Narrated by award-winning actor Gary Sinise, WHEN WE LEFT EARTH is the incredible story of humankind's greatest adventure, as it happened, told by the people who were there. From the early quest of the Mercury program to put a man in space, to the historic moon landings, through the Soyuz link-up and the first un-tethered space walk by Bruce McCandless, this is how the space age came of age. The vivid HD series features vintage rushes and all the key onboards filmed by the astronauts themselves. The sequences are captured by cameras onboard the spaceships, enabling the series to tell the stories in a depth never seen before.

When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2008-06-08

When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions - Gus Grissom - Netflix

Lieutenant Colonel Virgil Ivan “Gus” Grissom (April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967) was one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts, a United States Air Force test pilot, and a mechanical engineer. He was the second American to fly in space, and the first member of the NASA Astronaut Corps to fly in space twice. Grissom enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet during World War II. As the end of the war neared, Grissom sought to be discharged and married Betty Moore. Grissom enrolled at Purdue University, graduating with a bachelor's in mechanical engineering in 1950. He reenlisted in the United States Air Force, earning his pilot's wings in 1951. Grissom flew over 100 combat missions during the Korean War, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with an oak leaf cluster. He was reassigned to work as a flight instructor at Bryan Air Force Base. He attended the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology for a year and earned a bachelor's degree in aeromechanics. Selected as one of the Mercury Seven astronauts, Grissom was the pilot of the second American suborbital flight, in the Liberty Bell 7. At the end of the flight, the Mercury capsule's hatch blew off prematurely, causing the craft to fill with water and sink to the bottom of the ocean. His next flight was in the Project Gemini Program in a craft named the Molly Brown, which was a successful mission. He was killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (then known as Cape Kennedy), Florida. He was the first of the Mercury Seven to die. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and, posthumously, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions - Naming of the Molly Brown - Netflix

In a joking nod to the sinking of his Mercury craft, Grissom named the first Gemini spacecraft Molly Brown (after the popular Broadway show The Unsinkable Molly Brown); NASA publicity officials were unhappy with this name. When Grissom and his Pilot John Young were ordered to come up with a new one, they offered Titanic. NASA executives gave in and allowed the name Molly Brown, but did not use it in any official references. Subsequently, and much to the agency's chagrin, on launch CAPCOM Gordon Cooper gave Gemini 3 its sendoff by telling Grissom and Young, “You're on your way, Molly Brown!” and ground controllers used this name throughout the flight. After the safe return of Gemini 3, NASA announced new spacecraft would not be named. Hence, Gemini 4 was not named American Eagle as its crew had planned. The naming of spacecraft resumed in 1967 after managers found the Apollo flights needed a name for each of two flight elements, the Command Module (CSM) and Lunar Module. Lobbying by the astronauts and senior NASA administrators also had an effect. Apollo 9 had the call signs Gumdrop for the Command Module and Spider for the Lunar Module. However, Wally Schirra had been prevented from naming his Apollo 7 spacecraft Phoenix in honor of Grissom's Apollo 1 crew since it was believed the average taxpayer would not understand the “fire” metaphor as intended.

When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions - References - Netflix