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Mars Rising

Premier :: 2007-10-07

on Discovery

Genre :: Documentary

Mars Rising poster
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The countdown has begun for the 21st century’s most heroic and potentially deadliest expedition. A manned mission to Mars has been the dream of scientists for decades – and now “Mars Rising” explores that dream and the challenges being faced by international space agencies and in laboratories. More than 300 scientists from Canada, the United States, Europe, Chile and Russia have contributed to “Mars Rising,” a six-part documentary series and a companion to the expedition series “Race to Mars.” The quest to the secrets of the universe begins – on Mars. “Mars Rising” offers a comprehensive examination of the challenges, the obstacles, the fears and the successes of the mission and experts with diverse backgrounds and nationalities contributed their knowledge to this series. Producers Galafilm secured unprecedented co-operation from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency and various Russian space agencies and contractors like Energia, gaining access to top personnel and up-to-the-minute prototypes. Over 300 scientists were consulted for the series and more than 60 experts, including former and current astronauts, appear on camera. Critical subjects covered include spaceship design, possible trajectories, rocket fuel, finding new life forms, new thoughts on astronaut selection and training, space suit engineering, medical training for deep space, blasting through Mars’ atmosphere, life support systems and robotics. “Mars Rising” was shot in High Definition in 48 locations over a period of almost two years, from March 2005 to January 2007, filming for an unprecedented 140 days. Crews were dispatched to Russia, Europe, the United States, China, Chile and across Canada, including the Canadian Arctic. Various crews spent a total of 32 days in Russia, filming at Energia, Lavochkin, IBMP and Star City. At the height of filming in August 2005, four separate film crews were working simultaneously in the U.S. and Russia. And all of this travelling means that audiences will be taken by helicopter to Chile’s Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth; underwater in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia; underground in Sudbury, Ontario; and the Four Window Caves in New Mexico and the Mars-like terrain of the Arctic’s frigid Devon Island.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 1 - Journey to the Red Planet
Aired - Air date unknown.

Episode summary:

Written and Directed by Michael Jorgensen Dr. Paul Delaney, Professor Physics and Astronomy at Toronto’s York University; and Dr. James Garvin, Lead Scientist for Mars and Lunar Exploration at NASA, guide us though the primary challenges. International co-operation is key Leonid Gorshkov of Russia’s Energia Space Agency proudly shows a mock-up of the world’s first manned interplanetary spacecraft, Klipper. After 40 years of building and launching the Mir space station, the Russians have invaluable experience in deep space. It will take at least six months to travel the 56-million kilometres to Mars. The window for a safe return trip might take 1½ years to open. The European Space Agency is tasked with finding the best trajectory for the mission. The effects of zero gravity can lead to dramatic loss of body strength and bone mass. Radiation may prove deadly. Scientists are developing space suits that are both protective and flexible. They are also puzzling over how best to create artificial gravity. Experiments are being carried out in some of the harshest places on Earth. NASA is field-testing a prototype Martian suit in Arizona’s inhospitable Meteor Crater; scientists are searching for life organisms in Chile’s hostile Atacama Desert; and others are testing drills for trying to reach water through the frozen tundra of the Canadian Arctic’s Devon Island. The search for life on Mars may give clues on how that planet could be colonized. Should a major disaster occur on Earth, the inability to emigrate to another planet would make humans as vulnerable as the dinosaurs in ages past.

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 1

+ Episode - 6 Search for Life Aired - Air date unknown.
+ Episode - 5 Six Minutes of Terror Aired - Air date unknown.
+ Episode - 4 The Human Factor Aired - Air date unknown.
+ Episode - 3 Staying Alive Aired - Air date unknown.
+ Episode - 2 Rocket Power Aired - Air date unknown.

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