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Genre: History
PBS' premier science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, NOVA programs demystify science and technology and highlight the people involved in scientific pursuits.

Below is a list of broadcasts scheduled to air in the next 60 days on any of our three channels.

Episode #4117
Ben Franklin's Balloons
The first stage in the adventure of human flight began with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th-century Paris, where a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers developed all the essential features of today's hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the American ambassador. To explore this burst of innovation, NOVA re-creates key flights, including the world's first manned voyage on November 21, 1783. A descendant of the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the hot-air balloon, will join a team to build an accurate replica of the fragile paper and canvas craft using 18th-century tools and materials. NOVA evokes the thrilling and daunting prospect that the balloon pioneers faced as they left Earth for the first time.
55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4118
First Air War
When World War I began in 1914, the air forces of the opposing nations consisted of handfuls of rickety biplanes from which pilots occasionally took pot shots at one another with rifles. By 1918, the fighter had become an efficient killing machine with a growing strategic impact on the outcome of the war. With the help of aviation buffs dedicated to bringing back classic WWI fighters, NOVA joins the team as they uncover the secrets of some of aviation's most colorful and deadly early flying machines and explores how their impact played a key role in the nightmare slaughter of the Western Front.
54 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4119
Bigger Than T.rex
Almost a century ago, paleontologists found the first tantalizing hints of a monster even bigger than Tyrannosaurus Rex, perhaps the largest predator ever to walk the Earth: spectacular fossil bones from a dinosaur dubbed Spinosaurus. But the fossils were completely destroyed during a World War II Allied bombing raid, leaving only drawings, lots of questions, and a mystery: What was Spinosaurus? Now, the discovery of new bones in a Moroccan cliff face is reopening the investigation into this epic beast. What did it feed on and how? Why did it grow so big? We follow the paleontologists who are reconstructing this terrifying carnivore piece by piece, revealing a 53-foot-long behemoth with a huge dorsal sail, enormous, scimitar-like claws, and massive superjaws, tapered toward the front like a crocodile, hosting an army of teeth. It is a painstaking puzzle, and it is missing many of its pieces. NOVA follows researchers on the hunt for more fossils, tracing ancient history along with the very modern drama of how the bones of the Spinosaurus were discovered, seized, bombed, stolen and smuggled across international borders. Bringing together experts in paleontology, geology, climatology and paleobotany, this NOVA/National Geographic special brings to life the lost world over which Spinosaurus reigned more than 65 million years ago.
56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4120
Emperor's Ghost Army
In central China, a vast underground mausoleum conceals a life-size terracotta army of cavalry, infantry, horses, chariots, weapons, administrators, acrobats, and musicians, all built to serve China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, in the afterlife. Lost and forgotten for over 2,200 years, this clay army, 8,000-strong, stands poised to help the First Emperor rule again beyond the grave. Now, a new archaeological campaign is probing the thousands of figures entombed in the mausoleum. With exclusive access to pioneering research, this program reveals how the Emperor directed the manufacture of the tens of thousands of bronze weapons carried by the clay soldiers, as well as lethal crossbows engineered with astonishing precision. NOVA tests the power of these weapons with high-action experiments and reports on revolutionary 3D computer modeling techniques that are revealing new insights into how the clay figures were made. The program reveals the secrets of one of archaeology's greatest discoveries and brings to life the startlingly sophisticated world of Qin's legendary empire.
56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4121
Killer Landslides
In less than two minutes in March, a one-square-mile field of debris slammed into the Washington state community of Oso, killing 41 and destroying nearly 50 homes. Drawing on analysis of other recent landslides around the world, geologists are investigating what triggered the deadliest U.S. landslide in decades and whether climate change is increasing the risk of similar disasters around the globe.
