short.
We were 60 miles short.

We were...when we started,
we were 190 miles short,

and Gus made up
all but 60 miles of it.

After three orbits of the earth,

waiting to be rescued is the worst
part of the mission for Gus Grissom.

He was a little seasick, you know.

I was an old Navy guy,
so it meant nothing.

I'd been on a destroyer for a year,
so nothing made me seasick.

Crowds fill lower Manhattan
to welcome their heroes home.

It was raining and snowing
and we're sitting in an open car. an old Texas boy,

I don't think being in the snow
is much fun...

..but that's what we did.

NASA has less than five years
to land a man on the moon

before the end of the decade.

Every Gemini mission
will test a critical procedure

in the flight plan to get there.

The next big challenge
is walking in space -

an extravehicular activity, or EVA.

KRANZ: EVA was a key element

that had to be
accomplished successfully

before we could go onto the moon.

CERNAN: We had to learn about

what it's like
to get out of a spacecraft,

whether it's
floating around the earth,

or whether it's walking on a moon.

We had to learn
how to live in space.

The biggest unknown -

how effective the human body can be
when weightless.

NASA engineers
devise a way to cheat gravity.

It's called the Vomit Comet -

a specially-modified plane
that flies in huge arcs.

As it climbs steeply, then drops,

the astronauts experience
up to 30 seconds of weightlessness.

So far, astronauts have been
strapped to the seat.

No-one knows what will happen
when they try to move around.

Well, we could push off
from the back end

and actually swim all the way
through the length of the airplane.

We took things up to test,

and I enjoyed that particular area
of training in the Vomit Comet.

A lot of people got sick doing that.

It was sort of like
seasickness squared.

I really didn't look forward
to going into the vehicle again.

I said, "I don't need that vehicle."

Zero gravity is only one problem.

There are other dangers
waiting outside the capsule.

The spacesuit is the astronaut's
last line of defence

against the extreme conditions
in space.

MAN: You'd be 250 degrees-plus
on the sunny side

and, when the spacecraft rotated
and you were in the shade,

that you're minus-250 degrees.

Well, a suit had to be designed
to work in that kind of environment.

Space is a vacuum.

If the flight suit fails,
or even tears a little,

the different in pressure would
cause the astronaut's blood to boil,

killing him instantly.

McDIVITT: The suit was designed
to keep us alive.

You know, it was risky,
and we accepted the risk.

We didn't become astronauts
to play it safe.

NASA's plan - fly two more missions,
building to an EVA on Gemini VI.

But nobody at NASA

knows a Soviet cosmonaut
has already walked in space.

CERNAN: And it shocked
a lot of people.

It caught us totally unexpected

and, you know, we were

in our own little capsules.

They weren't even big enough
to be called spaceships.

The news changes everything.

KRAFT: It meant I was
going to have to work my ass off

to get it done on the next flight.

KRANZ: I was called over
to Chris Kraft,

and basically he told me
the NASA Administrator had decided

we're going to
try to conduct an EVA.

But then he said,
"But I want you to do it in secret."

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OK, stand by for final status check.

KRANZ: The Soviets were still
beating us every step of the way,

and they didn't want to advertise
we were going to do something,

unless they were absolutely sure

that we were capable
of accomplishing it.

The man who gets the job to leave
the capsule and walk in space

is rookie astronaut Ed White.

Ed White was, uh...

You know, if we had a boy scout
in the space program,

I think Ed White epitomised
what a boy scout really is.

He was probably what everyone
thought an astronaut should be.

White's partner on Gemini IV
is Jim McDivitt.

At NASA, they're known
as the Gemini Twins.

I knew Ed White for a long time.

We had gone to
the University of Michigan together.

We lived on the same street.

Our kids knew each other.

We went through the test pilot
school in the same class.

Ed and I were very close.

We were extremely close friends.

Gemini IV will also be America's
longest space flight yet -

four days, 62 orbits.

Putting an EVA into any flight
for the first time is a bold step,

but, you know,
that was part of the mission.

In those days,
we were taking big steps.

Now, it is a risky business.

