The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope – BLAST – is launched underneath a specialized NASA helium balloon that inflates to the size of a football stadium as it reaches the top of the atmosphere. BLAST floats with the wind while the sophisticated detectors map the sky for 10-12 days. Then BLAST is dropped 35 kilometers by parachute, with the hope that the scientists can execute a difficult recovery in extremely remote locations to find the hard drives and their precious data intact..
BLAST! follows the action as it happens across five continents, all the way to Antarctica, revealing the struggles and mishaps the team endure. With unprecedented access through his brother, Paul boldly breaks with the conventions of science content, focusing on the humanity of scientists. We experience first-hand the hardships that ambitious scientific research places on the families of
scientists, as Mark spends many months away from his wife and children. The philosophical implications of such research are explored by Mark, an agnostic, and his colleague Barth Netterfield, a born-again Christian.
BLAST! was an official selection at the Hot Docs, Sheffield, Florida, Hawaii, and Thessaloniki film festivals and is the winner of the best documentary award at Vedere La Scienza Festival in Milan. BLAST! has broadcast extensively in international territories, including a global broadcast on BBC World News reaching up to 120 countries. In the U.S., BLAST! has broadcast on PBS and has been featured on NPR’s Science Friday and in an interview by Stephen Colbert with Mark Devlin on The Colbert Report..
The scientific results from BLAST made headlines when they were published in Nature, which declared that BLAST had discovered “a hidden Universe of star-burst galaxies.” BLAST – the experiment and the movie – is the cover story of the June 2011 issue of Sky and Telescope, one of the most popular science magazines.
Additional Scenes including “Werner Herzog visits BLAST”; Theatrical Trailers
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