NOVA scienceNOW: Can We Make It To Mars?
Airs Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Historic Space Suits
If you were suddenly transported to the moon, clothed as you are now, your body would suffer a gruesome assault—temperatures as low as -380°F, a barrage of UV radiation, no oxygen to breathe, and perhaps worst of all, no air pressure—causing the dissolved gas in your blood to bubble. In this slide show, see how space-suit design evolved to allow humankind's giant leap onto the moon and beyond.
Hosted by renowned astrophysicist, author and director of the Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson, NOVA scienceNOW covers four timely science and technology stories per one-hour episode. Each episode of the upcoming season of "NOVA scienceNOW" explores one of six “big” science questions: can we live forever?; how smart are animals?; where did I come from?; how does the brain work?; what’s the next big thing?; and can we live in space?
Can humans survive a trip to Mars and back that could take two to three years? This episode of "NOVA scienceNOW" examines all of the perils of this journey, including deadly meteoroids, bone and muscle deterioration, and cosmic radiation.
Host Neil deGrasse Tyson checks in with scientists who are developing new ways to keep astronauts alive on such a journey. Among the innovations covered are meteoroid-proof materials, new space foods and spacesuits, and novel modes of transport, such as plasma rockets.
This episode also profiles young female scientist and daredevil Vandi Verma, part of the team that drives the Mars rovers on the martian surface.