When the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium stopped calling Pluto a planet, director Neil deGrasse Tyson found himself at the center of a firestorm led by angry, Pluto-loving elementary school students. What is it about this cold, distant, icy rock that captures so many hearts? This hour follows deGrasse Tyson on a cross-country journey as he tries to find the answer to this question. Winner- Cine Golden Eagle. Writer/Producer/Director: Terri Randall. Editor: Jedd Ehrmann (PBS/NOVA-2010)
Designed to scoop up samples of Martian rock in search of the remnants of ancient life, NASA’s Perseverance rover may finally answer the question: Are we alone? The engineers and scientists working on this mission share their experiences as Perseverance makes its historic landing on Mars in Feb 2021. Writer/Producer/Director: Terri Randall. Co-Producer and Editor: Jedd Ehrmann (PBS/NOVA 2021).
The OSIRIS-REx team attempts to grab a piece of an ancient asteroid named Bennu and bring it back to Earth in the hopes it will reveal secrets to how life on planet Earth emerged. Writer/Producer/Director: Terri Randall. Editor: Jedd Ehrmann (PBS/NOVA- 2020).
On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto taking the first detailed images of the dwarf planet. Randall Productions documented the mission through the eyes of its team members; many had worked on the mission for decades. Finalist- New York Film Festivals. Writer/Producer/Director: Terri Randall. Editor: Jedd Ehrmann. Animation: Ed Bell (PBS/NOVA-2015).
Randall Productions follows the New Horizons team on their second mission, the flyby of an object 4 billion miles from Earth, the farthest flyby in space exploration history. MU69, an ancient rock in the outer solar system, holds clues to one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy: how the planets of our solar system formed. Writer/Producer/Director: Terri Randall. Editor: Jedd Ehrmann. Animation: Ed Bell (PBS/NOVA- 2019).
After 13 years of exploring Saturn and its moons, one of the most successful missions in space exploration history, the Cassini-Huygens Mission, comes to an end. This hour documents the team’s many accomplishments and follows team members as their beloved spacecraft came to a fiery end on September 15, 2017. Finalist- Jackson Hole Science Media Awards. Writer/Producer/Director: Terri Randall. Editor: Jedd Ehrmann. Animation: Ed Bell. (PBS/NOVA-2017)
The James Webb Space Telescope is designed to peer deep into the universe to solve some of astronomy’s greatest cosmological mysteries. This film takes us behind the scenes, and through the eyes of the engineers and scientists who have struggled to get their revolutionary telescope off the ground, we find out what it was like to experience the ups and down of this complex mission. Aired on PBS/NOVA July 13, 2022. Nominated for an Emmy, 2023.
The James Webb Space Telescope … also known as JWST, is the largest, most complex space telescope ever built. Once deployed, the JWST has given researchers a whole new view of the universe. NOVA goes behind the scenes to capture the ups and downs of exploring the cosmos with this first of its kind telescope, on a search to find clues to solve some of our greatest cosmological mysteries, from searching for life beyond Earth, to detecting the first galaxies to form after the Big Bang, to unravelling the mystery of supermassive black holes. Aired on PBS/NOVA – February 22, 2023