CHASING PLUTO

Terri Randall Productions for PBS NOVA – aired 2015
On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft, one of the most advanced ever built, is scheduled to fly by Pluto to take the very first detailed images of the dwarf planet. After nine years and 3 billion miles, we will finally get a close look at this strange, icy world, but only if the craft can survive the final, treacherous leg of its journey, which could take it through a dangerous field of debris. If it does, New Horizons is poised to make dramatic new discoveries, not just about Pluto, but about the vast realm of icy bodies lurking beyond Neptune, relics of the earliest days of the solar system’s formation. Back on Earth, the planetary scientists who have spent decades working on this mission anxiously await a signal from their spacecraft. Our cameras will be there to witness the moment. If all goes well, we’ll see Pluto’s mysterious surface in unprecedented detail and learn new secrets about other alien worlds at the far limits of our solar system.

RISE OF THE ROBOTS

Produced by Terri Randall Productions for PBS NOVA – aired 2016
Machines are everywhere. They run our factory assembly lines and make our coffee. But humanoid robots—machines with human-like capabilities—have long been the stuff of science fiction. Until now. Fueled by an ambitious DARPA challenge, the race is on to design a robot that can replace humans in disaster relief situations. Follow the robots and the engineers that program them as they strive to make their way out of the lab and into the real world. But how capable are they, really? How close are we to a future where humanoid robots are part of our everyday lives? And what will the future look like with robots that can do a human’s job? NOVA investigates the cutting-edge technologies that are advancing robotics—and the enormous challenges that robots still face.

TREASURES OF THE EARTH — METALS

Produced by Terri Randall Productions for PBS NOVA – aired 2016
The enduring luster of gold, the conductivity of copper, the strength of steel—the special properties of metals have reshaped societies and defined eras; they have such an important role in human history that entire ages have been named after them. But what gives metals their astounding characteristics? From the perfect ring of a bronze bell to the awe-striking steel construction of Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” stadium, how have humans perfected metalworking? And how have metals enabled our modern hi-tech world? Explore the science of metals with chemists and engineers as they literally test the mettle of metals and investigate how these remarkable materials have ushered humanity from the Stone Age to the stars.

DEATH DIVE TO SATURN

After 20 years in space on September 15, 2017 one of the most successful missions in the history of space exploration came to an end; the Cassini- Huygens Mission to Saturn. The Cassini spacecraft has brought us hundreds of thousands of breathtaking images… and made countless groundbreaking discoveries. Flying less than 2000 miles above the cloud tops, no spacecraft has ever gone so close to Saturn, and hopes were high for incredible observations that could solve major mysteries about the planet. This PBS-NOVA program follows the scientists and engineers behind this incredible mission for the tense and triumphant moments as they find out if their bold maneuvers have worked, and discover the wonders that Cassini has revealed over the years. Until its fiery end.
Produced and directed by Terri Randall, aired first on PBS NOVA on September 13 with updates in following weeks.