What to Watch For Apollo 11 50th Anniversary: TV Shows, Films and Specials to Honor Historic Moon Landing

It's been five decades since Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins launched into space for what would be mankind's first and only trip (so far) to the moon. People all across the globe will come together to remember the American astronauts' iconic accomplishment during the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's moon landing on Saturday.

Throughout the week, a number of networks will air shows and documentaries reliving the glory and history of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission. Below is a list of specials worth watching for the moonwalk's 50th anniversary.

What to Watch For Apollo 11 50th Anniversary: TV Shows, Films and Specials to Honor Historic Moon Landing
Stickers celebrating the 50th anniversary of NASA's Apollo 11 mission were made available to the public during the 35th Space Symposium at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 9, 2019. JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images


NOVA: Apollo's Darling Mission

There were plenty of Apollo missions that had to happen to get U.S. astronauts to the moon in the late 1960s, and this PBS documentary will highlight one that had particular significance for NASA's future—Apollo 8. The show airs at 10 p.m. EDT.


8 Days: To the Moon and Back

The special is just one featured in PBS's "Summer of Space" series. The show will give viewers an updated look at the moon landing through new archival footage and audio enhanced by today's computer graphics. Air time is set for 8 p.m.EDT.

POV Shorts: Earthrise

The special will uncover the first images of ever taken of Earth from outer space, which were famously captured during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968. The show airs on PBS at 10:30 p.m.EDT.


NASA's Giant Leaps: Past and Future

Hosted by Adam Savage, the special explores the many accomplishments of the space program and the ambitious people who have contributed to its excellence since its origin, particularly those who made Apollo 11's moon landing possible. The two-hour live show, which will be held at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., starts at 1 p.m.EDT.

When We Were Apollo

The docuseries gives a personal look into the lives and work of some of the most important figures within the space program from engineers and technicians to builders and contractors. It will air on PBS at 8:30 p.m.EDT.


Wonders of the Moon

All the mysteries of the moon will be explored during this BBC special. Air time is set for 10 p.m.EDT.


From Earth to the Moon

The 12-part docuseries will uncover the ins and outs of the American space program starting with the Mercury Seven astronauts—the NASA Space Task Group members who were first to orbit a spacecraft around Earth—to the final Apollo lunar landing in 1972. The marathon begins at 8:45 a.m. or catch it on demand via HBO Go or HBO Now.

Apollo 11

The CNN documentary will include never-before-seen archival footage and audio of the moon landing as well as news coverage surrounding the event. The show starts at 9 p.m.EDT.

Moon Landing Live

As thrilling as the Apollo 11 mission was for astronauts and space engineers, it was just as big of a deal for news networks. Several major news networks also made history by television the mission launch and the moon landing back in 1969. BBC unearthed archival coverage of the spectacle, which will be included in the networks special in addition to footage of the flight provided by NASA. The special airs at 9 p.m.EDT.

Apollo: The Forgotten Films

The two-hour event will highlight the story of how man made his way to the moon through archival footage that has not yet been seen. Soured through thousands of hours of film reels, the special will give viewers an account of the Apollo 11 mission and the 400,000 scientists and engineers that made the voyage possible from a behind-the-scenes point-of-view. The program kicks off on Discovery Channel at 8 p.m.EDT.

Confessions From Space: Apollo

Through a collection of interviews, viewers will hear the remarkable story of the Apollo 11 mission from the space pilots themselves. The special, which features interviews from Aldrin and Collins as well as Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Kirk and various others, airs on Discovery Channel at 10 p.m.EDT.