Space on Nova & Nova ScienceNow

Program: Nova followed by Nova ScienceNow
Date: Tuesday, July 28
Time: Nova @ 7 p.m.; Nova ScienceNow @ 8 p.m.

While NASA astronauts were captivating the world with the Apollo lunar landings, the U.S. was engaged in a top-secret military manned space program. Now, investigative author Jim Bamford (acclaimed author of The Puzzle Palace ) probes the untold story of the elite corps of clandestine astronauts who were never told the true purpose of their training program. Bamford travels to Russia to reveal the secrets of the Soviet response — the prototypes of the “Almaz” military space stations that, if deployed, might have led to a Cold War showdown in outer space.  Watch online or get web-only extras at

Nova ScienceNow
A team of NASA scientists who will smash two SUV-sized rockets onto the lunar surface and unleash a debris cloud to study data that could provide the key to understanding how to build a permanent base on the moon; microbiologist Jack Griffith, who made a phenomenal discovery — the oldest known organic molecules on earth; research on an Australian songbird called the zebra finch, shedding light on the neuronal processes that lead from understanding sounds to producing them; and a profile of climate scientist Lonnie Thompson, aka Tropical Ice Core Man. Find out more about the Moon Smasher at