Archive for December, 2006
Christmas is observed by nearly one-third of the world’s population and probably more if you count the non-Christians who incorporate the more secular traditions into their winter season. Every year, revelers go all out with trees, ornaments, lights, window displays and Christmas treats. Technological advancements have made them cheaper, easier and safer.
Any fire raging out of control is a hazard, but when compounded with obstacles of extreme conditions, such as an oil-well blowout or acres of forest ablaze, firefighters face new elements of danger. Meet a WWII London firefighter, “Hell Fighters” who squelch oil-well infernos, and smoke jumpers who parachute into forest fires.
The Empire State building rose to become the world’s tallest man-made structure at a time when dreams were in short supply. Planned during the 1920s, construction was almost grounded by the Depression until the “Cathedral of Dreams” came to symbolize the indomitable American spirit.
“Two stories a day” became the mission. Up went the rivets, the steel and the fearless men. In just two years the miracle of engineering was finished, justifying a nation’s belief in itself. Here is the colorful story of this beloved building, including the innovations it inspired, and its enduring popularity today. From the first plans to the final rivet, explore the incredible story of the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING.
The Pentagon denied its existence until the President blew the cover. One of the most expensive projects in military history, it was attacked as an extravagant waste. But the billions of dollars and long years of development paid off during the Gulf War. Night after night, F-117 Stealth Fighters performed their deadly missions undetected by Iraq’s multi-billion dollar radar system.
Modern Marvels takes to the skies with the most advanced planes ever built. Learn how the radical design and cutting-edge technology of the F-117 and its larger cousin, the B-2 Bomber, allow these planes to avoid detection by even the most sophisticated radar systems. In exclusive interviews, Air Force officials and company executives recall the long struggle to perfect an “invisible” airplane, and combat pilots reveal what it is like to pilot the most effective strike aircraft ever built.
Now, Modern Marvels takes a look at how a team from NASA made that dream real by developing the most extraordinary machine in history the revolutionary Space Shuttle.
This comprehensive program tells the complete story of the Shuttle, from its conception in the 1950s to its triumphant launch in 1981. Expert interviews, computer simulations and spectacular footage from its missions offer an insider’s view of its successes and failures, including the devastating Challenger disaster that nearly grounded the Shuttle program forever. Finally, NASA officials offer an exclusive peek at the next generation Space Shuttle, the futuristic X-33.