‘Idaho Experience’ Reveals Astronaut Trainings in Idaho

Some of America’s best-known astronauts visited Idaho in 1969 to train for their moon missions. But for many years, the small, supporting role Idaho played in the Apollo lunar program was unappreciated, misunderstood, even ignored.

Idaho Experience explores NASA’s past — and future — training and research at Idaho’s Craters of the Moon National Monument in When Apollo Came to Idaho. Viewers can tune in or stream it on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 8:30 PM.

Members of IdahoPTV’s streaming service, Passport, can stream the program beginning Thursday, Aug. 29 via the PBS Video app or online at video.idahoptv.org.

“The 1969 visit was part of a smart, deliberate strategy by NASA to teach geology to this corps of pilots selected as the first astronauts,” says producer Bill Manny. “These guys were, after all, going on the grandest geology field trip of all time. NASA had the astronauts visit volcanic sites all over southeast Idaho, and geological sites all over the world.”

What makes this a story worth retelling is that the space-research relationship continues at Craters of the Moon, where the varied and hostile landscape is being used to prepare scientists and astronauts for future missions to Mars.

About Idaho Public Television

An entity of the Idaho State Board of Education, Idaho Public Television is a statewide multimedia network with transmitters and translator stations that reach nearly 100 percent of all Idaho households with free over-the-air broadcast signals. IdahoPTV broadcasts across five digital channels through five full-power transmitters (KAID, Boise; KCDT, Coeur D’Alene; KIPT, Twin Falls; KISU, Pocatello; and KUID, Moscow) and offers streaming content and educational resources through its website: idahoptv.org. The mission of Idaho Public Television is to “harness the power of public media to encourage lifelong learning, connect our communities, and enrich the lives of all Idahoans. We tell Idaho’s stories.”

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