Aired Thursday January 10th, 2013 at 7:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
KUED is on a mission to bring you the best of space exploration. From the Cold War to the newest models of spacecraft, KUED investigates mankind’s quest to understand space over four Thursdays in January.
The mission kicks off on Thursday, January 10 with Space Age: NASA's Story, a four-part series, at 7:00 pm. Take a fresh look at an amazing organization and mankind’s quest to understand the universe beginning in the Cold War. See the epic story of the heroes, the triumphs and the tragedies of space exploration from the race to get the first man in space to the first steps on the moon. The series also looks at the white-knuckle suspense of Apollo 13 mission, which made it safely back to Earth, and the tragedy of the Challenger, which was not as lucky.
KUED airs NOVA: Space Shuttle Disaster, an enlightening look into 2003’s Colombia disaste, on Thursday, January 31 at 7:00 pm.
At the end of a nearly flawless 15-day mission in early 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, killing the crew of seven. On Space Shuttle Disaster, NOVA probes the accident and the decisions stretching back four decades that made the tragedy almost inevitable. The program airs
Exploring the past and future of the shuttle through the lens of the Columbia accident, NOVA interviews key NASA personnel who witnessed problems with the space shuttle program firsthand, including NASA engineer Rodney Rocha, who tried to sound the alarm about Columbia’s potentially damaged condition; and flight director Leroy Cain, who worked with controllers to make sense of a cascade of warning signals from the craft during its ill-fated return to Earth.
Also interviewed are members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, NASA administrators, astronauts, journalists and prominent space-policy experts.
The Columbia disaster was the second catastrophic failure in the shuttle program. In 1986, the shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after launch, also killing seven.
NOVA shows that both accidents can be traced to design trade-offs built into the shuttle concept. Apollo-era spacecraft were designed with the cabin carrying the crew positioned on top of the rocket, offering some protection from falling debris and a chance of escape from a malfunctioning vehicle. However, the crew- and cargo-carrying section of the shuttle is so large that it has to be strapped to the side of a huge external propellant tank.
Space Shuttle Disaster is a penetrating look at the history of the shuttle program and the political pressures that made the shuttle a highly complex engineering compromise, which fell short of its ambitious goal to make space travel routine, cheap and safe. The film brings to the forefront the uncertain future of human spaceflight after the 2010 scheduled shuttle retirement.
KUED follows up with an alternative look at the Colombia story, with Space Shuttle Colombia: A Mission of Hope at 8:00 p.m. on January 31. From the depths of hell to the heights of space, this documentary tells the compelling, untold story of a crewmember’s determination to fulfill his “mission within a mission” aboard the space shuttle Columbia. Learn how and why a small Torah scroll that survived the Holocaust was entrusted to Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon as he lifted into space on Columbia’s ultimately ill-fated flight.
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