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Race to the moon: 'Apollo’s Daring Mission' recounts historic, risky journey
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"Apollo's Daring Mission" recounts the first manned moon mission.
Courtesy NASA

In a special new NOVA, Apollo astronauts and engineers tell the inside story of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon.

Apollo’s Daring Mission will premiere at 8 p.m. Dec. 26.

As the program recounts, the U.S. space program suffered a bitter setback when Apollo 1 ended in a deadly fire during a pre-launch run-through.

In disarray, and threatened by the prospect of a Soviet Union victory in the space race, NASA decided upon a radical and risky change of plan: turn Apollo 8 from an earth-orbit mission into a daring sprint to the moon while relying on untried new technologies.

Suddenly everything hinged on Apollo 8.

Fifty years after the historic mission, the Apollo 8 astronauts and engineers recount the feats of engineering that paved the way to the moon.