Mars is fascinating. Not only our next door neighbor in the solar system, but also the most Earth-like planet within reach. It has a 24-hour day, all of the chemical building blocks needed to sustain life and easily our best bet when it come to building human colonies outside of out tiny planet. Plans to get humans to mars have waxed and waned in popularity since the Apollo era and have had a recent resurgence with the success of Curiosity. This documentary records the history of United States’ different rhetoric and plans throughout the last few decades to try and finally get humans to the red planet. Dr. Robert Zubrin is at the center of this documentary as he describes his Mars Direct plan; a plan that could conceivably get humans to Mars with existing technology (actually, with technology already existing in the early 1990’s) and without breaking the US economy.
I’m a big fan of this documentary. Granted, any mention of pushing human exploration beyond our tiny moon can make me nerd out pretty hard. All the same, this documentary will be of great interest to those currently less excited about such ideas. In addition to interviewing both proponents and opponents for sending humans to Mars, many of the arguments given by people who are skeptical that we could or should continue this endeavor are answered by Dr. Zubrin in a passionate and eloquent way. I really appreciate that rather than simply stating what some counter arguments are, this film actively addresses such issues. Throughout this documentary, Dr. Zubrin makes the case for Mars enthusiasts and for future generations who will be left impoverished for the chances and explorations we do not take today.
Image Credit: NASA/Pat Rawlings, SAIC
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