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Edge of Space

   2009    Technology
Low Earth Orbit, 120 miles above sea level, is where the majority of space exploration has occurred. This 1,100 mile band around Earth is where--for a cool $20 million--any private citizen can take the vacation of his or her life on the International Space Station. Commercial prospects for LEO are huge; but dangers lurk for any individual willing to travel here--radiation, cosmic rays, and space debris numbering in the thousands threaten any spacecraft travelling in orbit. It's the new frontier, or the final frontier...and the possibilities are endless if you are willing to travel to the edge of space exploration.
Series: The Universe

Touching the Void

   2003    Culture
In 1985, two adventurous young mountaineers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, set off to climb the treacherous west face of the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. They were experienced climbers, and climbed "Alpine-style," climbing the mountain in "one great push," without setting up ropes or base camps ahead of time. After dealing with a snowstorm and some dangerous climbing over powder formations, they reached the summit (about 21,000 feet) on the third day. The climb down proved to be far more difficult. Simpson fell and broke his leg badly. Yates decided to try to lower Simpson down the mountain, one 300-foot section of rope at a time. The climbers had run out of gas to melt snow, so they couldn't risk stopping as night came, and a violent snowstorm began. Their plodding, painful journey hit a snag when Yates inadvertently lowered Simpson over the edge of a cliff. In the storm, the men couldn't hear each other's cries, and, Yates, uncertain as to Simpson's position, and gradually sliding down the slope himself, decided to cut the rope that connected them, sending Simpson plummeting to certain death. Miraculously, Simpson survived the fall, and was faced with the prospect of getting off the mountain alone with no food, no water, and a broken leg. In Touching the Void, filmmaker Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September) tells their story, based on Simpson's book, using contemporary interviews with the two men, and a reenactment of their climb and descent, featuring Brendan Mackey as Simpson and Nicholas Aaron as Yates

The Indian Ocean

   2009    Nature
The Indian Ocean is the third largest body of water on Earth at more than 6,000 miles wide and covering 13% of the world's surface. It is home to 5,000 species of fish, many of which only exist in the Indian Ocean. But it is also an ocean under threat from global issues such as over-fishing and climate change, which make this an ocean on the edge.
Series: Oceans

Seasonal Forests

   2007    Nature
The Taiga forest, on the edge of the Arctic, is a silent world of stunted conifers. The trees may be small but filming from the air reveals its true scale. A third of all trees on Earth grow here and during the short summer they produce enough oxygen to change the atmosphere. In California General Sherman, a giant sequoia, is the largest living thing on the planet, ten times the size of a blue whale. The oldest organisms alive are bristlecone pines. At more than 4,000 years old they pre-date the pyramids. But the baobab forests of Madagascar are perhaps the strangest of all.
Series: Planet Earth

The Riddles of Black Holes

   2011    Science
They are the most powerful objects in the universe. Nothing, not even light, can escape the gravitational pull of a black hole. Astronomers now think there are billions of them out in the cosmos, swallowing up planets, even entire stars in violent feeding frenzies. New theoretical research into the twisted reality of black holes suggests that three-dimensional space could be an illusion. That reality actually takes place on a two-dimensional hologram at the edge of the universe.
Series: Through the Wormhole
The Life of Mammals
The Life of Mammals

   2002    Nature
Life of a Universe
Life of a Universe

   2017    Science
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
Chemistry
Chemistry

   2010    Science
Black Hole Apocalypse
Black Hole Apocalypse

   2018    Science
Top Gear
Top Gear

   2012    Technology
Catalyst
Catalyst

   2017    Science