Mars Calling: Manifest Destiny or Grand Illusion?

2018, Science  -   6 Comments
Ratings: 8.97/10 from 59 users.

Few subjects have sparked the imagination and inspired more outlandish speculation than the planet Mars. Now, as our understanding of the red planet continues to evolve, we are able to contrast the reality of life on Mars against our imagined flights of fantasy. The differences and similarities are striking. What is the probability that humans can one day occupy this mysterious planet, and how might this planetary migration impact the evolution of our species? Calling upon recent scientific discoveries, the new documentary titled "Mars Calling: Manifest Destiny or Grand Illusion?" attempts to address these central questions.

The film traces the findings and theories of early astronomers like Aristotle and Galileo to the discoveries that continue to erupt in the scientific community of today. It's a complex trajectory during which many myths are dispelled, technological advancements make way for increasingly grandiose endeavors, and our knowledge of the planet begins to come into sharper focus.

From the outside, Mars appears to be an endless dusty landscape. Upon closer examination, however, scientists can detect large patches that once hosted vast amounts of water. This recent evidence has raised hopes for future colonization. NASA, as well as ambitious entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, is currently investing time, funds and talent towards this goal. The film dramatizes their plans to cultivate the planet's primary resources - including oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur - in an attempt to sustain human life and produce the rocket fuel necessary to secure a return trip home.

The film indulges in a wealth of sound scientific data, striking planetary animations, fascinating satellite and rover images, and appealing narration. The film's clear narrative and welcoming tone will appeal to both Mars enthusiasts and viewers who are not scientifically adept.

Given the planet's deceptive and inhospitable environment, including a surface shrouded in toxicity and drenched by incessant showers of solar energetic particles, colonization will not be an easy task. Even so, "Mars Calling: Manifest Destiny or Grand Illusion?" is an aspirational portrait of this ongoing quest, and a tribute to innovators past and present who have played a role in making it possible.

Directed by: David Sky Brody

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6 Comments / User Reviews

  1. hank

    Oh, it's the friggin overbearing music again! Shall we listen to the monologue or the noise?

  2. Michael Kasper

    one of the better documentaries about the red planet.

  3. Daniel Sorkin

    An excellent documentary, informative and balanced about the prospects for human settlement on Mars. Jumps around in time a bit more than it needed to, but I understand that a straight chronology can get boring.

  4. Devil Travels

    Like it or not, humans only have a little over 100,000 years of a stable environment before the next ice age arrives. The only solution is to get off this planet, and Mars will have to be part of that plan. That and building a Dyson swarm along Earth orbit, are the best solution to prevent extinction.

    1. GunnarInLA ice age wouldn't force abandoning the planet – life, including humans, were on this planet long before the beginning and end of the last ice age...
      I would much prefer to stay on Earth during an ice age than force myself to move to a sterile Planet of Desolation...
      (I'm all for going to Mars though! – Just not for that kind of reason!)

    2. austin

      Explain the 100,000 year iceage thing. Aren't we working against that, and can't we work harder. lol