Nova “Ultimate Space Telescope” Chronicles the Dramatic Story of the James Webb Space Telescope

Engineers at Northrop Grumman Space Park in Redondo Beach, California, oversee Webb’s final mirror fold test in April 2021. The forward pallet structure is seen here in the foreground, in its unfolded state. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

New one-hour special shows how NASA engineers built and launched the most ambitious telescope of all time, and the transformational discoveries this new eye on the universe has the power to uncover

BOSTON, July 1, 2022 (PBS PR) —The PBS science series NOVA, a production of GBH will premiere a one-hour special, ULTIMATE SPACE TELESCOPEWednesday, July 13 at 9pm ET/8C on PBS. The film, which will also be available for streaming online at, on NOVA’s YouTube channel, and on the PBS video app, tells the dramatic story of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the largest and most innovative space telescope ever built, designed to peer deeper back in time and space than humans ever have before. The special takes viewers behind the scenes through the eyes of the engineers and scientists who have dedicated years—some even decades—of their lives to getting Webb off the ground. And, the film will feature some of the telescope’s highly anticipated first images—the day after NASA releases them to the world—along with reactions from some of the team.   


NOVA “Looking for Life on Mars” Goes Inside the Mission to Search for Life on the Red Planet

This high-resolution still image is part of a video taken by several cameras as NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. A camera aboard the descent stage captured this shot. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
  • NOVA takes viewers behind the scenes as NASA’s Perseverance rover touches down in Mars’ Jezero crater
  • Premieres Wednesday, February 24 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on PBS
  • Also Available for Streaming Online and on the PBS video app

BOSTON, February 19, 2021 (PBS PR) — LOOKING FOR LIFE ON MARS, a one-hour special from the PBS science series NOVA, a production of GBH Boston, will follow NASA’s Mars 2020 mission—perhaps the most ambitious search yet for traces of ancient life on the red planet. The special premieres Wednesday, February 24 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on PBS and will be available for streaming online and on the PBS video app.