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Instructional Resources

Series Info

Episodes: 18

Length: 30 min.

Grade Levels:
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Mathematics and Technology

Video on Demand
Web Resources

Destination Tomorrow: Bringing the Future into Focus

This educational, informative program is designed for educators, parents, and lifelong learners. It builds on the premise that much of NASA’s aeronautical research focuses on creating today’s knowledge to solve tomorrow’s problems.

Each program consists of five segments: Behind the Scenes, Tech Watch, How it Works, Retrospective, and On the Runway.

Episode Guide

1. Program 8 — Breakthrough technologies developed by NASA will reduce pollution emitted from catalytic converters. Commercial airplane pilots have new turbulence avoidance systems developed from flight simulators and in flight data. Johnny Alonso finds out the secrets of how lasers work. DT looks back at the successes of the TDT or Transonic Dynamics Wind Tunnel. The MISSE project or Materials International Space Station Experiment is a breakthrough program that allows long term experiments in outer space.

2. Program 9 — A revolutionary technology developed by NASA is being used to detect cancer instantly, leading to a more accurate diagnosis of this disease. In an effort to quiet our skies, NASA has a new program aimed at reducing noise generated by aircraft. A record setting, unmanned aircraft called the Helios is changing the way scientists conduct Earth and atmospheric science missions. State of the art space suits give astronauts a place to live and work in outer space. DT looks back at the Gemini program. The Gemini missions flew between the Mercury and Apollo programs and allowed astronauts and planners to practice many of the procedures that would be important for future moon flights, paving the way for man to walk on the moon.

3. Program 10 — A unique ballistic parachute system might potentially help pilots and passengers survive a catastrophic accident. NASA’s Destination Tomorrow™ traveled to the Andoya Rocket range in Andennes, Norway and spoke to researchers about the aurora borealis (the northern lights). Norway is a unique place to investigate this phenomenon of the northern skies. NASA’s Destination Tomorrow™ also looks back at how NASA research helped change the shape of America’s air superiority in WW II. Find out how air traffic controllers keep a watchful eye on our skies at all times. Discover how a new satellite called CALIPSO is studying the Earth’s atmosphere from space.

4. Program 11 — NASA researchers are developing Solar Sails for deep space exploration. Our nations Charters of Freedom were slowly deteriorating until NASA researchers stepped in to repair the damage. Destination Tomorrow looks at how the next generation of reusable launch vehicles are being developed. Retrospective looks back at the NASA 20 foot free flight spin tunnel. Research performed at this tunnel would have a direct impact on virtually every American fighter aircraft from World War 2 through today. And Johnny Alonso finds out exactly how GPS works.

5. Program 12 — A special edition of Destination Tomorrow looks back at the first century of powered flight. See how two relatively unknown bicycle makers from Dayton, Ohio beat many of the world’s foremost thinkers to become the inventors of the airplane. Correspondent Jennifer Pulley speaks to researchers who are working on new designs that could change air travel.   New aircraft shapes, cleaner burning fuels, and new materials could be the first steps in the next revolution of aircraft design.

6. Program 13 — A new type of rover called the Mars tumbleweed is being developed by NASA. This wind driven rover might provide a better understanding of the Martian Surface. Plus we investigate a new robot that will help astronauts in space. Called the Personal Satellite Assistant or PSA, this ingenious robot will move freely in its environment with the help of reduced gravity. And Johnny Alonso finds out how telescopes work.

7. Program 14 — Over the last few years Destination Tomorrow has produced many informative segments that have highlighted NASA technology. In fact, some technologies and achievements have been so successful we thought they might warrant a closer look. After years of research and development, the Mars Exploration Rovers have landed and are conducting experiments on the Martian surface; we’ll get an update on this amazing achievement. We also reported on new type of catalytic converter that could potentially eliminate pollution in automobiles. Since then this technology has been applied in creative ways. And video games are now assisting doctors in treating ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; we follow up on this stimulating new technology.

8. Program 15 — Destination Tomorrow looks at one of Saturn’s most fascinating moons called Titan. Learn about how this moon that has one of the best chances for life to exist in its hazy, thick atmosphere. NASA is working on a unique technique called Aerobraking to slow spacecraft into orbit around distant planets. And Johnny Alonso finds out how advanced materials including Kevlar can stop a bullet in its tracks.

9. Program 16 — On part one of this two part edition of Destination Tomorrow we take a look at Food Technology and how it is used by NASA. We’ll find out about packaging and processing food for short and long duration space flights.  And we’ll see what types of foods astronauts are enjoying in space.

10. Program 17 — On part two of this special two part Destination Tomorrow we take a look at Food Technology and how it is used by NASA. We will see what the future holds for food technology for longer duration missions to planets like Mars.  Plus, Johnny Alonso speaks with Astronaut Mike Foale to find out what it is like to live and eat in space.

11. Program 18 — On this episode of Destination Tomorrow we take a look at NASA’s new plan for Space Exploration. We’ll find out about some of the robotic missions that will lead the way for our Astronauts.  And we will talk about some of the challenges of getting to and staying on other worlds.

12. Program 19 — This program consists of four exciting segments. In the “Behind the Scenes” segment, viewers will learn about a joint governmental agency working to redesign the national airspace; in the “Tech Watch” segment, viewers will learn about a new type of airplane which may soon be flying in the Martian Atmosphere; in the “Retrospective” segment viewers find out how NASA’s Wind Shear Detection program helped save countless lives; and viewers find out about the Hypersonic X-43 aircraft in the “How it Works” segment.

13. Program 20 — This program consists of four exciting segments. In the “Behind the Scenes” segment, viewers will learn about the new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; in the “Tech Watch” segment, viewers will learn about a new type medical device that will give Doctors a form of X-Ray vision; in the “Retrospective” segment viewers find out how the Space Shuttle program was started; and viewers find out about sonic booms in the “How it Works” segment.

14. Program 21 — This program consists of four exciting segments about NASA’s Aviation Safety Program. In the “Behind the Scenes” segment, viewers will learn about the Single Aircraft Accident Prevention Program; in the next segment, viewers will learn about crashing airplanes for safety at the Impact Dynamics Researc Facility; in the next segment viewers find out about a unique Icing Research Wind Tunnel; and viewers find out Turbulence Detection in the final segment

15. Program 22 — This program focuses on the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) rollout event in Danville, Virginia. This new technology will use personal aircraft to ease conjestion in our skies.

16. Program 23 — This episide will look back at the successful Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan. We will also revisit robotic exploration that will enable future human missions to the Moon and Mars, GPS technology, and the development of the Space Shuttle program in the Retrospective segment.

17. Program 24 — This program will focus on the Mars Phoenix mission; The Crew Exploration and Crew Launch Vehicles; Viking Mission to Mars 30 years later, and How Space Suits work.

18. Program 25 — This program highlights radiation protection efforts done by NASA. We will focus on how NASA plans to tackle radiation questions for travel to the Moon and Mars.

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