A Year in Space • 2016

Category: Astronomy

Follow astronaut Scott Kelly’s record-breaking 12-month mission on the International Space Station, from launch to landing, as NASA charts the effects of long-duration spaceflight.

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The only reason life on Earth is possible is because of our stable orbit around the Sun. Elsewhere in the Universe, orbits are chaotic, violent and destructive. On the largest scale, orbits are a creative force and construct the fabric of the Universe.

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American Experience - Space Men

In the 1950s and early '60s, a small band of high-altitude pioneers exposed themselves to the extreme forces of the space age long before NASA's acclaimed Mercury 7 would make headlines. Though largely forgotten today, balloonists were the first to venture into the frozen near-vacuum on the edge of our world, exploring the very limits of human physiology and human ingenuity in this lethal realm.

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Brian reveals how - as our exploration of the cosmos has deepened - we have even been able to piece together how the universe itself began.

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Astronaut Mike Massimino explores the dwarf planet Pluto, a tiny frozen world surrounded in secrets; using the latest science, he investigates the possibility of life in its mysterious ocean.

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Destination: Pluto Beyond the Flyby

Join the New Horizons team to examine the latest findings and imagery from Pluto and the fringes of our solar system. They reveal a world unlike any other we've seen yet!

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Star Clusters

Last week we covered multiple star systems, but what if we added thousands or even millions of stars to the mix? A star cluster. There are different kinds of clusters, though. Open clusters contain hundreds or thousands of stars held together by gravity. They’re young, and evaporate over time, their stars let loose to roam space freely. Globular clusters, on the other hand, are larger, have hundreds of thousands of stars, and are more spherical. They’re very old, a significant fraction of the age of the Universe itself, and that means their stars have less heavy elements in them, are redder, and probably don’t have planets (though we’re not really sure).

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