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Press Release

July 12, 2017

Contact: Steve Kime
Enid Television Network
Office: 580-540-8918

"Oklahomans and Space" Documentary Series to Air on Enid Television Network

ENID, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Historical Society announces that the documentary series “Oklahomans and Space" will air through July and August on the Enid Television Network, Channel 11 or 111 in the Enid area.

This seven-part series presents the history of the space program through the stories of the Oklahomans who participated in it. Astronauts, engineers, scientists, reporters and others recall those wonderful days of adventure. NASA footage and photographs, along with recently discovered film, help tell this epic story. The series will cover Oklahomans’ involvement both in the story of human space exploration and the exploration of all the planets through space probes created by scientists and engineers. 

Bill Moore, author of the book "Oklahomans and Space" published by the Oklahoma Historical Society in 2011, is the producer of the documentary series. Moore worked on this series for more than 14 years, beginning with an interview with the late Leroy Gordon Cooper in 2000.

Oklahoma astronauts interviewed for this series include: Leroy Gordon Cooper (deceased), Thomas P. Stafford, Fred Haise, Owen Garriott, William Pogue (deceased), Dr. Shannon Lucid and John Herrington. Numerous engineers and physicists, including John Aaron, Milt Heflin, Donna Shirley, B. C. Clark III and Mark Boyles, were interviewed as well. Even national NBC anchor Jim Hartz talks about those early days of space exploration and coverage by the media. 

Listings for air times can be found at www.EnidTV.org. The following are the individual program descriptions.

“How It All Started” (60 min.)
This program covers the days before the first satellite, Sputnik, to the Tulsa Peaceful Uses of Space Conference in May 1961, including discussions by U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr, NASA Administrator James Webb, Eisenhower Advisor Bryce Harlow, Kerr Press Secretary John Martin Meek, Senate Space Committee Clerk Carter Bradley, Tulsa’s Harold Stuart and President John F. Kennedy.

“Research and Development” (60 min.)
In the second program, Shawnee’s Leroy Gordon Cooper discusses his Mercury and Gemini flights. Oklahoma engineers are hard at work developing America’s spacecraft. As the space program begins to grow and pick up momentum, Oklahomans and Oklahoma businesses are doing their part to move the program along.

“To The Moon” (60 min.)
Weatherford’s Thomas P. Stafford discusses his Gemini 6 and 9 flights, as well as his Apollo 10 trip to the moon. Each of these missions are critical to the success of President Kennedy’s challenge for America to land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Gemini 6 must prove rendezvous in space is possible, Gemini 9 must show what we need to do to be successful in our extravehicular activities, and Apollo 10 must prepare the way for Apollo 11 and the first moon landing two months later.

“Living and Working in Space” (60 min.)
University of Oklahoma graduate and Oklahoma Air National Guard pilot Fred Haise flew Apollo 13 as lunar module pilot. He discusses what happened during that famous mission, when the three astronauts were in a life and death struggle to return to Earth. Stuart Roosa from Claremore flew as command module pilot on the Apollo 14 moon landing mission. Oklahoma engineers who were involved with all of the moon flights discuss what it was like.

 “The First Space Station and Détente” (60 min.)
Skylab was America’s first space station, hosting three different crews. Two of those crews had an Oklahoman on board. Owen Garriott from Enid flew on the second Skylab mission. William Pogue, born in Okemah, flew the final Skylab mission. The Apollo Soyuz Test Project, commanded by Thomas Stafford, paved the way for international flights of the future. Fred Haise blazed a trail for the space shuttle by commanding the landing tests of the Enterprise shuttle test vehicle.

“The Shuttle and the ISS” (60 min.)
Owen Garriott flew STS-9 on the first mission of Spacelab, which was placed in the cargo bay of the shuttle. Shannon Lucid, who also flew on the shuttle, set records on her four missions and participated in the Russian Mir Space Station project through a US/Russian agreement. John Herrington, the first American Indian in space, helped construct the ISS by adding the P-1 Truss built in Tulsa. The truss held solar panels on one side of the station.

“To The Planets and Beyond” (90 min.)
Oklahomans have been involved with space probe programs exploring all of the planets in the solar system. The early exploration of Mercury and Venus began with Mariner 10. The Mars landers and orbiters of the past 40 years, beginning with Viking to the Mars Global Surveyor, were all influenced one way or another by Oklahomans at JPL and NASA. The outer planets were explored by Voyager, Galileo and Cassini, each mission touched by an Oklahoman. Even now, Oklahomans at NASA are planning our future missions in space.

"The Oklahoma Influence" (30 min.)
This extra feature tells how Oklahoma influenced a lot of these astronauts, engineers and scientists.

The book and eight-disc DVD boxed set of "Oklahomans and Space" are available at the Oklahoma History Center Museum Store, located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive near the State Capitol Building, or online at www.okhistory.org/store.

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.

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