Exploring the Universe
Episode Number
The Challenge of the Space Age
Producing Organization
Mayer-Skylar Productions
Contributing Organization
Thirteen WNET (New York, New York)
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
Dave Garroway asks if we are in danger of overreaching ourselves in our explorations of space. Dr. Robert Jastrow, nuclear physicist and director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and professor of Geology at Columbia University, and Dr. Philip Abelson, member of the Atomic Energy Commission Advisory Committee on peaceful uses of the atom and director of research for the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, disagree on the answer. Dr. Abelson believes that there are many frontiers more worthy of exploration than the moon - the human mind for example. He calls a landing on the moon an "athletic feat," and says that, at ten percent of the cost, we could obtain 75 percent of the information by sending machines to the moon instead of men. Dr. Jastrow, on the other hand, compares the voyages of men into space to the great voyages of exploration at the end of the Fifteenth Century, and he believes that these space explorations will open up a new age of enlightenment. The two scientists agree that government money exerts powerful authority in the fields of research and that the great amount of money available tends to attract the unscrupulous along with the dedicated. Neither feels that other areas of science are necessarily neglected now because of the large amounts of money being put into space research. But they fear that in the future glamour and financial rewards will attract too many scientists into space study. Additionally, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is hiring so many scientists that there may be a shortage of scientists in other fields. In closing, Dr. Jastrow asserts that the space age presents new opportunities to extend our control over our physical environment. Dr. Abelson replies that, since science has so many challenges, we should not spend time to quibble about the space age. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Series Description
Exploring the Universe is an exciting look into the modern theories and advances of science from the possibilities of life on other planets to the creation of our universe. Host for the series is Dave Garroway. Mr. Garroway and his guests all prominent scientists convey their own awe and the wonder at the universe to the television audience. Additionally, they hope to develop a deeper understanding of the philosophy of science so that the lay citizen will be able to make responsible judgments concerning science and government. Each episode documents by pictures, film, and fascinating experiments, provides a glimpse of a provocative field. About the series, Mr. Garroway says, I have long felt that no one has really lived who has not looked into the eyepiece of a telescope. I hope Exploring the Universe conveys some of the feeling of excitement that science brings to me. Exploring the Universe was produced under a grant from the National Science Foundation, and is based on but is not a duplication of the American Foundation for Continuing Educations adult reading-discussion series, Exploring the Universe. Exploring the Universe is a production of Mayer-Sklar Productions, which consists of 11 half-hour episodes originally recorded on videotape. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Talk Show
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
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Director: Kane, Dennis B.
Executive Producer: Vaughan, Charles
Guest: Jastrow, Robert
Guest: Abelson, Philip
Host: Garroway, David Cunningham
Producer: Cooper, Lester
Producing Organization: Mayer-Skylar Productions
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: wnet_aacip_2052 (WNET Archive)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Duration: 00:29:09?
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2317095-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
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Chicago: “Exploring the Universe; 10; The Challenge of the Space Age,” 1963-00-00, Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 30, 2023,
MLA: “Exploring the Universe; 10; The Challenge of the Space Age.” 1963-00-00. Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 30, 2023. <>.
APA: Exploring the Universe; 10; The Challenge of the Space Age. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from