NOVA

Ben Franklin's Balloons presented by NOVA

NOVA

PBS' premier science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, NOVA programs demystify science and technology and highlight the people involved in scientific pursuits.

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Ben Franklin's Balloons

10/22/2014 at 9:00 pm on WTTW HD

An accurate replica of the first hot-air balloon is created using 18th-century tools and materials.

Ben Franklin's Balloons

10/23/2014 at 11:00 pm on WTTW Create/World

The epic first stage in the adventure of human flight didn't begin with the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk but with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th century Paris. In a period of just 19 months, humanity not only left the ground for the first time--a moment as significant as the Apollo moon landing--but a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers developed all the essential features of today's hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the American ambassador, and created a sensation in the city, bringing tens of thousands of citizens into the streets to watch the novel spectacle of humans in flight. To explore this extraordinary burst of innovation, NOVA recreates key flights, including the world's first manned voyage on November 21, 1783. A descendant of the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the hot-air balloon, will join a team to build a highly accurate replica of the fragile paper and canvas craft using 18th century tools and materials. NOVA reveals the secrets of how the Montgolfiers invented flight, and evokes the thrilling and daunting prospect that the balloon pioneers faced as they left Earth for the first time.

Why Planes Vanish

10/27/2014 at 7:00 pm on WTTW Prime

The inside story of the search for Flight MH370 features key players from all corners of the globe.

First Air War

10/29/2014 at 9:00 pm on WTTW HD

NOVA explores classic World War I fighters, some of aviation's most deadly early flying machines.

First Air War

10/30/2014 at 11:00 pm on WTTW Create/World

Mind of a Rampage Killer

11/03/2014 at 7:00 pm on WTTW Prime

NOVA correspondent Miles O'Brien investigates new theories about what compels rampage killers.

Bigger Than T.rex

11/05/2014 at 9:00 pm on WTTW HD

A team of paleontologists reconstruct the terrifying dinosaur dubbed Spinosaurus, piece by piece.

Emperor's Ghost Army

11/12/2014 at 9:00 pm on WTTW HD

The 8,000 buried clay warriors of China's first emperor are researched using 3D computer modeling.

Bigger Than T.rex

11/13/2014 at 11:00 pm on WTTW Create/World

Killer Landslides

11/19/2014 at 9:00 pm on WTTW HD

Geologist investigate what triggered the deadly landslide in the Washington state community of Oso.

First Man on the Moon

12/03/2014 at 7:30 pm on WTTW HD

An intimate portrait of the American hero features interviews with Armstrong's family and friends.

Forensics On Trial

12/15/2014 at 7:00 pm on WTTW Prime

Investigates how today's shaky state of crime science can send innocent men and women to prison.

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