SCIENCE CHANNEL LAUNCHES INTO ORBIT WITH SECOND ANNUAL SPACE WEEK, AIRING JULY 6-11 AT 9 PM (ET/PT)
NEW ORLEANS, La., May 19, 2008 � Science Channel is reminding viewers that the sky isn't the limit, it's just the beginning. The second annual SPACE WEEK airs Sunday, July 6, to Friday, July 11, 2008, from 9-11 PM (ET/PT) on Science Channel and Science Channel HD. As Discovery Communications continues to commemorate NASA's 50th anniversary throughout 2008, Science Channel is immersing viewers in the awe-inspiring first triumphs of mankind's journey to the moon and the mysteries of deep space.
The limited six-part series MOON MACHINES anchors this year's SPACE WEEK programming, featuring a special look back at the extraordinary engineering feats that launched the United States into space and mankind onto the moon. MOON MACHINES documents the efforts of 400,000people across America who, over the course of eight years, created the equipment used to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of a human lunar landing.
"As THE home for space programming, SPACE WEEK in 2008 honors the largely unknown heroes of NASA's past � the people who not only asked why, but why not as they pushed the boundaries of science and technology to place humans on the moon," said Clark Bunting, president and general manager of Science Channel. "We salute these pioneers of space exploration and we hope we can help inspire the next generation of scientists."
SPACE WEEK will also feature an information-rich experience online at ScienceChannel.com with 3-D images of the Apollo vehicles from MOON MACHINES, an interactive time line of the formation of the moon, a feature on the looming "space race" among the United States, China and Japan, and the latest information on space exploration from the Discovery News service.
The complete schedule of 2008 SPACE WEEK premieres includes the following:
Sunday, July 6, at 9 PM (ET/PT)
This episode of MOON MACHINES immerses viewers in the incredible story of the mighty Saturn V moon rocket � technology that joined the vision of World War II German rocket scientists with that of a generation of young, dedicated engineers from across the United States. With the backdrop of Russia's Sputnik launch and President Kennedy's ambitious commitment to reaching the moon, engineers and scientists would produce a 363-foot-tall rocket with more than one million working parts that delivered 7.5 million pounds of thrust. Saturn V was so large that even those who built it were amazed and could hardly believe its power.
Sunday, July 6, at 10 PM (ET/PT)
In this episode viewers get a rare, unique look at what it took to build the Apollo Command Module. Construction of the module would require an amount of engineering ingenuity and perseverance never before achieved. The module would have to serve as a fully pressurized living chamber, providing three men with food, water, air, power, communication, navigation and protection from the hostility of space for a two-week trip to the moon and back.
Monday, July 7, at 9 PM (ET/PT)
With computer software not yet invented and computing power less than a fraction of what is found in today's handheld devices, the challenge of navigating a 50,000-mile round trip to the moon during the 1960s was daunting. This episode examines how an elite group of scientists met the challenges of creating a spacecraft with an infallible navigation system and a sophisticated computer with detailed programs.
Monday, July 7, at 10 PM (ET/PT)
THE COMET'S TALE
Ancient civilizations thought they were gods; others believed they were harbingers of doom � fiery, magical, mysterious streaks of light that dart across the sky. Today, there is still much to learn about comets. Science Channel examines mankind's new breed of space missions designed to explore what comets are really made of, the origin of comets and the surprising influence comets have on events on Earth.
Tuesday, July 8, at 9 PM (ET/PT)
Building the lunar module in the early 1960s was a seemingly insurmountable challenge. The impossible demands of weight restrictions and the project's numerous setbacks might have brought the Apollo program to a halt altogether. Lunar Module documents the dedication of the project's scientists and engineers as a potentially show-stopping undertaking became one of the Apollo program's greatest triumphs.
Tuesday, July 8, at 10 PM (ET/PT)
WHEN WE LEFT EARTH: THE NASA MISSIONS
"Project Mercury: Ordinary Supermen"
NASA selects seven men to become the country's first astronauts. They're all test pilots and they're all used to risking their lives, but none of them has ever literally ridden a rocket before. NASA and the Mercury Seven are on a journey into the unknown. No one knows for sure if the rockets will explode on the pad or if the astronauts can survive the stresses of traveling more than 17,000 miles an hour on a converted intercontinental ballistic missile. Six of the men ride into space, each launch taking NASA further forward in its quest to conquer space.
Wednesday, July 9, at 9 PM (ET/PT)
July 20, 1969 � while the world rejoiced in man's first step onto the lunar surface, a small group of NASA engineers held their breath. Seven years earlier, NASA realized its inexperience in a vital area � construction of the spacesuit. The suit had to be flexible enough to allow man to function with ease yet provide protection from huge fluctuations in temperatures and pressures, as well as micrometeoroids traveling at tens of thousands of miles a second. Suits tells the story of the men and women who designed and stitched together the most expensive clothing ever made.
Wednesday, July 9, at 10 PM (ET/PT)
MARS 2.0 explores the mysteries of Mars, Earth's nearest planetary relative. On May 25, 2008, a spacecraft called the Phoenix Lander is scheduled to touch down on the desert surface of Mars. The lander will pierce the frozen soil of Mars, digging into solid ice to perhaps find evidence of extraterrestrial life. As teams from NASA and the University of Arizona prepare for this risky landing, viewers learn what is known about the red planet and what bigger secrets it has yet to reveal. If the Phoenix survives its descent through the Martian atmosphere, scientists will get a glimpse of the surface of Mars at the highest resolution ever.
Thursday, July 10 at 9 PM (ET/PT)
In the early days of the Apollo project, grand ideas were devised for how to travel on the moon. With excitement running high and "GO" fever very much the buzz, engineers came up with all manner of vehicles for traversing the new frontier. But one by one the projects were shelved as each was deemed too expensive or too dangerous. Lunar Rover reveals the untold story of how a small team of engineers convinced NASA to build what ultimately became the Lunar Rover. The greatest challenge for the Lunar Rover team was to design, build, test and deliver the final flight-worthy product to NASA in less than 18 months.
Friday, July 11, from 9-11 PM (ET/PT)
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON
Science Channel presents the network premiere of the award-winning, critically praised IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON. Winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, the film assembles former Apollo crew members to share the never-before-heard human stories behind their superhuman accomplishments.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications is the world's number-one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks. Discovery Communications is owned by Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, Discovery's founder and chairman. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.