Even at NASA, few people know

Gemini IV is accelerating
America's first spacewalk.

Our EVA was very confidential
at the time.

We had not announced
we were going to do this,

and we were doing
all of our training at night,

and only a group
of maybe 30 or 40 people

even knew we were going to try it.

NASA announces
the first American spacewalk

just a few days
before the launch of Gemini IV.

The launch time is a very
critical time. Everybody's keyed up.

Everybody's got to do a good job.

The hardware's got to work.

Walking out was...
my first thought was,

"My God, this is
just like I saw on television."

But you' know, you've
got your mind on other things.

I was probably going over
the launch things I had to do

and, you know, you're not thinking
about girls and comic strips.

You know, you're...
It's the business.

a roll program initiated.

8.5 g's - you're really
being pushed into the seat.

Then all of a sudden, it stops

and you're floating.

(CHUCKLES) It's a lot of fun.

KRANZ: The crew went through
the preparation process.

They reported we were ready.

It's Gemini IV.

I had a tracking station make sure

that all of the safety criteria
had been met.

And this was now OK
to open up the hatch.

MAN: (OVER RADIO) OK, we're giving
you go for your EVA at this time.


Roger, Flight. Let's go.

After we got the hatch open,
Ed stood up in the seat.

He got ready to go
and...and we cleared him to go,

and then he took...
and pushed off on the seat.

(OVER RADIO) My feet are out.

I think I'm dragging a little bit,
so I don't want to fire the gun yet.

OK, I'm separating
from the spacecraft.

Ed White is flying at 17,000 miles
per hour, 200 miles above the earth.

OK, I'm out.

If the spacesuit fails,

the difference in pressure
will kill him instantly.

If the lifeline fails,
he'll literally be lost in space.

The only thing to do would
be to disconnect him

and let him float around out there.

I mean, it was...

You know, these are things
that's in everybody's mind.

We don't have a plan.

We don't have a checklist
on how you kill your best friend.

As White floats in space,
a glove drifts out of the capsule.

I don't even know
whose glove it was.

I don't know
whether it was his or mine.

CERNAN: Today, those pictures
are classic.

They're still overpowering today,

to realise, number one,
it's been done,

and that we did it.

It blew me away.

Ed White floats in space
for 36 minutes

but has to be inside the capsule
before day turns to night.

KRANZ: We told him
to get back in the spacecraft,

and he sort of didn't hear us.

He didn't really want to recognise,
OK, that the EVA is over,

time to get back in the spacecraft.

McDIVITT: He was very reluctant
to get back in.

He was having a good time out there.

I would've been reluctant
to get back in, too.

KRANZ: I told him to
get the hell back in the spacecraft,

'cause he was staying out too long

and he was going to be
out in the dark.

That's the only time I've ever
spoken, without being spoken to,

into space.

The EVA is
NASA's riskiest mission yet,

and a critical part
of any flight to the moon.

(OVER RADIO) I don't know
if you can read me now,

but does that parachute
looks great!

(OVER RADIO) You're not kidding.

Gemini IV propels the space program
a giant leap closer to the moon... least until the next EVA. when they're served with

My recipe. @ @

After the first US spacewalk,

Project Gemini tackles
one of the most difficult procedures

in the flight plan to the moon.

It's called 'rendezvous'.

It will demand the most
precise flying of any mission yet.

Astronauts for Gemini VII

are Commander Frank Borman
and pilot Jim Lovell.

One of the things that
we had to test out in Gemini

was the ability to rendezvous
with another vehicle.

They were starting talking

about using Gemini VII
as a target for Gemini VI.

And in order to do that, we would
have to have two Titans launch,

one right after the other,

on time.

MAN: (OVER RADIO) Four, three, two,

one, zero.


Engine start. We have a lift-off.

Gemini VII blasts off first.


Stand by for staging.

Roger, staging.

NASA crews
have to rebuild the launch pad

for Gemini VI in just three days -

a job that usually takes weeks.

MAN 3: You can tell him that

the pad preparation schedule
is going very well.

MAN 4: (OVER RADIO) The pad
preparation schedule for Gemini VI

is going real well.

