Summer of Space

The Journey Begins

Monday July 8


When the Moon Landing Became a Conspiracy Theory

Less than a decade after Apollo 11 landed on the moon, the first widespread conspiracy theories emerged, claiming that the landing was a hoax. Even today, vloggers on YouTube and podcast hosts still promote several conspiracy theories that are easily debunked from scientific, photographic, and physical evidence.

Upcoming Shows

Ready Jet Go! One Small Step

Monday, June 17, 6:00 am (multiple airings)

In this special, Jet and his Boxwood Terrace friends learn all about Neil Armstrong and the Apollo Space Program as they embark on a sleepover on the Moon.

Secrets of the Dead: Galileo’s Moon

Tuesday, July 2, 8:00 pm

Join experts as they uncover the truth behind the find of the century: an alleged proof copy of Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius with the astronomer's signature and watercolor paintings that changed our understanding of the cosmos.

Eric Idle’s The Entire Universe

Tuesday, July 2, 9:00 pm

Monty Python’s Eric Idle explores the history of the entire universe with Professor Brian Cox, a chorus of singers and dancers, show tunes, and guest stars Warwick Davis, Noel Fielding, Hannah Waddingham, and Robin Ince in this comedic musical extravaganza.

NOVA: Black Hole Apocalypse

Wednesday, July 3, 9:00 pm

Join astrophysicist and novelist Janna Levin on a mind-blowing voyage to the frontiers of black hole science, which is shining new light on the most powerful and mysterious objects in the universe.

Antiques Roadshow: Out of This World

Monday, July 8, 8:00 pm

Explore the universe of space-themed treasures, including NASA Space Program autographed photos, a 1737 celestial and terrestrial atlas, and a Star Trek treatment, script, and letters.

American Experience: Chasing the Moon

Monday-Wednesday, July 8-10, 9:00 pm
Tuesdays, July 16, 23, and 30, 8:00 pm
(WTTW Prime 11.2) Saturday, July 20, 6:00 pm (marathon on moon landing anniversary)

This new three-part film thoroughly reimagines the race to the moon for a new generation, upending much of the conventional mythology surrounding the effort. With no narration and using only archival footage — including a visual feast of previously lost or overlooked material — the film features new interviews with a diverse cast of characters who played key roles in these historic events.

Space Men: American Experience

Tuesday, July 9, 8:00 pm

Meet the pioneering Air Force scientists and pilots whose Project Manhigh, which collected data about the biological and technical factors required to support human activity in space, laid the groundwork for the U.S. space program.

NOVA: Back to the Moon

Wednesday, July 10, 8:00 pm

Fifty years after humans first set foot on the moon, new scientific discoveries are fueling excitement for a return to the lunar surface -- this time, perhaps, to stay. Join the scientists and engineers working to make life on the moon a reality.

Jim Lovell in Booth One with Sirott and Murciano

Thursday, July 11, 10:00 pm

Captain James Lovell, the famed astronaut who flew in space on Apollo missions 8 and 13, sits down with Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano in the Ambassador East’s iconic Booth One for a revealing interview.

NOVA: Apollo’s Daring Mission

Tuesday, July 16, 9:00 pm

Hear Apollo astronauts and engineers tell the inside story of how the first mission to the moon, Apollo 8, pioneered groundbreaking technologies that would pave the way to land a man on the moon and win the space race.

A Year in Space

Wednesday, July 17, 8:00 pm

Go behind the scenes of astronaut Scott Kelly's 12-month stay on the International Space Station, where he tested human limits for space travel and laid the groundwork for a manned mission to Mars.

8 Days: The Journey of Apollo 11

Wednesday, July 17, 9:00 pm

Join Apollo 11 on its historic journey in this fascinating film that seamlessly blends mission audio featuring conversations among Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins over eight suspenseful days with new footage, NASA archive, and stunning CGI to recreate the first moon landing.

POV Shorts: Earthrise

Wednesday, July 17, 10:30 pm

The story of the first image captured of the Earth from space in 1968 by the Apollo 8 astronauts.

Ancient Skies

Wednesdays, July 24 and 31 and August 7, 8:00 pm

This three-part miniseries discovers how centuries of knowledge, experimentation, and engineering helped our ancestors understand the mysteries of space. Expert contributors decode astronomical myths and uncover the science behind their origins.

NOVA: The Planets

Wednesdays beginning July 24, 9:00 and 10:00 pm

In this five-part series, NOVA explores the awesome beauty of the planets, including Saturn’s 175,000-mile-wide rings, Mars’ ancient waterfalls four times the size of any found on Earth, and Neptune’s winds—12 times stronger than any hurricane felt on our planet. Using unique special effects and extraordinary footage captured by orbiters, landers, and rovers, audiences get an up-close look at the dark side of Pluto, lit only by the reflected light of its moons; a sunset over an ancient Martian waterfall; and a storm twice the size of Earth from high above Saturn; learning how each of them has affected our own planet: Earth.

Beyond A Year in Space

Tuesday, July 30, 8:00 pm

Picking up where the first film left off - Scott Kelly's last day in space and return to Earth - the final installment also introduces viewers to the next generation of astronauts training to leave Earth's orbit and travel into deep space.

The Farthest: Voyager in Space

Wednesday, July 31, 10:00 pm

Launched in 1977, NASA's epic Voyager missions revolutionized our understanding of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and their spectacular moons and rings. In 2012, Voyager 1 left our solar system and ushered humanity into the interstellar age.

To Catch a Comet

Wednesday, August 7, 10:00 pm

This compelling documentary details the complexities and challenges of the 10-year, four-million-mile journey of the European Space Agency's spacecraft Rosetta as it chased down and landed on a comet in a history-making feat.

NOVA: Pluto and Beyond

Wednesday, August 14, 8:00 pm

Join the mission as the New Horizons spacecraft attempts to fly by NASA's most distant target yet. Since it explored Pluto in 2015, New Horizons is zooming toward Ultima Thule, an object four billion miles from Earth.