In an historic survey of man’s adaptation to killer environmental conditions, we travel to the desert, the Arctic, the sea, jungle, and space, charting the body’s physiological responses to extreme circumstances such as frostbite, heatstroke, and hypothermia. We talk with military survival experts and learn about the latest cutting-edge survival gear, as well as the equipment aboard the space station, and look to the future, when nano-technology will create a new type of technology.
Archive for January, 2001
They really shouldn’t have survived. When an oxygen tank exploded in the command module of Apollo 13, the prospects for the three astronauts aboard were exceedingly grim. But they defied the odds. Under even the best circumstances, a space mission is an extraordinary accomplishment. But the conditions faced by the crew of Apollo 13 make the story of their survival one of the most memorable By interviewing space agency veterans and using NASA’s own mission records, APOLLO 13 brings this inspiring story to life. See how scientists and engineers on the ground pored over every detail of the spacecraft’s electrical, navigational and propulsion systems to devise a workable way to save the crew, and how the daring and skill of the astronauts made the scheme a success. Faced with the prospect of an unmitigated disaster, NASA rallied and forged an unlikely triumph that, many feel, stands as their finest hour.
Fasten your seatbelts as we take off on a flight through the history of commercial aviation–from the first jet passenger plane, the de Havilland Comet, to today’s wide-body jets and supersonic Concorde. It’s a story of high-tech worldwide competition among a field of high-stakes players. Billion-dollar deals ride on cutting-edge designs. Pilots train for hours in ground-based simulators, while computers fly the planes. We also catch a glimpse of the double-decker flying hotels of the future.
Where can you fire a missile without scaring the neighbors? Or lift millions of pounds in pursuit of a couple of ounces of gold? On a proving ground, of course, where performance is the only thing that matters. Because in the heat of battle or head-to-head competition, no excuses can be given. We’ll visit the US military’s Cold Regions Testing Center in Alaska and desert proving grounds in Arizona, the Olympic Complex in Colorado, and the now-defunct Packard proving grounds in Michigan.