Gemini VI rolls out to the pad
as Gemini VII waits in space.

Borman and Lovell
will spend 14 days in orbit -

America's longest mission -

to study the effects
of long-term weightlessness.

LOVELL: The maximum time to go to
the moon would be about two weeks.

A lot of the medical community

said that there might be some
body functions that don't perform.

BORMAN: And nobody had done that,
to that date.

And so I launched
with probes in my head.

They even wanted
to put a probe in an artery.

I drew the line on that

and told them, no, I didn't think
we'd do that this time.

As NASA prepares

to launch Wally Schirra
and Tom Stafford in Gemini VI,

another test rocket is fired
in the direction of Gemini VII.


MAN: We did that
because the Defence Department

was interested
in tracking Soviet missiles.

Borman and Lovell

test military technology
to track a missile from space.

LOVELL: Every rocket has a signature

that you can tell one rocket
from a different type of a vehicle,

and we had a device onboard that
was able to take that signature.

It was kind of
a little bit of apprehension

to see this thing come towards you.

Back on the ground, pad 19
is ready to launch Gemini VI.

MAN: (OVER RADIO) The word
from the Cape is we are go.

MAN 2: The prime pilots
for the Gemini VI flight,

Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford,

are now on their way
to Launch Complex 19

to board their spacecraft.

T minus 48,
and all still going well

with our Gemini VI countdown
here at Launch Complex 19.

We will have ignition at zero

and some three seconds
after ignition,

the launch vehicle will lift off on
the start of the Gemini VI flight.

And we've gone through
a complete checklist once again,

and we are counting.

Good to go.

You're cleared for take-off.

Roger, adios.

Minus five, four, three, two, one.


A faulty valve
causes the engine to shut down,

just seconds before the rocket
would have exploded.

OK, we're just sitting
here breathing.

KRAFT: Here's two guys up there
going through this trauma.

We put the Titan on the pad
and start the engine

and the damn thing shut down.

Stafford and Schirra
are lucky to walk away.

MAN: Gemini VII, Houston.

We were wondering
if you saw the ignition at the Cape.

(OVER RADIO) We were
in perfect position,

but we never saw the ignition.

We were waiting for the lift-off.

With Gemini VII waiting in space,

Gemini VI has the smallest
launch window of any NASA flight.

KRAFT: And within three days,

we fixed that issue,
fixed that problem,

and launched again.

Gemini VI, you are go.

You hear the man. Go.

Three, two, one.


It's a good start.

We've got a real lift-off.

The clock is running.

Roll complete.

Roger, roll.

Cabin pressure's sealed at 5.5.

50 seconds.

OK, their orbit is 87 by 140.

From a lower orbit,

Gemini VI is catching up
to Gemini VII.

How are the VII boys doing?

Did they go over a while ago?

They sure did. They're
about five minutes ahead of you.


LOVELL: But when Gemini VI
came up to rendezvous,

we saw them coming up from below.

There's nothing
more the ground crew can do.

The pilots
are now in complete control.

The two capsules, Gemini VI and VII,
are attempting to fly in formation,

just inches apart.

LOVELL: We could've
bumped each other.

One of the things we want to
make sure was could you slow down?

We didn't want to have a device
where we misjudged our velocities,

and then slammed into each other.

(OVER RADIO) 300 feet.

It was still dark out, but we could
see the jets firing from Gemini VI.

(OVER RADIO) 180 feet.

BORMAN: You're going 17,000 miles
an hour. You're 200 miles away.

(OVER RADIO) 120 feet.

Holding, 120 feet.

No two spacecraft
have ever been this close.

Holding, 120 feet.

Ask them what their range is now.

(OVER RADIO) About 20 feet.

We're in formation with VII.
Everything is go, here.

Roger. Congratulations! Excellent!

Thank you. It was a lot of fun.

LOVELL: They just came up
and stopped

and there we were, together.

You know, nose-to-nose,

It was a really fine sight.

BORMAN: We could see
through the windows.

We could see Tom and Wally
quite well.

Gemini VII, this is VI.

