'NOVA: Rise of the Rockets'
(DVD / PG / 2019 / PBS)
Overview: Rockets are becoming cheaper and more powerful than before thanks to new technologies.
As companies make space more accessible and NASA returns to crewed spaceflight, a new era of space exploration seems to be on the horizon.
But will this seeming rocket Renaissance become just more than hype?
NOVA explores the latest rocket technologies and the growing role private citizens may have in space.
DVD Verdict: We may be witnessing the dawn of a bold new era of human activity in space for science and exploration - but also for profit.
An explosion of private companies is sparking the development of new technologies and lowering costs to bring space closer than ever.
On Feb. 6th, 2019, SpaceX made history when it launched its Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It now reigns as the biggest and most powerful rocket in the world.
Elon Musk, the messianic CEO of the billion-dollar space startup, plans to build an even bigger rocket that he promises will eventually take people to Mars.
The Falcon Heavy is a 230-foot-tall engineering marvel, with the ability to ferry loads of up to 141,000 pounds into low-earth orbit. Only the Saturn V, the rocket that helped carry Neil Armstrong and company to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s, was bigger and badder, but has long since been retired.
Both rockets, however, rely on liquid fuel as propellants.
A one-way trip to Mars using conventional chemical rockets could take up to nine months. It’s a long time for a human crew to spend in a spaceship exposed to radiation and other hazards.
That’s one reason why NASA and other space agencies, as well as universities and private industry, are pursuing different types of rocket technologies.
This, and other many fascinating facts are brought to light here on the enthralling 'NOVA: Rose of the Rockets' out May 7th, 2019 via PBS. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.