LBJ watches Apollo 11 launch - Photo Credit_NASA.jpg

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson, center left, and former Vice President Spiro Agnew center right, watch the liftoff of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969.

As Americans mark the golden anniversary of that "giant leap for mankind" on Saturday, TV networks are giving them a lot of space-related programming all month.

Here are five shows worth checking out:

  • "American Experience: Chasing the Moon," 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday (second part) and July 30 (last part), LPB (catch the first episode at

If you missed the three-night premiere of this "American Experience" special last week, LPB is re-airing the second and third episodes Tuesday in primetime. Catch first episode re-airings during non-primetime hours (check local listings) or online, where all episodes are available at the above website.

From the earliest days of the space race to the 1969 moon landing, "Experience" covers the science politics, media mania and drama surrounding the space age.

Viewers can follow the failures and successes of the growing space program, the tragedy of Apollo 1, the comeback with Apollo 8, the historic moon landing, and where the space program stands in the nation's big picture.

In addition, LPB has several other spaced-themed shows airing on broadcast and available online at   

  • "From the Earth to the Moon," 7:45 a.m. Saturday, HBO2.

The network brings its Emmy-winning miniseries out again, airing the 12 episodes as a marathon. The Tom Hanks project stars Baton Rouge native David Andrews ("Queen of the South") as NASA astronaut Frank Borman.

The 1998 film's standard definition visual effects have been replaced with CG effects that are based on reference models from NASA.

The miniseries is also available on HBO On Demand.

  • "Apollo: The Forgotten Films," 7 p.m. Saturday, Discovery; 6 p.m. Sunday, Science Channel

Go behind the scenes with footage from NASA Research Centers, The National Archives and news reports of the time.

"The archives reveal the incredible lengths an army of engineers, scientists and astronauts went to, to achieve America’s greatest technological feat," a show synoposis says.

  • "Confessions from Space: Apollo," 9 p.m. Saturday, Discovery

Where better to get the inside stories of the Apollo missions than from the astronauts?

This one-hour special event, hosted by The Explorers Club, will feature Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11), Mike Collins (Apollo 11), Charlie Duke (Apollo 16) and others giving their insights, experiences and stories.

  • "NASA’s Giant Leaps: Past and Future — Celebrating Apollo 50th as We Go Forward to the Moon," noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Science Channel.

This one's airing live (thus the weird time) from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., where a three-day outdoor festival celebrating the moon landing will be happening.

The special, hosted by Adam Savage ("MythBusters"), will also be live from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the historic, newly-restored Apollo mission control room at Johnson Space Center in Houston, and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. There will also be check-ins in Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, at the Apollo 11 command module on display in Seattle, and other anniversary celebrations around the country.

"NASA will tell the story of how we got there, and how we’ll get there again, hearing directly from Apollo astronauts alongside current and future astronauts, scientists, engineers, and others sharing some untold stories, quirky facts, and personal reflections about journeying to the lunar surface," a news release says.

Email Judy Bergeron at