Sammi Rotibi, as Robert Foucault, a Nigerian-born mission commander, systems engineer. The global event series MARS premieres on the National Geographic Channel in November 2016.  (photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Robert Viglasky)

National Geographic Launches ‘Mars’ Miniseries

By: Robert Prentice
Mars National Geographic

The year is 2033, and humanity’s first crewed mission to Mars is about to become a reality. As a clock counts down the final 90 seconds to landing, an expert crew of astronauts endures the final harrowing moments before touching down on the red planet. Even with the best training and resources available, the maiden crew of the Daedalus spacecraft must push itself to the brink of human capability in order to successfully establish the first sustainable colony on Mars.

Set both in the future and in the present day, the global miniseries event MARS blends feature film-caliber scripted elements set in the future with documentary vérité interviews with today’s best and brightest minds in modern science and innovation, illuminating how research and development is creating the space technology that will enable our first attempt at a mission to Mars.

I previously got to see a bit of this at SxSW in Austin, TX last year and was excited to see a mix of science reality put together with hollywood production work. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard take us on a ride through what a mission to MARS is going to look like in the near future. With the most recent NASA budget approval, our mission there is set. This 6 episode mini-series from National Geographic takes us through the process of sending people to Mars.

The global event series MARS premieres on the National Geographic Channel in November 2016. (photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Robert Viglasky)

The mini-series uses a mix of scripted drama to keep you interested and documentary sequences to help ground the science that this series calls out. The moon was the previous generations obsession when it came to space exploration. Mars is the new obsession for a new generation of technology, science and curiosity.

The series also brings in heavy weights in space exploration including Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson and several NASA astronauts. In fact just this weekend I watched another film, The Space Between Us, which also brought up the question about life on Mars. In the case of that movie, it was about a boy born on Mars and what that meant for his growth and development.

This miniseries consists of 6 episodes but the blu-ray release gives you much more. The home video release includes several featurettes that dive deeper into the making of the series and the future of NASA. Be sure to check out the series at Nat Geo’s website. Blu-ray Extras include:

  • Before Mars – A Prequel
  • Extra Episode – Making Mars
  • Behind The Scenes Features
  • Interviews with the Cast and Crew

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