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Moonrise

Author: The Washington Post

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“Truer, but also darker.” This is the real origin story behind America’s decision to go to the moon. The story we learn starts with Sputnik, then President Kennedy’s challenge, and ends with triumph: an American flag on the lunar surface. But in the 50 years that have passed since the moon landing, as presidential documents have been declassified and secret programs have been revealed, a wilder story has begun to emerge. “Moonrise,” a new Washington Post narrative mini-series, digs into the nuclear arms race of the Cold War, the transformation of American society and politics, and even the birth of science fiction, to unearth what really drove us to the moon. Join host Lillian Cunningham (of the Presidential and Constitutional podcasts) as she uncovers a story that has so much to reveal about America -- and about the dreams and nightmares of being human on this Earth.
16 Episodes
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Introducing Moonrise

Introducing Moonrise

2019-07-1804:4611

You’ve heard about how we landed on the moon, now find out why we went there. Host Lillian Cunningham introduces a new Washington Post podcast that will explore the real story behind the moonshot — a wild tale of nuclear brinkmanship, backroom politics and sci-fi influence ... Coming summer 2019.We’ll be doing an exclusive preview of “Moonrise” at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium on Thursday, July 18, during Adler After Dark. Come listen to the first episode under the dome with us in a unique listening experience set against the stars. Then stick around for a conversation with Lillian Cunningham and an exciting panel of space experts. Click here to get tickets and find more information.
A man who meets himself on the moon. A blue orb that bursts into flames. The quest to explain the unexplained. In the first chapter of "Moonrise," the journey to space begins.
Visionaries of the Void

Visionaries of the Void

2019-07-3037:3415

A tiny New York office fills with big ideas. A group of sci-fi writers bring space travel into popular culture. American rocketry begins to take flight. On this episode of Moonrise, the dream of the moon starts to become reality.
The Shapeshifter

The Shapeshifter

2019-08-0642:399

A German rocket scientist with a secret mission and dark past. A science fiction editor under the watch of the FBI. In the third chapter of Moonrise, weapons of war lay the groundwork for space travel.
Inside the Gulag

Inside the Gulag

2019-08-1339:336

A Russian rocket dreamer is sent to a Siberian prison. And the road to redemption stretches more than 5,000 miles. On this episode of "Moonrise," a look at the maestro behind the Soviet space effort.
The Bomb and the Saucer

The Bomb and the Saucer

2019-08-2039:397

Nuclear fears haunt the American psyche. Fascination with aliens is on the rise. And the U.S. government begins secret rocket experiments. In the fifth installment of "Moonrise," the best and worst of science fiction's predictions start to spring to life.
SPUTNIK!

SPUTNIK!

2019-08-2741:239

A top-secret memo in the Eisenhower administration. A plan to make space the new military high ground. And a Soviet beep heard from above. In the sixth chapter of “Moonrise,” humans launch the very first object into orbit.
Nightmare on the Hill

Nightmare on the Hill

2019-09-1749:516

Congress investigates the Sputnik launch. Lyndon Johnson seizes the spotlight. And President Eisenhower gets backed into a corner. In the seventh chapter of “Moonrise,” space gets political.
A New Frontier

A New Frontier

2019-09-2448:204

John F. Kennedy goes from senator to president. Space cowboys go from fiction to reality. And the United States chooses to go to the moon — in the eighth chapter of “Moonrise.”
JFK and the Secret Tapes

JFK and the Secret Tapes

2019-10-0146:1910

John F. Kennedy announces the moonshot. Then the doubts creep in …In the ninth chapter of “Moonrise,” old White House recordings reveal the president’s true views on the space race.
The Beyond

The Beyond

2019-10-0857:554

Lyndon Johnson takes over the presidency following John F. Kennedy’s assassination, while rocketeer Sergei Korolev watches his fate rise and fall in the Soviet Union. In the 10th chapter of “Moonrise,” both countries hit setbacks in the race to the moon.
Magnificent Desolation

Magnificent Desolation

2019-10-1550:417

The United States confronts race riots and the Vietnam War. Science fiction wrestles with its purpose now that space travel has become real. And NASA investigates its own failings. In the 11th chapter of “Moonrise,” we look inward.
The Dark Moon

