Oh, maybe what we all need is the ultimate escape: a mission to Mars.
National Geographic Channel launched this six-part series a few weeks ago, so you can catch up with the first three episodes here.
What makes this series more than a piece of science fiction is the way it combines fact and fiction. We join the fictional mission in 2033 with the first six colonists to head to Mars—and also hear real-life interviews with the experts who are working toward putting humans on Mars.
The interviews, interspersed amid the drama, include Ann Druyan, The Martian author Andy Weil, and everybody’s favorite space guy, Neil de Grasse Tyson. Ever intriguing is the commentary by Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and a man who is willing to talk about multiplanetary human colonies in an utterly straightforward way. His single goal is to create a human space colony on Mars. With that, he says, the survival of the human species is possible. Without it, he’s . . . not so sure.
The series has a straight-faced website documenting the Mars mission—as if the internet will even be a thing anymore by 2033. You can apply to be a colonist and build your own team of colonists using your Facebook friends. Dig up that old boyfriend! Get Meemaw to suit up!
I just finished Episode 1 and already I’m feeling all the recirculated oxygen, anxiety, and flat-out claustrophobia of the best space movies. EXCELLENT! So grateful that Earth has an atmosphere! So worried about mission commander Ben!
This is a ton of fun. As Neil de Grasse Tyson puts it, “Earth’s surface is the shoreline of a new ocean.” Between this series and Moby-Dick, I cannot handle all the travel-related drama going on. Enjoy!