If you can hold where
you are for just a little while,

we'll try to get in real close,
try to get all those close shots.

The two pilots fly their capsules
in tight formation for 270 minutes -

three orbits of the earth.

LOVELL: The control system on Gemini
was so good

that you could fly within six inches
of one another

without bothering anything.

Rendezvous demonstrates

how far the space program has come
in just four years.

And then, it's over.

Gemini VI fires its thrusters
and heads home.

Lovell and Borman
are alone in space again.

Their remaining task -
complete the two-week mission,

proving astronauts can survive
a trip to the moon.

Tom and Wally
spent a total of 19 hours in space.

I would've gladly traded rides
with them at that point.

By the time they left,

the interior of Gemini VII
was getting to be...

You know, the odours were
starting to float around

and nine days had gone by

before Frank looked at me and said,
"Jim, I think this is it."

He said, "I've got to go."

I said,
"Can't you wait five more days?"

The last three days were bad.

It's NASA's longest
mission in space -

more than enough time
for a round-trip flight to the moon.

Jim Lovell kept
his wonderful sense of humour up,

and it was no problem,
no problem at all.

We were very happy when we
got back down on the carrier.

Gemini VII flies nearly
six million miles in 14 days.

In those two weeks,

the sun rises and sets
on Lovell and Borman

more than 400 times.

We learned one hell of a lot
about how to do rendezvous.

With each Gemini flight,

NASA acquires another skill
necessary to reach the moon.

One last critical manoeuvre
remains - docking in space.

The first crew to attempt it

are Dave Scott
and Commander Neil Armstrong.

Rendezvous, docking
and operating combined spacecraft

was a key element
of the Apollo strategy.

We wanted to prove that ability
on Gemini VIII.

MAN: (OVER RADIO) Six, five, four,

three, two, one.



Armstrong will rendezvous
then dock their capsule

with an unmanned
Agena target vehicle,

160 miles above the earth.


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There was a lot of opportunity
for things to go wrong

and make the approach
or the docking -

mmm - a dicey situation.

a successful docking,

the combination began a slow roll.

The roll rate
became uncomfortably high.

We were unable to determine
the cause of the problem.

We disconnected our spacecraft
from the Agena,

but our roll rate
continued to accelerate.

A thruster is stuck,
spinning the capsule out of control.

Our orbit was
primarily over ocean areas,

out of range of flight controllers
at tracking stations.

We were on our own.

When the roll rate increased

to more than 400 degrees per second,

our vision was beginning to degrade.

To regain control,

Armstrong counters
with a different set of rockets.

Neil Armstrong had to power up
the re-entry control system

in the Gemini spacecraft.

that solved the problem.

Armstrong steadies the spacecraft

but burns fuel
he needs for re-entry,

triggering an immediate abort
of the mission.

They have to settle
for a backup landing site,

far from recovery efforts
already deployed in the Atlantic.

We were obliged to land
at the next closest landing area,

which was near the Pacific Island
of Okinawa.

That remains as the record

for the furthest distance from
the original planned landing site.

Gemini VII accomplishes
its primary mission objective.

The secondary objective,
an extended EVA,

is handed off

on Gemini IX.

CERNAN: We were on
the fast track to get to Apollo.

I mean, we were flying
a Gemini flight every six weeks.

There are four Gemini missions left.

The moon now seems within reach.

Things changed
when we got to Gemini IX.

To go to the moon,

astronauts have to learn
to work in the vacuum of space.

Engineers scramble
to devise new training techniques,

but nobody really knows what working
in weightlessness will be like.

Gemini IX will attempt
the longest spacewalk yet.

This is only
our second walk in space,

and we know very little
about what we're going to encounter.

This is a dangerous mission.

Gene Cernan has a lot of work to do
on NASA's most ambitious spacewalk.

Gemini IX was my first flight.

I would've done anything
I was asked to do.

I knew I was good enough to do it.


We open a hatch.

Tom Stafford held my feet down
so I wouldn't just float out.

And I just got the top half
of my body out.

I stuck my head out into...

..truly a different world,

And then my job was
to crawl hand-over-hand

to get back to the back
of the spacecraft.

