Xploration Outer Space

Ages: 13 - 16Producer: Steve Rotfeld Productions

Life beyond Earth, how robots are shaping space exploration, space tourism; Xploration Outer Space covers it all, and then some. Graphics, stock footage, and animation do some of the job of transporting viewers around the cosmos, but most of the program focuses on well-produced segments that take viewers on behind-the-scenes NASA tours, and inside the test labs and field sites developing and using cutting-edge technology.

Harvard scholar and former NASA employee Emily Calandrelli is a natural host. She’s knowledgeable, approachable, and genuine in her passion about space. For example, in an episode about a Mars spacecraft design, Calandrelli describes the vehicle as a way to support the “the ultimate camping trip to deep space.” Viewers of all ages will be captivated by how designers use the limited area in the craft, including suspending sleeping bags from the ceiling.

Another episode follows the winner of a student astronaut contest to the HI-SEAS habitat, which simulates life on Mars. Still another episode reveals spectacular images from deep space taken by powerful telescopes; and another program talks to experts who provide evidence debunking some of the most common myths about the universe. That episode is particularly entertaining because it traces the source of many myths back to Hollywood movies and science fiction stories.

Xploration Outer Space achieves its mission of providing clear and engaging information about the cosmos. Parents and educators will appreciate the diversity in gender, age, and ethnicity of the experts Calandrelli interviews. The series provides an exciting message about science concepts, and encouraging representation that sends the message that anyone can become involved in science, technology, and the ever-expanding space industry.

Gina Catanzarite ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.