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Arts & Culture

History Detectives: Space Exploration

The five History Detectives (from L-R) Gwen Wright, Eduardo Pagan, Tukufu Zuberi, Elyse Luray and Wes Cowan.
Stephanie Berger
The five History Detectives (from L-R) Gwen Wright, Eduardo Pagan, Tukufu Zuberi, Elyse Luray and Wes Cowan.

Airs Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

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Wesley Cowan, independent appraiser and auctioneer; Gwendolyn Wright, historian and professor of architecture, Columbia University; Elyse Luray, independent appraiser and expert in art history; Dr. Eduardo Pagán, professor of history and American studies at Arizona State University; and Tukufu Zuberi, professor of sociology and the director of the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, leave no stone unturned as they travel around the country to explore the stories behind local folklore, prominent figures and family legends.

The "History Detectives" season premiere launches into space for an exhilarating hour exploring the excitement, promise and ingenuity that fueled America’s foray into space exploration. First, detective Tukufu Zuberi tracks a scrap of metallic Mylar that could be one of America’s early satellites — balloons — in the segment “Satelloon.” Then, in the “Space Boot” segment, Elyse Luray tries on a jury-rigged ski boot with a magnetic metal brick bolted to the bottom that may be one of the first prototypes for a NASA space boot. Finally, in the segment “Moon Museum,” Gwendolyn Wright investigates the audacious notion that Andy Warhol’s art may be on the moon.

"History Detectives" is on Facebook.

Video Excerpt: Space Exploration: Moon Museum