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Hunting for Martian Life. The Perseverance Rover
2020 Technology HD
Meet Perseverance, NASA's latest rover, as it heads to Mars to answer one question: did life exist on the red planet? On the way, it will lay the foundation for human exploration of our closest neighbour.
Today, Mars is hostile to life. It's too cold for water to stay liquid on the surface, and the thin atmosphere lets through high levels of radiation, potentially sterilizing the upper part of the soil. But it wasn't always like this. Some 3.5 billion years ago or more, water was flowing on the surface. It carved channels still visible today and pooled in impact craters. A thicker carbon dioxide atmosphere would have blocked more of the harmful radiation. The Mars 2020/Perseverance rover is designed to better understand the geology of Mars and seek signs of ancient life. The mission will collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth in the future. It will also test new technology to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars, as the Ingenuity Helicopter.
2020 Science HD
Five times, the Earth has faced apocalyptic events. Cataclysms that have swept away all life forms, or almost. Each time, a handful of species has survived, establishing a new world. What did these prehistoric worlds look like? What catastrophes led to their disappearance? How did our distant ancestors manage to survive the five mass extinctions that the Earth has suffered, finally giving rise to the world we know today?
Combining CGI of ancient animal and plant life, VFX and filming, 'Prehistoric Worlds' looks back at the five mass extinctions of life on Earth that allowed the advent of the human race. On the brink of a sixth mass extinction that the scientific community considers imminent – this time caused by mankind – this film gives us an interesting and powerful look at Man's existence on the scale of the history of our planet.
We are the generation of human beings that are going to know whether or not we're alone in the universe. This episode explores the search of exoplanets, from ancient Greek philosophers to the discoveries made possible with the Kepler Telescope. Unbelievable new worlds, planets made of diamond, planets of raining glass, worlds in collision, some plunging into stars, and others that just might harbor life.
Thanks to today's planet hunters, our views of the universe and of our place in it are undergoing one of the greatest revolutions in scientific history.
The Universe Season 8
Siege of Masada
It's known as the Alamo of the ancient world, the story of a band of Jewish rebels and their final stand against the Roman Army. The siege of Masada, recorded nearly 2,000 years ago by Jewish military leader Flavius Josephus, is more than a tale of resistance against impossible odds. It's part of the founding narrative of Israel. But how much of it is true?
We take a look at the events that inspired the CBS television miniseries 'The Dovekeepers' and go to the site of the mountain fortress itself, uncovering new truths about this epic conflict.
The Story of China Ancestors
Michael Wood embarks on a great historical adventure, exploring the stories, people and landscapes that have helped create China's distinctive character and genius over four thousand years. Is the history of the world's newest superpower, from its ancient past to the present day.
Starting in Wuxi, Michael joins the Qin family reunion, when 300 relatives gather to worship their ancestors on Tomb Sweeping Day. 'Like the nation, the family has been through so much,' one says. 'Now everyone wants to know - what are our roots?'
Looking for the origins of the Chinese state, he visits the excavations at Erlitou and sees an exquisite turquoise dragon sceptre from 2000 BC. China's first writing is found on 'oracle bones' dug up from the Shang royal tombs at Anyang in the 1920s. At the Beijing Planetarium, Michael travels back in time as astronomers plot the planetary conjunction that the ancients believed foretold the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty. Next, the Age of Philosophers and Confucius, whose book Analects has had greater influence worldwide than even the Bible, according to some. In Xi'an, we hear how the First Emperor united China and created the authoritarian Qin state that gave us the word China. Finally, Michael returns to the temple fair in Henan for a dramatic night ceremony to give thanks to the ancestors. China, Michael concludes, is rising again, not just because of its economic strength, but because of the incredible solidarity of the Han Chinese view of their own civilisation, their sense of family and, of course, the presence of the ancestors.
The Story of China
The Last Dance
Out of the Cradle
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