Two years from now, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will complete a years-long mission when it returns to Earth with samples of material from the surface of the asteroid Bennu that it collected late last year. The mission, which was itself years in the making, was important because it, like Japan’s Hyabusa missions, was aimed at better understanding the composition of asteroids and how their compositions may have played into the creation of our solar system’s planets. Additionally, that understanding will help in efforts to protect Earth from potential future threats. Now thanks to a new episode of PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA, audiences get to see first hand, the journey that the project took, from beginning to hopes for its end. Released to DVD on Jan. 12, the nearly hour-long program is a presentation that will appeal widely to anyone who has any interest in space science as well as the geological sciences. This is proven in part through the noted central story, which will be discussed in more length shortly. The episode’s pacing adds its own appeal to its presentation and will be discussed a little later. Keeping everything noted here in mind, the average price point for this DVD proves to be its own positive. It will also be addressed later. All three items noted here are important in their own way to the whole of NOVA: Touching the Asteroid. All things considered, they make this episode one more example of what makes NOVA such a beloved series. Additionally, they make the episode a presentation that will appeal equally to lovers and students of the space and geological sciences.
NOVA: Touching the Asteroid is a presentation that will appeal widely to anyone who has any interest in the realms of space and geological sciences. That is proven in part through its central story. As has already been noted, the story in question focuses on NASA’s ongoing OSIRIS-REx spacecraft mission. The mission in question started years ago after NASA staffers located a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu that really caught their attention. Audiences are taken through the story of the agency’s project, which resulted in the spacecraft touching down on the asteroid in October 2020. A visual timeline is presented throughout the story that follows each step of the project, all the way from 2016 right up to the touchdown of OSIRIS-REx spacecraft in October 2020. This will help audiences keep track of everything happening. The project members who are interviewed help to tell the story as they explain the significance and purpose of the mission. From the very discovery of the asteroid, to the development of the spacecraft, to the surprise discovery of water and carbon contained within the asteroid, to its makeup, which they realized would potentially make it far less of a threat to the Earth than originally thought (apparently it might actually be on track to collide with Earth in a couple of centuries from now), to the stresses of making sure OSIRIS-REx would be able to touch down on Bennu due to its rocky surface, the whole story of the spacecraft’s voyage to Bennu is presented here. All of the discussions presented throughout will themselves keep viewers engaged and entertained.
Staying on topic of the featured discussions, the pacing of all of those discussions remains steady throughout the course of the program. That is due in part to the aforementioned presentation of the visual timeline that is used to help track the project. It is a simple element, but goes a long way to keep viewers engaged in its own right, too. As long as audiences know the point at which the story sits throughout each segment, the discussions are that much more certain to keep viewers watching. Getting to the discussions, none of the noted discussions allow themselves to get too in-depth. That is not to say that the discussions are just point to point to point. Rather, they give audiences just enough of a picture of where the project stood at each point in the timeline and what everyone was thinking as the OSIRIS-REx finally touched down on Bennu. That means that the discussions themselves kept the program moving steadily from beginning to end. The addition of the noted time line visual aid played alongside the discussions to help put the final touch to the program’s positive pacing. Between the positive pacing and the story itself, the two elements collectively give viewers plenty to appreciate as they take in this episode of NOVA. Keeping all that in mind, the program’s average price point on DVD will appeal even more for viewers.
The average price point of NOVA: Touching the Asteroid is approximately $22.00 when rounded up. The price is reached by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and PBS’ shop. Amazon’s listing of $17.96 is the least expensive while PBS’ listing and that of Barnes & Noble Booksellers is the most expensive, at $24.99 each. The DVD was not listed through Target and Books-A-Million at the time of this review’s posting. This DVD is the rare case when even Walmart proved to exceed the average, listing the DVD at $23.94. Best Buy offers the second lowest of the listed prices at $17.99. Between that listing and that of Amazon, audiences can be assured that the cost will not break their budgets. Even buying the DVD through those outlets, a portion of the sales will still go back to support PBS, so PBS still benefits in the end. Audiences win because they will get an entertaining and engaging program for less than $20 through the noted retailers. The engagement and entertainment is offered through the content already noted, and its pacing, also noted. When all of this is considered collectively, the result is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of viewers.
PBS’ NOVA: Touching the Asteroid is yet another example of why the network’s hit science-based series remains one of the network’s most respected program’s to date. That is proven in part through the story at the center of the documentary. The story centers on the creation of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and the spacecraft’s interstellar journey to the asteroid Bennu. Along the way, audiences learn about the discoveries that were made about the asteroid before and during the spacecraft’s mission goal. The story’s pacing makes for even more appeal. For all of the information provided throughout the documentary, that mass never causes the story to get bogged down in itself. Considering this and everything discussed throughout the program, the program’s average price point proves to be not too bad. The noted price listings at Amazon and Best Buy ensure that the purchase of the DVD will not break any viewer’s budget. Each item noted here is critical in its own way to the whole of the DVD. All things considered, they make the DVD another positive presentation from PBS and another enjoyable episode of NOVA.
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