11 episodes

Space does not wish you well. It has no shortage of ways to kill you, and in the fifty years humans have been flying spacecraft around the Earth and out to the moon, the mortal perils have been evident. But ten of the missions were the most harrowing of all. Some of them ended in tragedy, some ended successfully—but all of them involved astronauts playing for the very highest stakes in the very deadliest place. Countdown tells the tale of those ten missions—some of them American, some Russian. Written and narrated by Jeffrey Kluger—author of Apollo 13 and Apollo 8—Countdown recreates the space crises that every astronaut has feared, and that an unlucky handful were forced to live.

Countdown Time, Inc.

    • Natural Sciences
    • 4.3 • 220 Ratings

Space does not wish you well. It has no shortage of ways to kill you, and in the fifty years humans have been flying spacecraft around the Earth and out to the moon, the mortal perils have been evident. But ten of the missions were the most harrowing of all. Some of them ended in tragedy, some ended successfully—but all of them involved astronauts playing for the very highest stakes in the very deadliest place. Countdown tells the tale of those ten missions—some of them American, some Russian. Written and narrated by Jeffrey Kluger—author of Apollo 13 and Apollo 8—Countdown recreates the space crises that every astronaut has feared, and that an unlucky handful were forced to live.

    Apollo 13

    Apollo 13

    Whether there would be time for forensic work before the spacecraft died was unclear—something Liebergot understood better than anyone else. It was time, he knew, to ask the question that had been playing around the edge of his mind for the past ten minutes—and, he suspected, was on a lot of other minds both on the ground and in the spacecraft too. 

    • 32 min
    Soyuz 11

    Soyuz 11

    TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger takes you through the Soyuz 11 mission and the events that make it one of the most harrowing space missions of all time.

    • 29 min
    Mir

    Mir

    It can be oddly peaceful inside a dying spacecraft. That was not something Michael Foale ever suspected—and with good reason. When you’re inside a spacecraft that’s dying, you’re likely to die right along with it. But now that Foale was in that very situation, after six weeks aboard Russia’s Mir space station, he was surprised at the sense of serenity that came over him.

    TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger takes you through the events that make it one of the most harrowing space missions of all time.

    • 25 min
    Luca

    Luca

    Space has a lot of ways to kill you. It’s a beautiful place to contemplate and a thrilling place to visit, but for all its appeal, it’s got murder in its heart. There is almost no way you can imagine to die that space won’t be perfectly happy to deliver, save one: you can’t drown there. That, ultimately, was what made it such a surprise in 2013 when Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano nearly drowned to death while orbiting 250 miles above the Earth. 

    TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger takes you through the events that make it one of the most harrowing space missions of all time.

    • 29 min
    Apollo 12

    Apollo 12

    Pete Conrad had no business trying to fly to the moon on a rainy morning in November of 1969. And NASA, by the look of things, had no business agreeing that it would be a good idea trying to send him there. You wouldn’t know that, however, from the scene at Cape Canaveral.

    TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger takes you through the Apollo 12 mission and the events that make it one of the most harrowing space missions of all time

    • 23 min
    Gemini 9

    Gemini 9

    If Gemini 9 started off under a curse, the bad fortune seemed determined to stick around.

    TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger takes you through the Gemini 9 mission and the events that make it one of the most harrowing space missions of all time

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
220 Ratings

220 Ratings

Magz102998 ,

Shuttle disasters?!

Fascinating story of catastrophes and near-misses, but how could the two shuttle disasters have been overlooked?

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