The Dark Moon

2019-10-2250:035

Apollo 11 lifts off from Earth, fulfilling but also waking us from a longtime science-fiction dream. In the finale of “Moonrise,” we find ourselves on the moon.
Journey through the messy past and uncertain future of America’s national parks. The Washington Post’s Lillian Cunningham ventures off the marked trail to better understand the most urgent stories playing out in five iconic landscapes today.“Field Trip” is a new podcast series that will transport you to five national parks: Yosemite, Everglades, Glacier, White Sands and Gates of the Arctic. Follow the show wherever you listen.
To hear the rest of the series, follow “Field Trip” wherever you listen. California’s Sierra Nevada is home to a very special kind of tree, found nowhere else on Earth: the giant sequoia. For thousands of years, these towering trees withstood the trials of the world around them, including wildfire. Low-intensity fires frequently swept through groves of sequoias, leaving their cinnamon-red bark scarred but strengthened, and opening their cones to allow new seeds to take root.But in the era of catastrophic wildfires fueled by climate change, these ancient trees are now in jeopardy. And Yosemite National Park is on the front lines of the fight to protect them.In the first episode of “Field Trip,” Washington Post reporter Lillian Cunningham takes listeners inside this fabled landscape — from the hush of the Mariposa Grove to the rush of the Merced River — to explore one of America’s oldest and most-visited national parks.We’ll hear from Yosemite forest ecologist Garrett Dickman on the extreme measures he’s taken to protect iconic trees; from members of the Southern Sierra Miwuk working to restore Native fire practices to the park; and from Yosemite superintendent Cicely Muldoon about the tough choices it takes to manage a place like this.We’ll also examine the complicated legacies that conservationist John Muir, President Abraham Lincoln and President Theodore Roosevelt left on this land.The giant trees of Yosemite kick-started the whole idea of public land preservation in America. Join us as we visit the place where the idea of the national parks began — and ask what the next chapter might look like. You can see incredible photos of Yosemite and find more on the national parks here. Subscribe to The Washington Post with a special deal for podcast listeners. Your first four weeks are free when you sign up here.
Grenada’s Black revolutionary leader, Maurice Bishop, was executed in a coup in 1983, along with seven others. The whereabouts of their remains are unknown. Now, The Washington Post’s Martine Powers uncovers new answers about how the U.S. fits into this 40-year-old Caribbean mystery.“The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop” is an investigative podcast that delves into the revolutionary history of Grenada, why the missing remains still matter and the role the U.S. government played in shaping the fate of the island nation. Listen and follow the show here. 
Comments (26)

Paul Young

I'm interested in so many subjects. It's frustrating to find a podcast I want to listen to, but can't because the narrator sucks. I usually don't like female narrators because most of them don't take them selves seriously.which they disguise w/humor.narration is not performing, it's teaching, furthermore it requires a pleasant enough voice to maintain your interest through all the episodes. Lillian Campbell, nice voice, and confident w/out being pretentious.

Apr 16th
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Gerardo Gálvez-Correa

This was a great podcast. It gave me in each episode a curious mixture of joy and sadness. I loved the way the first and the last episode related to each other. A great job!

Aug 4th
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Adam Greenwold

it's a great podcast looking at the backdrop to the story of space exploration, which explains where we are now.

Dec 31st
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Adam Greenwold

very different perspective. interesting

Dec 31st
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Adam Greenwold

interesting, well researched. enjoying enormously.

Dec 31st
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daisy

I'm in an MPA program right now and it's amazing how public administration is woven through this

Oct 23rd
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jersey2777

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oct 1st
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Huckabee report

my friends and I were hiking up a trail as the sun had gone down. With a full moon that night which is why we went out hiking that night so we could see. probably less than half way up the mountain as we waited for a slower member of the party to catch up we saw a blue orb about baseball size. down by our car it made no sound that we could notice we also noticed a white astro fan by our car as well as the orb. we thought it might be a cell phone the blue light that our 2002 phone screens would make. but then it moved up and across the street which then we could tell it was an orb and it headed to a front porch nearly to the front door. These houses were super nice Tony Montana type with big white pillers in front. suddenly it shot up away from the house and it was probably as high up as we were on the mountain. it slowly moved away across the neighborhood above all the houses . we watched it as it slowly disappeared in the sky. We were on the Ahwatukee side of South mountain.The moun

Sep 27th
Reply (1)

Bill Thomas

Excellent episode!! Great to know the rest of the story! Thanks!

Aug 27th
Reply (1)

Bill Thomas

Wow. Sobering. Excellent story!

Aug 14th
Reply (1)

Bill Thomas

Another exception episode! Thanks!!

Aug 11th
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jersey2777

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Aug 6th
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jersey2777

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Aug 6th
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Bill Thomas

Brilliant!! Thanks!

Aug 3rd
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Clodoveu Davis

So sloooow. Could be more dynamic and with less time-filling stuff. Not at all like the pace of Presidential.

Jul 30th
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Alan

Wow this is incredibly dull and boring 💤💤💤

Jul 24th
Reply (1)

Ellen Boyd

Already hooked!! 😊👍

Jul 24th
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jersey2777

cannot wait for the next episode! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jul 19th
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David Piland

Awesome awesome!!!!!!

Jul 4th
Reply