Space Race is a BBC docudrama series first shown in Britain on BBC2 between September and October 2005, chronicling the major events and characters in the American/Soviet space race up to the first landing of a man on the moon. It focuses on Sergei Korolev, the Soviet chief rocket designer, and Wernher von Braun, his American counterpart. The series was a joint effort between British, German, American and Russian production teams.
Where to Watch Space Race
Every episode of Space Race you can watch online for free. Heads up, there will probably be a few ads.
Season 1Netflix | Tubi TV
S01 E01Sep 14, 2005
Race for Rockets Sep 14, 2005 Race For Rockets, spans 1944-1949. We see Wernher von Braun's work on the V-2 for the Nazis during the last years of the Second World War, his surrender to American troops and his move to the USA. We see Sergei Korolev's release from the Gulag, and how he is set to work on Soviet rockets, first attempting to copy the V-2, then building a more efficient rocket of his own.
S01 E02Sep 21, 2005
Race for Satellites Sep 21, 2005 Race For Satellites, spans 1953-1958. As the Cold War intensifies, Korolev is asked to build a rocket capable of carrying a five-ton warhead to America - he designs and constructs the R-7 Semyorka, and is later allowed to use it to launch the first satellite, Sputnik 1. Meanwhile, von Braun struggles to persuade the US government to allow him to launch his own satellite - after Sputnik's launch and the failure of the US Navy to launch a Vanguard satellite, he is finally allowed to launch the first American satellite, Explorer 1.
S01 E03Sep 28, 2005
Race for Survival Sep 28, 2005 Race For Survival, spans 1959-1961. Both the Americans and Soviets are planning manned space flight, and we see both sides preparing to do so with the development of the Vostok programme (Russia) and Project Mercury (USA). After difficulties and failures on both sides, the Soviets succeed in putting Yuri Gagarin into space first, with the Americans putting Alan Shepard up shortly afterwards.
S01 E04Oct 5, 2005
Race to the Moon Oct 5, 2005 Race To The Moon, spans 1964-1969. Both sides now plan to put a man on the Moon - while the Soviets struggle, the Americans pull ahead in the space race with Project Gemini, but then suffer a disaster with the Apollo 1 fire. The Soviet space programme suffers its own blows: Sergei Korolev dies when his heart fails during an operation, Soyuz 1 crashes and kills cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, and their planned moon rocket, the N-1 rocket, fails to successfully launch. In America, von Braun has difficulties with the Saturn V, but they are overcome, and the rocket successfully launches the first manned lunar mission, Apollo 8, and the first manned lunar landing, Apollo 11.