Nat Geo’s new series – MARS, combines sci-fi drama & documentary

When the first humans set foot on Mars, the moment will be more significant in terms of technology, philosophy, history and exploration than any that have come before it, all because we will no longer be a one-planet species !

 – Stephen Petranek, author of “How We’ll Live on Mars”


MARS documentray by National Geographic Channel

The wait is over… & finally there is a nice space & science related documentary coming up on National Geographic channel after Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey ! So lets check it out what’s MARS all about !

Summary :-

The quest to send humans to the Red Planet has engaged the top minds in science in a modern-day space race, and it has infiltrated pop culture through blockbusters like Andy Weir’s “The Martian”.
The super documentary-MARS showcases the dramatic setbacks and successes of the modern scientific space revolution, while envisioning humankind’s first harrowing attempt to colonize the distant planet.
MARS is NGC’s largest scale production documentary till date, is made by combining a feature film quality scripted drama and visual effects with best-in-class documentary sequences to drive forward a cohesive, edge-of-your-seat story of mankind’s thrilling quest to colonize Mars. For more information, visit

Creators :-

MARS is produced by Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia for NGC. Imagine Entertainment has been honored with more than 60 prestigious awards, including 10 Academy Awards and 40 Emmy awards.
For Imagine Entertainment, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg are executive producers. Past production of Imagine Entertainment includes marvellous works like “8 mile”, “A Beautiful Mind”, “The Da Vinci Code”, ” Apollo 13″ & many more.
Since 1993, RadicalMedia has produced numerous films and television programs that tell nuanced, multifaceted stories, including the Emmy-winning, Academy- and Grammy-nominated documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? and the critically acclaimed Keith Richards: Under the Influence, both for Netflix.

Plot :-

This epic six-part global event series tells the inspiring story from the vantage point of a fictitious crewed mission to Mars in 2033.

The spacecraft - DAEDALUS lands on the surface of Mars

The spacecraft – DAEDALUS lands on the surface of Mars

The scripted portion focuses on Earth’s first crewed mission to MARS aboard the spacecraft Daedalus. The mission is planned to be in 3 phases;
Phase 1 – Initial human presence (2033-2035)
Phase 2 – Construction & expansion (2037-2041)
Phase 3 – Settlement (2041-2050)
The series starts with the Daedalus taking off to Mars carrying 6 crew members who are uniquely qualified astronauts ! The crew includes-

  1. American mission commander Ben Sawyer(Ben Cotton)
  2. Korean-American mission pilot Hana Seung(Jihae)
  3. Spanish hydrologist and geochemist Javier Delgado (Alberto Ammann)
  4. French mission physician and biochemist Amelie Durand (Clementine Poidatz)
  5. Nigerian mechanical engineer and roboticist Robert Foucault(Sammi Rotibi)
  6. Russian exobiologist and geologist Marta Kamen (Anamaria Marinca).


MARS mission crew members in the documentary.

MARS crew members. Source:-

Back on Earth, the Mars Mission Corporation(MMC) control team based in London includes

  • Hana Seung’s twin sister, capsule communicator Joon Seung (also played by Jihae), and
  • French CEO of the MMC, Ed Grann (Olivier Martinez).

Alongside the sci-fi drama, today’s pioneers share their plans for future Mars missions & also explain the problems we will be facing during the missions ! The pioneers, visioners, astronauts & scientists include –

  • Charles Bolden, Administrator, Former Astronaut, NASA
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director, Hayden Planetarium
  • Elon Musk, CEO SpaceX
  • Stephen Petranek, author, “How We’ll Live on Mars”
  • Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO, XPRIZE Foundation
  • David Dinges, Director, Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
  • Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy, The Planetary Society
  • Ann Druyan, Creative Director, Voyager Interstellar Mission, NASA
  • Charles Elachi, Director, LPL (Ret.)
  • Jim Green, Division Director, Planetary Science, NASA
  • John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator, Former Astronaut, NASA
  • Jennifer Heldmann, Planetary Scientist, NASA
  • Jedidah Isler, award-winning astrophysicist; emerging Explorer, National Geographic
  • Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director, White House Office of Science and Technology
  • Roger Launius, Smithsonian Institution
  • John Logsdon, Founder, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University
  • James Lovell, Former NASA Astronaut, Apollo 13 Commander
  • Mary Roach, author, “Packing for Mars”
  • Jennifer Trosper, Mars 2020 Mission Manager, JPL
  • Andy Weir, author, “The Martian”
  • Robert Zubrin, President, The Mars Society

The global event series – MARS premieres on 14 November, 2016 ! Watch the trailer in the link –

MARS trailer

Did you know ?

  • Olympus Mons on Mars is the largest known volcano in our Solar system. It has a height of nearly 22 km (13.6 mi), two-and-half times as tall as Mount Everest’s height ! ?
  • Mars Close Approach is the point in Mars’ orbit when it comes closest to Earth. The next Mars Close Approach is July 31, 2018 (my birthday ?)
  • Phobos (fear) and Deimos (panic) are the Mars’s two small moons. They are named after the horses that pulled the chariot of the Greek war god Ares, the counterpart to the Roman war god Mars.
  • Mars has about one-third the gravity of Earth(3.71 m/s²). If you weighed 100 lbs on earth, you would weigh only about 38 lbs on Mars.

Image Credits :- National Geographic Channel


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