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.
Science on TV
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.
What happens when engineers open up nature’s toolbox? David Pogue explores bold innovations inspired by the Earth’s greatest inventor, life itself. From underwater wi-fi based on dolphin communication, to robotic “mules” and “cheetahs” for the military, to swarms of robotic bees, Pogue travels the world seeing the “wildest” ideas put into action in new inventions and technologies.
Are there physical limits to how fast humans can go? David Pogue wants to find out how much we can tweak physiology and engineering to move humans and machines even faster. He investigates everything from lightning-fast electric muscle cars to ultra-sleek sailboats to ultra-fast cameras and quantum teleportation.
Explorer and scientist Paul Sereno made an extraordinary discovery in the middle of the Sahara desert: While prospecting for dinosaur bones, he stumbled across an ancient human cemetery more than 5,000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids. Sereno’s team counts dozens of skeletons within just a few minutes. Who were these people and what were they doing in the middle of the desert? How did they live and die? What can this mystery tell us about our planet? And why are there two distinct groups of people here, existing thousands of years apart?
Are you safe aboard a modern cruise ship? Twenty million passengers embark on cruises each year, vacationing in deluxe “floating cities” that offer everything from swimming pools to shopping malls to ice skating rinks. And the ships just keep getting bigger: The average cruise ship has doubled in size in just the last 10 years.
NOVA kicks off the fall season with a return to Ground Zero to witness the final chapter in an epic story of engineering, innovation, and the perseverance of the human spirit: the completion of One World Trade Center.
Watch NOVA: Ground Zero Supertower September 11 at 9:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS.
Take a breathtaking voyage with the world’s birds, soaring across six continents, witnessing spectacular animal migrations and great natural wonders, swooping down to interact with life-and-death dramas on land and at sea. This Nature special employs state-of-the-art technology and sophisticated camera techniques to show the world from an amazing aerial perspective.