engineering

NOVA
Chinese Chariot Revealed

 

For over 1000 years, chariots thundered across China’s battlefields, dominating warfare longer than anywhere else on earth. Now, a series of amazing archaeological findings enable a team of experts to reconstruct and test China’s first super-weapon.

 

NOVA
Super Tunnel

 

Follow an army of engineers and designers as they tackle the complex challenge of building Crossrail, a massive new subterranean railway deep beneath the streets of London.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Grand Coulee Dam

 

Grand Coulee was more than a dam – it was a proclamation. In the wake of the Great Depression, America turned from private enterprise to public works, not simply to provide jobs, but to restore faith. The ultimate expression of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, Grand Coulee played a central role in transforming the Northwest; it was the largest hydroelectric power-producing facility in the world when it was completed in March 1941. After WWII, a vast irrigation project made possible by the dam helped turn the barren deserts of central Washington into rich farmland. But the dam prevented access to one of the greatest salmon rivers in the world. Deprived of the salmon, their most important resource, the native people who lived along the Columbia experienced a profound cultural decline. Featuring the men and women who lived and worked at Grand Coulee and the native people whose lives were changed, as well as historians and engineers, this film explores how the tension between technological achievement and environmental impact hangs over the project’s legacy.

 

NOVA
Escape from Nazi Alcatraz

 

Colditz Castle, a notorious prisoner of war camp in Nazi Germany, was supposed to be escape-proof. But in World War II, a group of British officers dreamt up an escape plan: in a secret attic workshop, they constructed a two-man glider out of bed sheets and floorboards. The plan was to fly to freedom from the roof of the castle, but the war ended before they could put it to the test. Now a team of aero engineers and carpenters rebuilds the glider in the same attic using the same materials and use a bathtub full of concrete to catapult the glider off the roof to find out if the legendary glider plan would have succeeded.

 

10 Buildings that Changed America

 

Geoffrey Baer hosts this survey of 10 influential buildings in a cross-country journey of American architecture. Meet the daring architects who imagined them and learn the stories of how they came to change the way we live, work, worship, learn, shop and play.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Race Underground

 

Learn how America’s first subway, in Boston, overcame a litany of engineering challenges, the greed-driven interests of businessmen and the great fears of its citizenry to create a rapid transit system soon replicated throughout the country.

 

NOVA
Sunken Ship Rescue

 

NOVA follows the epic operation to secure, raise and salvage the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which ran aground and capsized off the coast of Italy on January 13, 2012, killing 32 people. The wreck stretches the length of three football fields, weighs 45,000 tons and lay half submerged on the site of a protected reef, with a 160-foot-long hole in its hull. Moving it from its precarious perch on the edge of an underwater cliff is a huge technical and logistical challenge. NOVA joins a team of more than 500 divers and engineers working around the clock as they attempt the biggest ship recovery project in history.

 

NOVA
Building Pharaoh’s Chariot

 

Some historians claim that the Egyptian chariot launched a technological and strategic revolution and was the secret weapon behind Egypt’s greatest era of conquest, known as the New Kingdom. But was the chariot really a revolutionary design? How decisive was its role in the bloody battles of the ancient world? A team of archaeologists, engineers, woodworkers and horse trainers builds and tests two accurate replicas of Egyptian royal chariots. Driving them to their limits in the desert outside Cairo, NOVA’s experts test the claim that the chariot marks a crucial turning point in ancient military history.

 

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