Nova

1974, TV Show

Full Episodes(219)

Latest Episode: Ben Franklin's Balloons

Oct 22, 2014 Season 42 Episode 5 watch on (Paid)

From PBS and NOVA - The epic first stage in the adventure of human flight didn’t begin with the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk but with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th century Paris. In a period of just 19 months, humanity not only left the ground for the first time, but a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers developed all the essential features of today's hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the American ambassador, and created a sensation in the city. To explore this extraordinary burst of innovation, NOVA recreates key flights, including the world’s first manned voyage on November 21, 1783. A descendant of the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the hot air balloon, will join a team to build a highly accurate replica of the fragile paper and canvas craft using 18th century tools and materials. NOVA reveals the secrets of how the Montgolfiers invented flight, and evokes the thrilling and daunting prospect that the balloon pioneers faced as they left Earth for the first time.

Hunt for the Supertwister

Mar 30, 2004 Season 31 Episode 15

On May 3, 1999, one of the most powerful tornadoes ever recorded carved a path of complete destruction near Oklahoma City. To scientists, the supertwister held sobering lessons about the future for rapidly expanding cities in tornado-threatened areas. Most tornadoes form suddenly and with little warning. But now meteorologists are on the verge of a breakthrough that may solve the puzzle of how these killer storms spawn and where they are likely to strike. NOVA follows stormchasers as they probe the tornado's deadly secrets. The program features noted researchers Joshua Wurman of the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, Colorado, and Howard Bluestein of the University of Oklahoma--fellow stormchasers who have perfected the art of tracking down tornadoes with instrument-laden vehicles designed to gather data from as close to the churning vortex as possible. Also included is Lou Wicker of the National Severe Storms Laboratory, who is creating computer models in collaboration with scientists at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)/University of Illinois, that provide exciting insights into the intricate sequence of steps that goes into spawning a twister. NOVA goes supertwister hunting with Wurman and Bluestein on a day that threatens tornadoes all across the Texas Panhandle. Wurman heads north and captures the first twin tornadoes ever recorded on radar. Meanwhile, Bluestein stays in the southern Panhandle and eventually bags his own treasure-trove of twister data. Not to be outdone, computer modeler Lou Wicker captures the biggest prize of all: a supertwister in the process of formation in the equations of his program. Having input data on an F4 storm that devastated Manchester, South Dakota, on June 24, 2003, he sees a supertwister take shape with uncanny similarity to the real thing.
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Life and Death in the War Zone

Mar 02, 2004 Season 31 Episode 14

Imagine handling a medical emergency at the height of the Iraq War, beset by heat, sand, and frequent enemy attacks. NOVA heads into battle with the medics, nurses, doctors, and military staff of the 10th and 21st CaSH units.
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MARS Dead or Alive

Jan 04, 2004 Season 31 Episode 9

In early January 2004, two spacecraft carrying identical robotic explorers touched down on the surface of Mars. On that day, NOVA presented a special television event that climaxed with live coverage as NASA/JPL scientists awaited the first critical signals confirming that the rovers had landed safely. The show features a gripping behind-the-scenes glimpse of the design, testing, and launch of the mission. The engineers face a tense deadline as Mars approaches its closest rendezvous with Earth; they're stretched to the limit as parachutes rip, bolts fail, and airbags pop; everything that can go wrong does. Watch them apply all their ingenuity to overcome the technical hitches. Then join NOVA's exploration of the latest clues in the ultimate quest for signs of life on the mysterious red planet.
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Wright Brothers' Flying Machine

Nov 11, 2003 Season 31 Episode 6

Orville and Wilbur Wright were remarkable inventors, mechanics, risk-takers, and visionaries. They designed and built their own wings, steering devices, engines, and wind tunnel. But just how did they construct such an impressive flying machine? It takes a team of modern pilots, builders, aviation experts, and historians joined together to retrace, rebuild and re-fly planes built to the specifications developed by the Wright Brothers a century ago. Vivid footage captures both the Wrights’ own historic flights and the team’s attempt to fly an authentically recreated Wright “Model B.” As modern computer technology meets dusty artifacts, the Wrights’ aviation secrets emerge from the past and seem more impressive than ever. Discover how the Wright Brothers transformed themselves from bicycle mechanics to high-flying inventors who built a machine that changed the world during a mythical flight at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903, and see how they contrived to refine their incredible aircraft.
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Nova Clips & Interviews collapse view

Nova: Extreme Ice
Nova: Manhunt: Boston Bombers
Nova: Asteroid: Doomsday Or Payday?
Nova: Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius
Nova: What's Up With The Weather?
Nova: Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius
Nova: Dying To Be Thin
Nova: Fast Cars
Nova: Hitler's Sunken Secret
Nova: Aircraft Carrier
Nova: Mountain Of Ice
Nova: Rescue Mission In Space
Nova: Last Extinction: What Killed The
Nova: Chasing El Nino
Nova: B-29 Frozen In Time

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