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PBS Just Announced a Bunch of New Space Documentaries

Get That Popcorn Ready!



On the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour, PBS announced a slew of upcoming space documentaries. These include Solar Eclipse, a documentary about this summer’s upcoming solar eclipse; Beyond a Year in Space, about the effects of long-term space missions on the human body; and The Farthest, a two-hour documentary about the Voyager mission.

The Farthest will highlight the successes of the two Voyager spaceships, which sent back groundbreaking information about Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and all their moons–and are still operational to this day. In fact, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have both flown so far that they are currently escaping our solar system. “This is one of the boldest and most spectacular space missions of all time,” said Executive Producer Sean B. Carroll. “As we approach the 40th anniversary of the mission’s launch, with both spacecraft still going strong and farther from Earth than any other object humans have created, we felt it was important to tell the story of how Voyager came to be and what important discoveries it made possible.”

The aptly titled Solar Eclipse will coincide with the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. NOVA hopes to air the film just hours after the event, their fastest turnaround ever. In addition to footage of the eclipse itself, the documentary will highlight the science of the sun. Senior Executive Producer Paula S. Apsell said, “NOVA is thrilled to provide our audiences across the U.S. with an up close, in-depth look at this extraordinary scientific event. We are excited to share the experience with viewers — wherever they are — and the fascinating information it tells us about the inner workings of our sun.”

Beyond a Year in Space is a sort of sequel to A Year in Space, the 2016 documentary about American astronaut Scott Kelly’s year-long mission on the International Space Station (ISS). Kelly’s mission was the longest in American history; when he returned, NASA hoped to compare his physiology to that of his twin brother, Mark Kelly, who is also an astronaut, to understand what prolonged time in orbit does to a human being.

Beyond A Year in Space begins on Scott Kelly’s last day at the ISS. It will show Scott and Mark undergoing testing for the twin study and explore the consequences of any findings NASA might gather. In addition, the documentary will introduce Jessica Meir and Victor Glover, two members of the astronaut class that may soon travel to a near-Earth asteroid. Beyond A Year in Space will air in November of 2017.

So much spacey goodness on the way!

(Via Deadline, image via Hubble Telescope, NASA, and ESA)

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