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PBS ‘Summer of Space’ Premiere Event Features First Look at KCET Original Series 'Blue Sky Metropolis'

On Tuesday, July 9 from 7:00-9:30 p.m., KCET and PBS SoCal held a sneak peek of PBS upcoming programs celebrating the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing and the latest advances in space exploration. Guests were welcomed by Public Media Group of Southern California President and CEO Andrew Russell and treated to clips from "American Experience: Chasing the Moon" and "Nova: The Planets" as well as a first look at the KCET Original documentary miniseries, "Blue Sky Metropolis," that premiered Sunday, July 14 at 8:00 p.m. on KCET with streaming on kcet.org/bluesky and on the free PBS App. The new documentary miniseries is a 21st century story that looks at the past, present and future of aerospace in Southern California from multiple perspectives including science, culture, politics, race, business, labor, environment and gender.

A panel discussion followed with various talent from "Blue Sky Metropolis" that included filmmaker Peter Jones, Director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2001-2016) Dr. Charles Elachi, VP of Space Systems Division for Northrop Grumman Sarah Willoughby and Los Angeles Times Journalist Ralph Vartabedian (moderator).

Following the screening and panel, guests enjoyed a champagne dessert reception featuring a timeline of significant moments in space/aerospace history as well as display models of the B-2 Spirit, E-2D Advance Hawkeye, Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite and the James Webb Space Telescope provided by Northrop Grumman.

Guests included actress Marion Ross ("Happy Days"), "Blue Sky Metropolis" filmmaker Brian Tessier ("Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times"), author Ken Richardson ("Hughes After Howard"), author Wayne Biddle ("Dark Side of the Moon"), USC professor & author MG Lord ("Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science"), KCET’s "SoCal Wanderer" host Rosey Alvero, "Globe Trekker" host Brianna Barnes, opera singer & LA County Holiday Celebration host Suzanna Guzman, former anchor of KCET’s "SoCal Connected" Val Zavala, The Huntington’s VP of Communications Susan Turner-Lowe and former chairman of Walt Disney Studios Dick Cook.

Additional guests from the aerospace industries included astroparticle physicist Sophia Gad-Nasr, Program Manager for the James Webb Space Telescope Scott Willoughby, Senior Advisor of Prize Operations at XPrize Jacqueline Morie, Senior Research Scientist Emeritus of Jet Propulsion Laboratory Richard Woo, astrophysicist and Winner of the 2018 NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal Dr. Jessie Christiansen, Cal Tech Executive Director of the Keck Institute for Space Studies Michele Judd, Cal Tech Astrophysicist George Djorgovski, NASA Chief Engineer Robert Manning, Former NASA Historian & USC Scholar Layne Karafantis, Cosmologist & Assistant Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University Dr. Katherine Mack, Mars Lander Project Scientist Leslie Tamppari and Cassini Titan Orbiter Science Team Co-Chair Trina Ray.

Public Media Group of Southern California President and CEO Andrew Russell welcomes the crowd at a world premiere sneak peek of BLUE SKY METROPOLIS at The Huntington on July 9, 2019 as part of the PBS “Summer of Space"
Public Media Group of Southern California President and CEO Andrew Russell welcomes the crowd at a world premiere sneak peek of BLUE SKY METROPOLIS at The Huntington on July 9, 2019 as part of the PBS “Summer of Space"
Los Angeles Times Journalist Ralph Vartabedian moderates the panel
Los Angeles Times Journalist Ralph Vartabedian moderates the panel
Public Media Group of Southern California President & CEO Andrew Russell, VP of Space Systems Division for Northrop Grumman Sarah Willoughby, Director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Charles Elachi and Filmmaker Peter Jones (BLUE SKY METROPOLIS)
Public Media Group of Southern California President & CEO Andrew Russell, VP of Space Systems Division for Northrop Grumman Sarah Willoughby, Director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Charles Elachi and Filmmaker Peter Jones (BLUE SKY METROPOLIS)
Actress Marion Ross (Happy Days) at the world premiere of BLUE SKY METROPOLIS
Actress Marion Ross (Happy Days) at the world premiere of BLUE SKY METROPOLIS
Astrophysicist and Winner of the 2018 NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal Dr. Jessie Christiansen with her children
Astrophysicist and Winner of the 2018 NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal Dr. Jessie Christiansen with her children
Guests enjoy a champagne dessert reception
Guests enjoy a champagne dessert reception

 

 

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