When Neil Armstrong first stepped into the Sea of Tranquility in 1969, the NASA program was in full swing. Nova explores the history of the organization from the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Act a decade earlier to the famed walk on the moon. Alan Shepard became the first man in space with the launch of the Mercury project. From there, things moved swiftly as the Gemini project took off. Researching equipment and perfecting atmospheric entry was the program's main goal before the Apollo mission brought man to the lunar surface. Throughout its glamorous rise, NASA faced a handful of challenges, some of which still plague the scientists that make up the pioneering group. Life support, weightlessness, and equipment failure were, and are, high on the agenda.