56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4122
First Man On The Moon
When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, he won instant fame. Yet this accomplished engineer and test pilot was so determined to stay out of the limelight that few know the personal story of how his rare combination of talent, luck and experience led to his successful command of Apollo 11. NOVA presents an intimate portrait of an unassuming American hero through interviews with Armstrong's family and friends.
1 hour, 29 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #3903
3d Spies of WWII
During World War II, Hitler's scientists developed terrifying new weapons of mass destruction. Alarmed by rumors about advanced rockets and missiles, Allied intelligence recruited a team of brilliant minds from British universities and Hollywood studios to a country house near London. Here, they secretly pored over millions of air photos shot at great risk over German territory by specially converted, high-flying Spitfires. Peering at the photos through 3D stereoscopes, the team spotted telltale clues that revealed hidden Nazi rocket bases. The photos led to devastating Allied bombing raids that were crucial setbacks to the German rocket program and helped ensure the success of the D-Day landings. With 3D graphics that recreate exactly what the photo spies saw, NOVA tells the suspenseful, previously untold story of air photo intelligence that played a vital role in defeating Hitler.
55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4019
Making Stuff Wilder
In this mini-series, New York Times' technology correspondent and best-selling author David Pogue takes a wild ride through the cutting-edge science that is powering a next wave of technological innovation. With his humor and zest for discovery, Pogue meets the scientists and engineers who are plunging to the bottom of the temperature scale, finding design inspiration in nature, and breaking every speed limit to make tomorrow's "stuff" colder, faster, wilder and safer. What happens when engineers open up nature's toolbox? David Pogue explores bold innovations inspired by the Earth's greatest inventor, life itself. From underwater wi-fi based on dolphin communication, to robotic "mules" and "cheetahs" for the military, to swarms of robotic bees, Pogue travels the world seeing the "wildest" ideas put into action in new inventions and technologies. It is a journey that sees today's bacteria turned into tomorrow's metallurgists, viruses building batteries, and even DNA, the Code of Life, put to work in "living" computers. Will the stuff of the future take on a life of its own?
56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4020
Making Stuff Colder
In this mini-series, New York Times' technology correspondent and best-selling author David Pogue takes a wild ride through the cutting-edge science that is powering a next wave of technological innovation. With his humor and zest for discovery, Pogue meets the scientists and engineers who are plunging to the bottom of the temperature scale, finding design inspiration in nature, and breaking every speed limit to make tomorrow's "stuff" colder, faster, wilder and safer. Cold. For centuries we've fought it, shunned it and huddled against it. Cold has always been the enemy of life, but now it may hold the key to a new generation of science and technology that will improve our lives. David Pogue explores the frontiers of cold science, from saving the lives of severe trauma patients and cooling a warming planet to ultracold physics, where bizarre new properties of matter are the norm and the basis of new technologies like levitating trains and quantum computers. In this brave new world, cold isn't to be avoided. Cold is the new hot.
54 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #3711
Building The Great Cathedrals
Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, soaring effortlessly atop a spiderweb of masonry, Gothic cathedrals are marvels of human achievement and artistry. But how did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights? Consuming the labor of entire towns, sometimes taking 100 years to build, these architectural marvels were crafted from just hand tools and stone. Many now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, an international team of engineers, architects, art historians and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell towers for clues to how the dream of these heavenly temples on earth came true. NOVA's teams perform hands-on experiments to investigate and reveal the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their soaring, glass-filled walls. This program reveals the hidden formulas, drawn from the pages of the Bible itself, that drove medieval builders ever upward.
54 minutes long
tpt Channel 2.1

