‘Looking for Life on Mars’ is amazing

Category: Television


PBS’ NOVA’s newest show, Looking for Life on Mars, is an amazing look at how technology is rapidly progressing to bring humans closer to living and working on Mars. Recently the NASA spacecraft deposited the Perseverance rover on the red planet. Now the work begins.

Perseverance is like no other rover that has been on Mars. It has been specially designed to drill holes, retrieve soil samples, and store them for a future spacecraft to retrieve them and bring them back to Earth. This sounds like science fiction. It is not fiction. It is simply science.

Now, besides that incredible task ahead for the rover, there are several other “new” jobs that will be attempted on Mars. First there is MOXIE, which is a device that will attempt to produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. For humans to breathe we need O2.  The Mars consists of CO (Carbon, Oxygen).  So MOXIE needs to take the CO and delete the C as well as add another O. This is necessary for humans to survive on the planet

Now, there is yet another amazing advancement that will be taking place during this mission. There is a small helicopter that will try to fly in the atmosphere. Can it get the lift it needs in the thin Martian atmosphere?

“Scientists have been searching for life on Mars for decades, from the Viking missions of the 1970s to the Curiosity rover—whose discoveries set the stage for the Mars 2020 mission,” said producer Terri Randall of Randall Productions. “Despite the enormous challenges, thousands of scientists and space explorers across the globe came together with the single goal of finding answers to a fundamental question about our place in the universe. Their commitment to discovery and exploration is incredibly inspiring, and we are excited to share it with NOVA viewers.”

Before the craft left Earth, all the scientists and technicians and engineers had to be at the top of their games. They put so much effort into this and have been personally invested in this mission. The craft had to be in the cleanest clean room ever created and continually wiped down. After all, they did not want any human germs to go with the craft. They need to collect pure samples from Mars. The samples might finally answer the question if whether there is/was life on the red planet.

“Not only did this team put together the most sophisticated Mars mission to date, but they also successfully launched the spacecraft on time amid a global pandemic,” said NOVA Co-Executive Producer Julia Cort. “LOOKING FOR LIFE ON MARS is an exhilarating and wide-ranging look at this groundbreaking mission and the remarkable science and engineering developed in our quest to find life beyond Earth.”

According to the 2000 movie Mission to Mars, the inhabitants of that planet had to leave due to a catastrophe. They set out into space and populated Earth. Maybe that’s not science fiction. Also, the 2015 movie The Martian had Matt Damon surviving on the planet. Some of his experiences are not fiction.

Humans have been drawn to space and specifically to Mars, our nearest neighbor, for as long as we could look up and see the heavens. We are now on our way to building a working lab on Mars. NOVA’s film will not only entertain, but will also inspire us all to look up and wonder – what and who is up there?

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club and the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA.