WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Films that tell true stories of this nation’s efforts to reach space will be the focus of the 19th annual February Film Series hosted by the University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department at Missouri State University-West Plains.
All four films will be shown free of charge beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in the civic center theater during the month of February, organizers said. Doors will open at 6 p.m. The first film will be shown Feb. 1, and the last is scheduled for Feb. 22.
“In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in all things space in the film industry, and members of our Film Series Committee thought it might be nice to take a look back at how it all began with some true tales of our country’s effort to reach the ‘final frontier’ and master its exploration,” said U/CP Director Brenda Polyard.
“We hope these films and the discussions that follow will give attendees a reminder of just how awe inspiring the idea was in the beginning and how it continues to be even today,” she added.
The films’ topics range from:
• one young man’s efforts to learn how to build a rocket after seeing the first artificial satellite launched into orbit around the earth and how those efforts could earn him a college scholarship through his entry in a national science fair;
• an Academy Award-winning chronicle of the first 15 years of America’s space program and its many dangers and frustrations, with a specific focus on the lives of the Mercury astronauts;
• the extraordinary efforts of a talented group of female African-American “human computers” to overcome the racial barriers of their day to make signficant contributions to the successful launch and return of astronaut John Glenn into orbit;
• and the Academy Award-winning tale of the failed Apollo mission that, thanks to the heroism and ingenuity of its astronauts and ground crew, became the most well known “successful failure” in the history of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
All films are rated PG.
For more information about the February Film Series, call 417-255-7966 or visit the U/CP Department’s website.