From the Space Shuttles groundbreaking maiden space flight at the start of the 80s through the heart-break of the Challenger and Columbia disasters to its final touchdown 30 years later, this two-part documentary tells the inside story of NASAs iconic spaceships. Featuring rare archive film and told by the men and women who designed, built and flew them, this series recounts in dramatic detail the Shuttle missions that changed the world.

Blasted into orbit by rockets and landing back on earth like an aeroplane, when the Shuttles launched in 1981, they took the world by storm. Flying at 17,500 miles an hour, nine times faster than a bullet and built to withstand temperatures twice as hot as larva, they remain one of mans greatest feats of engineering. NASA veterans reveal how they made the worlds first reusable spaceship fifty years ago, including the pilots who tested the 68 tonne Shuttles by launching them from the backs of Jumbo jets and the engineers who discovered the best way to glue the revolutionary heatshield in place was with ordinary bathroom sealant.

Ten years in the making, NASA hoped the Shuttles would herald a new safe and cost effective era of space travel but their hopes would be dashed. Featuring gripping footage shot inside NASA as the Challenger and Columbia disasters unfolded, the films examine the Shuttles fatal flaws that claimed the lives of fourteen astronauts. But despite the inherent dangers, the Shuttles made possible some the greatest scientific discoveries of our age. With startling film of the Shuttle launching then repairing the Hubble Space telescope, the series gives an insight into the most complex mission NASA had ever attempted that would, ultimately, transform our understanding of the Universe.

Format: Series
Production company:
Production Year: 2018
Running Tme: 2 x 1 hour Series
Shooting Format:
Genre: Factual – Science/Medical/Technology
Available Rights: All Rights worldwide excluding Channel 5's commissioning broadcast licence in UK
Distribution Rights: