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Last chance to our Costa Rica Star Party! Learn about the Moon in a great new book New book chronicles the space program. Dave's Universe Year of Pluto. Groups Why ? Astronomy Day. The Complete Star Atlas. An Astronomy editor offers his take on the debut of the new Disney Plus series. Astronomy watched the first two episodes, which dropped last Friday on Disney Plus. Keep reading for our take on the series so far, and check out more coverage from our sister publication, Discover.
The new miniseries makes its tone clear from the opening scene. This scene sets up the rivalry between the two men as one of the key storylines throughout the eight-episode miniseries.
Fair enough — every remake has to find its own angle. Tom Wolfe wrote his book, which portrayed the test pilots as some of the last American heroes, as a reaction against the anti-heroism of the Vietnam era. The new series cuts Yeager entirely, focusing on the Mercury astronauts and dialing up the interpersonal drama. It seems to cast them as neither heroes nor anti-heroes, but merely human. The result — through the first two episodes, at least — plays the space program as a workplace soap opera or a reality show where everyone is competing to get off this rock.
Episode 1 shows the astronauts-to-be, including Alan Shepard Jake McDormanundergoing physiological tests deed to ensure they're fit for spaceflight. The story so far spoiler alert. Some we get to know better than others.
Patrick J. Adams as John Glenn is as charismatic as Ed Harris was in the original film, but we also see flashes of undisguised ambition as he goes through the process, suggesting something darker beneath his charm and decency. Alan Shepard Jake McDorman is his foil, the stereotypical fighter pilot jock — an emotionally stunted womanizer and lover of fast cars.
In scenes that recall the original film, Glenn, Shepard, Cooper, and four others — Deke Slayton, Gus Grissom, Scott Carpenter, and Wally Schirra — survive being subjected to a dizzying array of medical procedures and protuberances and are ultimately chosen for the Mercury program.
He immediately sends all the astronauts on a nationwide PR blitz to shore up the flagging support for the expensive project in Congress, with amusing .
The emotional heart of the episode comes when Glenn and his wife, Annie, invite Gordo and Trudy to dinner. While John tries to give Gordo advice on handling the media, Trudy — herself a d pilot — tells Annie about her own aeronautical ambitions in a scene that finally gets the series past the Bechdel test. Glenn calls upon the services of an agent, Leo DeOrsey, to broker a media deal for the astronauts. Life wants to make them heroes and promises each astronaut full editorial control of their own story.
Josh Cooke. The Mercury astronauts become celebrities as part of a PR push to maintain funding and support for the program.
For the cineaste, the first two episodes never hit the sublime notes of the original film — like its meeting of a cowboy and a Bell X-1 rocket plane in the desert. But to be fair, the miniseries isn't trying to. It wants to examine the human relationships in its source material more critically. In the new series, the divide between fact and facade invites the viewer to question the entire enterprise and what it meant to the nation.
Potentially one of the best decisions is the inclusion of a young, wet-behind-the-ears Glynn Lunney Jackson Pacewho would later become a revered flight director at Mission Control during the Gemini and Apollo programs. Here, we get to see Lunney as an earnest new hire struggling to please his tough bosses Gilruth and Kraft.
At just 21, he was the youngest member of the Space Task Group. Alan Shepard did have a penchant for Corvettes, and Jim Rathmann was the Florida Chevrolet dealer who started providing them to astronauts and eventually convinced General Motors to formalize the program. That much is true in the scene where the marketing-savvy Rathmann greets Shepard on his lot. Is exploring space hazardous to our health? James Webb Space Telescope: How, when, and why it's launching. Perseverance samples its first two rocks.
How astronauts go to the bathroom in outer space. How Mars rover drivers navigate the Red Planet. Did static electricity — not Gus Grissom — blow the hatch of the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft? Cosmos: Origin and Fate of the Universe. Astronomy's Moon Globe. Galaxies by David Eicher. Astronomy Puzzles. Jon Lomberg Milky Way Posters. Astronomy for Kids. up.
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