The BEST episodes of Space Race

Every episode of Space Race ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Space Race!

The shocking but true story behind the space race and the ruthless, brilliant scientists who fuelled it.The end of the Cold War finally reveals a generation of secrets and cover-ups, bringing a historical opportunity: the unmasking of the true heroes and villains behind the biggest race of mankind.

Last Updated: 7/8/2024Network: BBC TwoStatus: Ended
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Race for Rockets
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8.00
28 votes

#1 - Race for Rockets

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/14/2005

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.

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Race for Satellites
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28 votes

#2 - Race for Satellites

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/21/2005

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.

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Race for Survival
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#3 - Race for Survival

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 9/28/2005

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.

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Race for the Moon
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#4 - Race for the Moon

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/5/2005

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.

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