Discovery's three-night, six-hour history of NASA space missions is a cleanly told, bold-in-outline epic, starting with the manned Mercury flights of the early 1960s and wrapping up with the joint Soviet venture of the space station—the same station that has been in the news lately because of a toilet malfunction. Apparently there are still some frontiers to be conquered in the universe. The story (narrated by Gary Sinise) is most gripping in the second half, once NASA moves past the triumph of the moon landings and on to tougher, messier problems, notably the Challenger explosion and the humiliation of having to send up a crew to repair the bungled design of the Hubble telescope.
The digitally remastered footage from space is both exciting and often serenely, eerily gorgeous. In the words of one of the Mercury astronauts, Scott Carpenter, the view up there is "an addictive sight," and he's right.