Cernan has to flight test
a new jetpack

mounted in the rear of the capsule.

But just getting there is hard work.

I had nothing really to hold on to
except a couple of handlebars.

The vacuum of space offers
no resistance.

Even simple tasks
are a massive struggle.

You are the most helpless creature
in the world

on the end of a string
floating in zero gravity in space.

Suddenly realising my visor
was getting fogged up.

LUNNEY: The visor fogged up,
and here he was, in effect, blind.

KRANZ: It was obvious
that he was in trouble.

And he was struggling like the devil
to hold his location.

My heart rate was running
140, 50, 60 - at times 170.

It was scary to us, because you
could hear this laboured breathing.

You know, 20% past
your max heart rate.


Doctors at Mission Control

are seriously concerned
he'll lose consciousness

and not make it back to the capsule.

KRANZ: I couldn't determine

the degree of the difficulties
that he was in up there.

Canaveral, Gemini IX.
Go ahead, IX.

OK, this fog is real bad.

Cernan finally gets to the jetpack
and straps it on,

but he's too exhausted to fly it.

It was time to basically
call the EVA off.

He's given it a no go.

CERNAN: It was a nightmare
getting back in the spacecraft.

The EVA is a failure.

If a physically fit astronaut
can't work in space,

nobody's going to the moon.

I was disappointed.
I didn't get the job done.

I let my colleagues down.

I was disappointed.

I don't think I'd like to do this
at night, would you?

Two more Gemini missions
attempt spacewalks.

Both fail for the same reason.

NASA modifies the spacesuit
and training methods.

A rookie astronaut, Buzz Aldrin,
will try again on Gemini XII.

Buzz Aldrin was the perfect guy
for that EVA

because he had approached it
in almost a textbook fashion.

An avid deep-sea diver,

Aldrin practices for the next EVA

to simulate
a weightless environment.

It was just a very natural thing

to manoeuvre slowly
from one position to another.

KRANZ: The tools,
the techniques, the training,

he made sure they got
all put together

in this new environment
of neutral-buoyancy training.

He trained in there.
He'd come back up.

He'd say what he had learned,
what needed to be done differently.

You had the divers, you had
the instructors watching this thing.

And all of a sudden,
these things made sense to us.

I had sufficiently rehearsed
the different parts of it

so that I felt quite confident
that everything I had to do

would leave me in a very positive,
controlled condition.

NASA has one more chance
to get it right.



Aldrin's first mission
will be Gemini's last.

Aldrin conducts three EVAs.

He spends more than five hours
walking in space.

KRANZ: Buzz learned
not to fight zero gravity,

but to use zero gravity
to his advantage.

ALDRIN: I actually felt
a little guilty

about doing such simple tasks
in the back of the spacecraft.

LOVELL: He never got overheated,
his heart rate never went up,

because he had learned
to take it easy.

He had the proper tools,
he had the proper footholds,

and we learned a lot about
how we could proceed in the future.

KRANZ: From that day on,
through to the current day,

we have never had

a major problem associated with
the conduct of an EVA.

Project Gemini ends in triumph.

The stage is set
for our greatest adventure.

in terms of the readiness
of the American Space Program

to go do Apollo

in many, many ways.

We had learned
the new technologies of space.

We had learned
to work with computers.

We had learned to navigate.
We had learned to dock.

Perhaps the most important way
was to create the team of people,

the band of brothers

that were ready to go do Apollo
when the time came.

MAN: (OVER RADIO) Ignition.

That's a good start.

We've got a real lift-off.

KRANZ: By the time we finished
Gemini program,

we had a solid foundation
of technology,

we had the solid foundation
in the team,

and we had the confidence to use
the team and the technology now

to take the step, go to the moon.

