“Apollo’s Moon Shot,” a series that highlights U.S. moon exploration in the ’60s, is coming to the Smithsonian Channel on June 16. (Photo Credit: Smithsonian Channel / YouTube)

On July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon. Fifty years later, the Smithsonian Channel is celebrating this “giant leap for mankind” with Apollo’s Moon Shot, a new series that explores what it was like for NASA’s team of engineers and cosmonauts to put everything on the line for an epic lunar journey.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy presented one of the most challenging space tasks of all time, which was to have a man touchdown on the moon’s surface and have him land safely back on our planet within the next 10 years. Apollo’s Moon Shot, a six-part series that debuts on June 16, takes viewers back in time to the big day and decade through archival interviews, vintage audio and visual footage, and some rare artifacts from Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

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While we don’t have many details on specific episodes yet, Smithsonian Channel has three listed on their website already: “Into the Void,” which will revisit the three missions that were part of Apollo 11’s historic moon voyage, “Triumph and Tragedy,” a deep dive at the Project Gemini missions that enabled NASA to send astronauts to the lunar surface, and “Rocket Fever,” where viewers get to meet the key Space Race players and witness their space preparation training.

Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 mission spacesuit. (Photo Credit: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)

Starting July 16, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will also have some cool artifacts on display from the Apollo 11 mission, including a testing lunar module and Armstrong’s spacesuit, Fox News reported.

“Seeing the artifact really wows people and gives them a sense of some of the ground-breaking technological development that was necessary to go to the Moon,” Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, curator of the Smithsonian’s space history department, told Fox News. “The one in our collection was Lunar Module-2. It was the second Lunar Module, it was supposed to do Earth orbital tests, but Lunar Module-1 did a good job, so they repurposed it for drop tests on Earth.”

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Apollo’s Moon Shot premieres on Sunday, June 16, at 8 p.m. EST on the Smithsonian Channel.

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