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Planets, The

Planets, The

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Item Number:
240 min.
Closed Caption:
WGBH Boston Video
Grade Level:
7 - 12
Venus Unveiled
Venus was an enigma until the Magellan space probe pierced the thick clouds shrouding its surface, revealing an astonishing planet with bizarre topography, crushing atmospheric pressure, and surface temperatures of 900 degrees. Through unprecedented access to NASA, expert interviews, and rare footage, NOVA lets you explore a strange, alien landscape that still stirs controversy and scientific debate.

Magnetic Storm
Earth's magnetic field protects us against a constant barrage of deadly radiation from space. But over the last few decades, that shield has weakened; creating a brewing storm that affects us all. If the planet's magnetic field were to vanish altogether, Earth could become as lifeless as Mars. Travel into the far reaches of outer space for a charged look at what is weakening Earth's invisible shield and what might happen if it disappears.

MARS Dead or Alive and Welcome to Mars
Go inside NASA's risky field trip to the red planet in this behind-the-scenes chronicle of the $820 million Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. Beginning a year before launch, NOVA's cameras follow MER scientists and engineers through a gauntlet of potentially fatal problems. Seven months later, experience the final nail-biting minutes of the journey, as Spirit successfully lands on Mars and begins sending back its first spectacular images of the Martian landscape.

In Welcome to Mars, Mission Control and its two robotic explorers, Spirit and Opportunity, face a daunting task–to find proof that liquid water, the essential ingredient of life, once existed on Mars. Follow the gripping drama of the most significant mission events which allow NASA to announce solid proof that Mars was once awash in water.

Special DVD Features Include: Bonus video on MARS Dead or Alive–profile of NASA's Donna Shirley, team leader of the Sojourner Truth Mars rover mission; printable materials for educators; access to the NOVA Web site; scene selection; closed captions; and described video for the visually impaired on Magnetic Storm, MARS Dead or Alive and Welcome to Mars.

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