When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon in 1969, America went down in popular history as the winner of the space race. But that history is bunk. The real pioneers of space exploration were the Soviet cosmonauts. This remarkable feature-length documentary combines rare and unseen archive footage with interviews with the surviving cosmonauts to tell the fascinating and at times terrifying story of how the Russians led us into the space age. A particular highlight is Alexei Leonov, the man who performed the first spacewalk, explaining how he found himself trapped outside his spacecraft 500 miles above the Earth.
The unlikely story of how one man with some ex-WWII army equipment eventually turned a muddy field in Cheshire into a key site in the space race. That man was Bernard Lovell, and his telescope at Jodrell Bank would be used at the height of the Cold War by both the Americans and the Russians to track their competing spacecraft. It also put Britain at the forefront of radio astronomy, a new science which transformed our knowledge of space and provided the key to understanding the most mind-bending theory of the beginnings of the universe - the Big Bang.