EVERY FRIDAY Modern Marvels

Witness the innovation, inventions, and incredible feats of mankind. See how these ideas went from dream to reality and transformed our lives.


September 30, 2022

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Modern Marvels

Breaking the Sound Barrier

For decades, the sound barrier loomed as an impenetrable wall against manned flight that buffeted planes with shock waves as they approached the speed of sound. Scientists thought the barrier couldn't be breached--until the development of jet technology and rocket fuel at the end of WWII. This is the dramatic story, told through the eyes of many who were there, of the work leading up to October 10, 1947, when 24-year-old test pilot Chuck Yeager smashed through the sound barrier in a Bell EM XS-1 /EM aircraft.




Modern Marvels

Observatories: Stonehenge to Space Telescopes

Space Telescopes. From Stonehenge to the Hubbell Telescope, mankind has always been a race of stargazers. Unforgettable film footage and expert accounts reveal the facts of astronomy's most mind-boggling discoveries.




Modern Marvels


Operating in the harsh environment of space, these eyes-in-the-sky remain the world's most precious cargo. From the futuristic visions of a British sci-fi writer to the creations of a German rocket designer for the Nazi war machine, we review the history of these marvels of the technological age.




Modern Marvels

Apollo 11

As mankind's greatest achievement of the 20th century, Apollo 11 stood as the apogee of science, exploration, flight, and technological prowess. In scarcely 10 years, America went from rocketing monkeys to landing a man on the moon. Leaving Earth on July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Mike Collins pushed the limits of skill and endurance. See and experience the flight of Apollo 11 through the eyes of the astronauts, mission controllers, engineers, and designers who made it happen.




Modern Marvels

Apollo 13

The Apollo 13 mission was intended to be a "routine" trip to the moon. But when an oxygen tank exploded, the spacecraft was crippled and its 3-man crew placed in mortal danger. the Lunar Module, intended for deployment on the moon's surface, instead became a lifeboat. Scientists and engineers on earth fought a race against time to save the crew.




Modern Marvels

It Came from Outer Space

Discover how essential space travel technologies have journeyed back to Earth with surprising and indispensable commercial applications. For example, paint that can withstand the heat of reentry now protects our steel-framed high-rises from collapsing in a fire. Batteries that can take a sports car from zero to 60 in four seconds also keep our satellites in orbit. The oxygen tank used by firefighters to save countless lives is just like the one used by our astronauts during the Apollo missions. These and many ordinary objects are traced back to their NASA roots, where they originally had the right stuff.




Modern Marvels

Space Shuttle

Considered by many to be the most astounding machine ever built, this reusable spaceship is the apex of flight technology. This program recounts the challenges and the critical issues that led to NASA's decision to create an "airplane" to navigate space.




Modern Marvels

Space Stations

Join us on an out-of-this-world exploration of the history of long-duration life in space--from the first Soviet station to Skylab to Mir to the International Space Station. Experience what it is like to live in space, as well as the monumental obstacles engineers and astronauts overcame to make it possible.