Supertext Captions by
Red Bee Media Australia
Captions copyright SBS 2012

Hello, I'm Ricardo Goncalves. Plan B is now off the table as the fiscal cliff deadline quickly approaches in the US. In Washington, a vote was cancelled on a controversial Republican plan after it failed to win enough support within its own ranks. A budgetary deal needs to be agreed on by the end of the year to avoid automatic tax hikes and spending cuts in the United States. The Opposition has accused the Federal Government of betraying the public's trust after abandoning a budget surplus, but economic analysts have welcomed the move. The United Nations is investigating allegations an Australian aid worker was raped by a UN peacekeeper in East Timor earlier this year. No apocalypse. The world still turning despite the end of the ancient Mayan calendar. And I'll have a full World News Australia bulletin at 10.30.

Our history has been shaped
by centuries of war.

From the armies of the Romans

to the modern,
global conflicts of today.

I'm Saul David
and I'm a military historian.

And what history tells us
again and again is that

beyond the derring-do of military
commanders, it's the nuts and bolts

of how you house and feed
your army, how you move it,

and how you kit it ready for battle
that's the real key to winning wars.

Today, military logistics
dominates modern warfare,

with entire branches of specialists
dedicated to feeding, moving

and kitting out frontline
soldiers, ready for battle.

This is the story of how
this elaborate high-tech world

came to be,

because throughout history,
the greatest challenges faced

by any military commander
have remained the same.

If you don't keep your soldiers fed,

they'll never even make
it to the battlefield.

Think about it this way, that
you're slaughtering, for 80,000 men,

a minimum of 300 animals per day.

If you can't move your men and fast,

you'll never steal
a march on the enemy.

The US General George C Marshall
once described the Jeep

as America's greatest contribution
to modern warfare.

And don't forget, America
invented the atomic bomb.

And any army that isn't equipped
with the latest technology

has literally been cut to shreds.

Some of the greatest failures
and victories in history

have come down to the detail
of military logistics,

the real story of how
wars are won and lost.

Of all the challenges faced
by generals through history,

moving armies has been
one of the greatest.

It's not just about
individual battles,

but about long overseas campaigns.

And it's not only
about shifting men,

but it's about keeping them
fed and watered as they go.

The art of movement is
one of the most complex

and vital that any commander must
master if he's going to win.

This film is about how to steal a
march and the kit generals have used

to transport troops to battle
as effectively as possible,

how a light, sprung cart helped the
English outmanoeuvre the French...

This little model here represents
a revolution in warfare. Napoleon was brought to
a devastating halt by making

a tiny but crucial mistake...

They wouldn't have got any grip
going downhill any more than up.

..and how a simple fuel container
and its vital contents

were at the heart of the fight
for North Africa in World War II. Because as all generals know,
a key to winning any battle lies

in having the right kit, to be in
the right place at the right time.

Unlike today, most armies
through history didn't have

the benefit of modern transport kit.

Battles often followed
gruelling marches.

A thousand years ago, a warrior
such as the Anglo-Saxon King Harold

had to lead from the front.

In 1066, he was put to the test,

not only by William of Normandy,

but weeks earlier, when a huge
Viking army attacked York.

I'm convinced that
when Harold met William,

he was already a beaten man,

and the reason is because of
what happened 20 miles to the east,

which is where I'm headed.

Hearing of the Viking invasion,

Harold marched thousands of men
from London to Stamford Bridge,

180 miles in just four days,
and ready to fight.

Weapons expert Andy Deane
has studied

the kit the Anglo-Saxons carried.

Heavy mail shirt.

Thousands and thousands
of interlinking rings.

Brilliant defence against
slashing, cutting attacks.

Huge kite shields.

This kite shield is going
to be vital in your shield wall.

It's a great piece of equipment.

You can carry it
in a number of ways,

or sling it over your shoulder

And of course, more weight
but absolutely vital,

the famous Danish fighting axe,

for swinging and cutting,
taking out poor old horses' legs,

but taking out any man
that comes within reach.

Another three or four pounds
in weight.

Then the weapon that so signifies
the knight - his sword.

Double-edged cutting sword,

perfect for cutting and slashing,
as well as thrusting.

You've got your Spangenhelm.

Solid plate to be able
to deflect sword cuts,

so again, all of this stuff is vital

and yet when you weigh it up,

the three or four pounds
of the helmet,

the mail protecting the neck,
the sword,

the axe, the shield,
the undergarments, the mail shirt,