Reviewed for High School, 2008

When We Left Earth

A collaboration between the Discovery Channel and NASA, to celebrate fifty years of space exploration, and narrated by Gary Sinise, this 4-DVD collection contains 12 hours of footage, much of it never before seen. Beyond the bonus features (like digitally restored footage from the NASA archives) and fantastic in-flight clips, what really sticks out are the candid interviews with the astronauts themselves, and the unsung heroes sitting behind the scenes that made the seemingly impossible, possible. Many NASA collections regurgitate the same footage over and over. This set is the exception, painting a picture of the whole arc of space exploration-- not just the highlights we all know like Apollo 13, the moon landing, or the first American in orbit--but the intermediate steps and people that got us there. This is much more than a cursory look at the history of the space program, and pitch perfect for space geeks. (Discovery, $49.98)