Terry Fong is leading NASA’s new push into space exploration. Long gone is its legendary space shuttle program. The future belongs to Terry’s Robotics Intelligence Group. His team designs everything from land rovers to droids that help astronauts aboard the International Space Station. We’ll step inside the lab where they’re creating NASA’s latest robots. Astronauts aboard the ISS will soon operate one of these robots while its stationed at Moffett Field. It’s a challenging job, but Terry wouldn’t have it any other way. “The first thing I want to do, even before breakfast, is get to work,” he says.
This week we are at History where we'll take a look at San Jose’s famous Electric Tower, just one of the many amazing things you’ll discover walking around grounds here.
The tower we'll show you is a replica of the original, which was built in 1881 to ‘light up’ the downtown area. It was hailed as the ‘Seventh Wonder of the West’. Legend has it that the designer of the Eiffel Tower visited San José’s Electric Light Tower when he was looking for ideas.
In this episode, we’re going on a journey back in time to take a look at early spy gear. We’ll see all kinds of technology used by spies throughout history.
We’ll also meet an energetic pair of paddle-pounding Olympians from Milpitas;
a NASA scientist who is re-inventing the way we do planetary exploration and one of the youngest female engineers to fire up a steam engine!
You can watch the show on KQED Plus on April 17 at 7pm.
In 2008, Dr. Laura Stachel went to Nigeria to find out why so many women were dying there during childbirth. She was flabbergasted to discover that in many areas, women were giving birth without electricity – sometimes in near total darkness. Doctors and midwives often helped delivered babies with only a cell phone or lantern for light. With her husband, a solar expert, she devised a way to bring light to clinics in Nigeria and other Third World countries. They did this by creating a solar kit that could fit inside a suitcase. It was small enough to sneak past customs and big enough to power 2 bright lights, as well as medical equipment. The solar suitcase has had instant and powerful results in clinics around the world. Stachel’s organization, WE CARE Solar, has distributed solar suitcases to 20 different countries, including Haiti, Afghanistan and Liberia.
Some people seem to have a destiny and that’s the case with Karol “Bo” Bobko, a member of the Astronaut Hall of Fame. A resident of Half Moon Bay, Bobko grew up in New York and was a member of the very first graduating class of the Air Force Academy in 1959. After being accepted into the NASA Astronaut program it would take 12 long years before Bobko would achieve his dreams of flying in space. Bobko was the pilot on the maiden voyage of the space shuttle Challenger (STS-6), the commander for Discovery (STS-51-D) and commander for the maiden flight of Atlantis (STS-51-J). Bobko has also seen his share of heartbreak while working with NASA. He was a close friend of the crew of the ill-fated Challenger flight that occurred on January 26, 1986.