In July 1969, history was made as 600 million people watched Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind on the surface of the moon. But behind these iconic images is an untold story. Now, 50 years later, Discovery and Science Channel celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landing with a two-hour television event, APOLLO: THE FORGOTTEN FILMS, that tells the complete story of this most audacious of missions. Featuring forgotten and never-before-seen footage from events surrounding the landmark mission, the documentary by Duncan Copp traces the decade's worth of effort involving half a million scientists that was required to enable that "one giant leap for mankind". The archives reveal the incredible lengths an army of engineers, scientists and astronauts went to, to achieve America's greatest technological feat.
Questions are raised about the search for intelligent life beyond the Earth, with UFOs and other close encounters refuted in favor of communications through SETI and radio telescope such as the Arecibo Observatory. The probability of technically advanced civilizations existing elsewhere in the Milky Way is interpreted using the Drake equation and a future hypothetical Encyclopedia Galactica is discussed as a repository of information about other worlds in the galaxy. The Cosmos Update notes that there have been fewer sightings of UFOs and more stories of abductions, while mentioning the META scanning the skies for signals.
Neil deGrasse Tyson sets off on the Ship of the Imagination to chase a single comet through its million-year plunge toward Sol. Later, Tyson visits the birth-place of Sir Isaac Newton and retraces the unlikely friendship between Newton and brilliant polymath Edmond Halley. It was Halley's patience and generosity which allowed Newton to conquer his fear of isolation and find the courage to publish his masterwork, "Principia Mathematica" which launched a scientific revolution.