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DVD Review: Apollo 11: A Night To Remember

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The successful moon landing and moon walk of Apollo 11 remains one of mankind's greatest achievements. It is also one of those few precious moments in history where anyone who was alive on that day can likely recall where they were when Neil Armstrong stepped out on the moon and proclaimed it as "one giant leap for mankind".

Now available on DVD for the first time, Apollo 11: A Night To Remember takes us back to that remarkable achievement. By using both NASA archive footage as well as actual BBC coverage, noted British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore takes the viewer back in time to those remarkable days of July 1969. 

The film begins with the preflight preparations including the crew's breakfast on July 16, 1969 as they prepare for their remarkable journey. We then get to see the drama of the countdown and liftoff of one of the most powerful rockets ever built. Even though the liftoff is something that many have seen before it is still awe-inspiring to watch. 

One of the remarkable features of this film is the terrific reporting that was done by the BBC's space correspondent James Burke. In separate segments he takes the viewer inside the Apollo capsule, demonstrates a space suit, experiences zero gravity and shows the emergency escape systems on the launch pad. 

But the true highlight is the amount of actual mission footage that is used in this film. Nearly half of the entire program is devoted to the moonwalk itself and includes the historic phone call that President Richard Nixon made to astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin while they were standing on the surface of the moon. 

Bonus features include a 17-minute episode from the program The Sky at Night as well as a biography of Sir Patrick Moore. 

This film captures the excitement that not only Americans but people all over the world felt at the success of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Watching this film took me back to my living room when I was just a little boy watching the events unfold live on television. This DVD will be one that every space enthusiast will want to add to their library. Watching this film reminded me of the awe and wonder that the space program inspired in me. I am sure that it will inspire similar excitement in others who watch it too.

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