Wed Dec 24th @ 8:00 pm

tpt MN Channel 2.2

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No upcoming airings of this
episode on this channel.


This list includes any broadcasts that aired in the past 2 months on any of our three channels.

Episode #4117
Ben Franklin's Balloons
The first stage in the adventure of human flight began with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th-century Paris, where a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers developed all the essential features of today's hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the American ambassador. To explore this burst of innovation, NOVA re-creates key flights, including the world's first manned voyage on November 21, 1783. A descendant of the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the hot-air balloon, will join a team to build an accurate replica of the fragile paper and canvas craft using 18th-century tools and materials. NOVA evokes the thrilling and daunting prospect that the balloon pioneers faced as they left Earth for the first time.
55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4123
Surviving Ebola
In December, 2013, in a small village in West Africa, a young boy died from the dreaded disease, Ebola. Over the next nine months, the virulent killer would claim more victims than all previous Ebola epidemics put together. And for the first time, the disease escaped the isolated, rural villages where it had first appeared and traveled in infected patients by air to densely populated cities in several African countries. As the epidemic threatens to spiral out of control, NOVA reports from the hot zone, where courageous medical teams struggle to cope with a flood of victims, to labs where scientists are racing to test vaccines and find a cure. "Surviving Ebola" includes chilling first-hand interviews of what it's like to contract - and survive - this terrible affliction.
55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4116
Why Planes Vanish
The disappearance of Flight MH370 stunned the world. In an era of smart-phones and GPS, how could a 270-ton passenger jet vanish into thin air? It was a rude awakening for all of us, showing just how far we are from the world we imagined we lived in - in which every move is monitored all the time. NOVA tells the inside story of the search for Flight MH370 and meets the key players, from all corners of the globe, who have spent months searching for the lost plane. How easy is it to make a plane disappear? Or can new technology guarantee that in the future, nothing will ever be "lost" again?
54 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4005
Building Pharaoh's Chariot
Around 3,600 years ago, reliefs in Egyptian tombs and temples depicted pharaohs and warriors proudly riding into battle on horse-drawn chariots. Some historians claim that the chariot launched a technological and strategic revolution, and was the secret weapon behind Egypt's greatest era of conquest known as the New Kingdom. But was the Egyptian chariot really a revolutionary design? How decisive a role did it play in the bloody battles of the ancient world? In this film, a team of archaeologists, engineers, woodworkers and horse trainers join forces to build and test two highly accurate replicas of Egyptian royal chariots. They discover astonishingly advanced features, including spoked wheels, springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars and even a convex shaped rear mirror, leading one of them to compare the level of design to the engineering standards of 1930's-era Buicks! By driving our pair of replicas to their limits in the desert outside Cairo, NOVA's experts test the claim that the chariot marks a crucial turning point in ancient military history.
Learn more about this episode » 55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4115
Rise of The Hackers
Our lives are going digital. We shop, bank and even date online. Computers hold our treasured photographs, private emails and all of our personal information. This data is precious -- and cybercriminals want it. Now, NOVA goes behind the scenes of the fast-paced world of cryptography to meet the scientists battling to keep our data safe. They are experts in extreme physics, math, and a new field called "ultra-paranoid computing," all working to forge unbreakable codes and build ultra-fast computers. From the two men who uncovered the world's most advanced cyber weapon to the computer expert who worked out how to hack into cash machines and scientists who believe they can store a password in your unconscious brain, NOVA investigates how a new global geek squad is harnessing cutting-edge science -- all to stay one step ahead of the hackers.
56 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4114
Vaccines - Calling The Shots
Diseases that were largely eradicated 40 years ago are returning. Across the world, children are getting sick and dying from preventable conditions because nervous parents are skipping their children's shots. How do parents decide whether to vaccinate or not, and what are the risks to the child and to society? Featuring research scientists, pediatricians, psychologists, anthropologists, and parents, this program travels the globe to look at the science behind vaccinations, track epidemics, and investigate the serious human costs of opting out.
55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #3704
Ghosts of Machu Picchu
Perched atop a mountain crest, mysteriously abandoned more than four centuries ago, Machu Picchu is the most famous archeological ruin in the Western hemisphere and an iconic symbol of the power and engineering prowess of the Inca. In the years since Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, there have been countless theories about this "Lost City of the Incas," yet it remains an enigma. Why did the Incas build it on such an inaccessible site, clinging to the steep face of a mountain? Who lived among its stone buildings, farmed its emerald green terraces, and drank from its sophisticated aqueduct system? NOVA joins a new generation of archeologists as they probe areas of Machu Picchu that haven't been touched since the time of the Incas and unearth burials of the people who built the sacred site. This program explores the extraordinary trail of clues that began on that fateful day in 1911 and continues to the present.
55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #4111
Why Sharks Attack
In recent years, an unusual spate of deadly shark attacks has gripped Australia, resulting in five deaths in 10 months. At the same time, great white sharks have begun appearing in growing numbers off the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, not far from the waters where Steven Spielberg filmed the ultimate shark fright film, Jaws. What's behind the mysterious arrival of this apex predator in an area where they've rarely been seen for hundreds of years? Are deadly encounters with tourists inevitable? To separate fact from fear, NOVA teams up with leading shark experts in Australia and the United States to discover the science behind the great white's hunting instincts. Do sharks ever target humans or is each attack a tragic case of mistaken identity? Can a deeper understanding of shark senses lead scientists to design effective deterrents and help prevent future attacks? With shark populations around the world plummeting, scientists race to unlock the secrets of these powerful creatures of the deep in their quest to save people -- and sharks.
55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

Episode #3814
Finding Life Beyond Earth - Moons and Beyond
Scientists are on the verge of answering one of the greatest questions in history: are we alone? Combining the latest telescope images with dazzling CGI, "Finding Life Beyond Earth" immerses audiences in the sights and sounds of alien worlds, while top astrobiologists explain how these places are changing how we think about the potential for life in our solar system. We used to think our neighboring planets and moons were fairly boring -- mostly cold, dead rocks where life could never take hold. Today, however, the solar system looks wilder than we ever imagined. Powerful telescopes and unmanned space missions have revealed a wide range of dynamic environments -- atmospheres thick with organic molecules, active volcanoes, and vast saltwater oceans. This ongoing revolution is forcing scientists to expand their ideas about what kinds of worlds could support life. And if we do find primitive life forms elsewhere in the solar system, it may well be that life is common in the universe -- the rule, and not the exception.
55 minutes long
tpt MN Channel 2.2

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.

tpt Life Channel 2.3

No previous airings of this
episode on this channel.


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