Space Shuttle Endeavour arrives to its final home in Los Angeles, c. 2012 | Courtesy NASA

"Blue Sky Metropolis" is the untold story of how aerospace was central to the growth of California and its emergence as an economic power. The documentary mini-series focuses on the people behind the aerospace movement and will feature many of the current major players in the aerospace industry in California, which is the hub of modern day aerospace engineering. The aerospace century will unfold through the lives and words of the men and women who created it: John Northrop, Glenn Martin, Donald Douglas, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, Walt Disney and Wernher Von Braun. "Blue Sky Metropolis" is a part of PBS "Summer of Space," a multiplatform experience that includes new science and history programs, all commemorating America’s journey into space.

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

A Space Odyssey: Southern California Spearheads Mankind’s Greatest Achievement

The triumphant and tragic Space Race unfolds in the first-hand accounts of those who pioneered the technology and built the hardware that made possible mankind’s greatest achievement. Meantime, the military-industrial-complex expands unchecked.

  • 2019-08-25T13:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-25T16:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-26T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-30T07:00:00-07:00
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Back to the Future: A New Space Age Dawns in Southern California

“Back to the Future” explores the decline of the industry in Southern California and its resurgence in recent years.  We hear first-person testimony from Southern California residents who came of age during the Cold War and Space Race.

  • 2019-09-01T13:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-01T16:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-02T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-06T07:00:00-07:00
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Wings: Aviation Takes Flight in Early Los Angeles

In this episode, the documentary establishes Southern California as the undisputed aviation capital of the world and introduce the industry founders — Jack Northrop, Glenn Martin and Donald Douglas.  Nice weather attracted them but so did a climate friendly to dreamers, risk takers and entrepreneurs.  Amelia Earhart learned to fly here, becoming only the 16th woman in the world to earn a pilot’s license, succeeding in an industry dominated by men.

  • 2019-09-13T07:00:00-07:00
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The Big Chill: The Cold War Fuels Business and Anxiety

This episode traces how The Cold War and Pentagon dollars fund the explosive growth of modern Los Angeles.  The end of World War II meant massive unemployment for the millions of workers in Southern California who built the aircraft that helped win the war, but a series of world events changed all that, creating a permanent wartime economy.  First, the Soviets successfully tested an atomic bomb.  Next, Mao Tse-Tung created a second Communist empire with his People’s Republic of China.  Finally, the Korean War marked the first communism/capitalism military showdown

  • 2019-09-20T07:00:00-07:00
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