In August, a rover named Curiosity touched down inside Mars’ Gale Crater, carrying 10 new instruments that will advance the quest for signs that Mars might once have been suitable for life. But Curiosity’s mission is risky. After parachuting through the Martian atmosphere at twice the speed of sound, Curiosity was gently lowered to the planet’s surface by a “sky crane.” This first-of-its-kind system has been tested on Earth, but there was no guarantee it would work on Mars.
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The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela tells the story of the man behind the myth, probing Mandela's character, leadership and life's method through intimate recollections with friends, political allies, adversaries, and his fellow prisoners and jailers on Robben Island where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 prison years.
“To care for him who shall have bourne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan.” Abraham Lincoln’s promise to heal the nation is now the motto of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. But tens of thousands of Americans who served are legally barred from most of that care. They bore the battle, but left the military with bad discharges, some for misdemeanors, some for serious misconduct, and often related to trauma from war. Especially for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, an unfavorable discharge can result in no treatment for the wound that caused the bad conduct.
Help the Community Idea Stations kick off it’s 50th Anniversary Year with the Masterpiece: Classic “Downton Abbey Season 4” Preview Celebration at the Byrd Theatre on January 2, 2014.
The fictional Sherlock Holmes was a scientist who used chemistry, bloodstains and minute traces of evidence to catch criminals. In an era when eyewitness reports and “smoking gun” evidence were needed to convict criminals, Sherlock Holmes’ crime-scene methods were revolutionary. Forensic scientists, crime historians and Sherlockian experts reveal for the first time the astonishing impact Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation had on the development of real-life criminal investigation and forensic techniques.
Between the blue sky above us and the infinite blackness of space lies a frontier full of enigmas that scientists have only just begun to investigate. “At the Edge of Space” takes viewers on a spectacular exploration to probe the earth-space boundary zone, home to some of nature’s most puzzling and alluring phenomena: the shimmering aurora, streaking meteors, and fleeting flashes that shoot upwards from thunderclouds, known as sprites.
Fifty years later, what can science tell us about the Kennedy assassination — and the investigations that followed? The 1963 murder, in broad daylight in front of hundreds of witnesses, was a homicide investigator’s best-case scenario. Yet somehow the JFK assassination became a forensic nightmare, plagued by mishandled evidence, a controversial autopsy and, incredibly, a prime suspect murdered while in police custody before he could be tried — all of it captured on film.
Is it possible to engineer an absolutely safe world for ourselves? Host David Pogue explores the extent to which science and technology can protect us from monumental forces of nature such as earthquakes and epidemics. He challenges researchers to save us from dangers of our own making, such as traffic accidents and contact sports.