An Evening of Space Travel and Star Gazing

Thu, 06/23/2011 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm

BARBARA MORGAN: NO LIMITS documents the inspirational quest of Barbara Morgan (pictured), an Idaho schoolteacher, to fly in space — a 23-year story of perseverance.

Credit: NASA

Tune in for three documentaries guaranteed to make you look at the night sky a little differently.

When President Ronald Reagan announce the Teacher-in-Space program Barbara Morgan applied immediately writing, “I want to get some stardust on me”. BARBARA MORGAN: NO LIMITS kicks off the evening at  7 p.m. on Thursday, June 23 on WXXI World (cable 524/DT21.2). Hers is a story of perseverance and resolve that spans more than two decades — the 23-year quest of an elementary school teacher to fly in space — with themes of risk, goal-setting, teamwork, endurance and loss. 

At 8 p.m. stay tuned for Space Shuttle Disaster as NOVA probes the accident and the decisions stretching back four decades that made this tragedy almost inevitable. At the end of a nearly flawless 15-day mission in early 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, killing the crew of seven. The Columbia disaster, during the 113th shuttle mission, was the beginning of the end for the space plane. NASA responded by announcing the retirement of the shuttle in 2010, to be replaced by the Orion crew exploration vehicle as part of the Constellation program, which is inspired partly by an earlier generation of Apollo-style rocketry and spacecraft.

400 Years of the Telescope ends the evening at 9 p.m. This visually stunning program chronicles a sweeping journey, from 1609, when Galileo revealed mankind's place in the galaxy, to today's thrilling quests to discover new worlds in the universe. Narrated by NOVA's Neil deGrasse Tyson, the compelling program takes viewers on an adventure through the heavens and around the globe, visiting the world's leading astronomers, cosmologists and observatories.