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Blast [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c13bc6c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bae80cc) out of 5 stars A fascinating, & human look at a modern science project: show your class! 3 Sept. 2011
By Alyosha - Published on
Format: DVD
Blast! details the six years of frustrating steps finally leading to the launch of a NASA astronomy balloon over Antarctica. (The balloon itself was meant to collect a picture of the universe in the submillimeter band, a wavelength unobtainable from earth's surface). The story follows failed launches and recoveries, equipment problems, and some of the personal interactions of the scientists. It's modern, it's fun, and it makes science "cool" without being "Hollywoodized". Excellent and highly recommended for showing to a high or middle school science class. Makes science look exciting, and very human.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bbdae58) out of 5 stars An Engaging Documentary About Space And Scientific Discovery Amidst A Gripping Arctic Adventure 29 May 2011
By K. Harris - Published on
Format: DVD
An Engaging Documentary About Space And Scientific Discovery Amidst A Gripping Arctic Adventure, May 29, 2011
By K. Harris "Film aficionado" (StudioCityGuy33 at Yahoo dot com) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blast! DVD (DVD)
Ready to study astrophysics? How about searching the past to unlock the secrets of the universe? If you're feeling adventurous and want to get your scientific groove on--"BLAST!" just might be the answer to your need. This engaging documentary, about one unusual aspect of space exploration, attempts to answer huge questions but keeps its concepts fairly straightforward for the casual viewer. In other words, anyone can enjoy "BLAST!" as an entertainment even if they fall short of the designation of scientific genius. BLAST is an acronym for Balloon-Borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope and the film chronicles an elite team of scientists and grad students who design, build, and launch just such a device. Basically, a telescope on a space balloon--the unit is designed to gauge images and data from distant galaxies in an attempt to understand their formations and origins. Don't worry, I won't attempt any more technical explanation.

More than anything, the film is a testament to perseverance and is somewhat of an underdog story. The film covers two flights, both incidences rife with tension and unexpected drama. The dedicated team is a relatively meager bunch constructing complicated machinery on the fly by hand. It is surprisingly fascinating to see these enormous and extremely complex pieces of machinery being built from the ground up--almost like a garage craft project. The film's narrative covers the problems and successes in the construction phase, the frustrations and delays within the launch phase, and the inherent drama (and dealing with the unknown) within the recovery stage. It's truly a science based adventure where everyone hopes for the best, but with so many unexpected variables--success is far from guaranteed.

If you are a fan of documentaries, this is quite entertaining with sojourns to Sweden, Canada, New Zealand, the Antarctic, and the United States. It is an easy recommendation to anyone with an interest in space, science, or technology. I enjoyed the personal aspects of the film as well as the adventure even if (as a lay person) I didn't get overly enthusiastic about the relevance of the scientific data gathered. I'll take their word on its significance! But this is an educational film that also succeeds with a dramatic narrative. Check it out if it sounds of interest. KGHarris, 5/11.
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