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Nova Science Now: Can We Make It to Mars

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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(Mar 01, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

This NOVA scienceNOW poses the question - Can we Make it to Mars? - and the episodes explore it from different angles. Program episodes include: Space Dangers; Next-Generation Space Suits; Space Food; Profile: Vandi Verma; and Plasma Rockets.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • Directors: n, a
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: March 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004D7SBH0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,946 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

Made in 2011 this shares some of the possible dangers of a trip to the Red Planet. Space rocks, the impact of weightlessness on a human body, cosmic rays, air pressure (good space suits), long term food, and rocket strength. Insightful.

Concludes with data about Mars rover in use.
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Neil Degrasse Tyson is a great host and the show is very interesting. It sites many of the technical challenges that will be faced if a manned Mars mission is attempted.
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This doc doesn't mention "War of the Worlds." I haven't seen Tom Cruise's remake anyway. From what I heard, human weapons did not kill the attacking aliens, germs did. Here, the work asks can we get to Mars and calculating many knowns and unknowns makes the journey so daunting.

The challenges are large. Will meteorites destroy the ship? Will the lack of gravity make human bodies turn to mush? How will we bring food and will the food stay fresh? Will radiation break down our genes and cells? How will a rocket not run out of fuel?

Here's my big beef: I think the work should have set out the parameters from the start. For example, the work ends by discussing a mechanical rover already on Mars. Why didn't the work start by saying, "We've put rovers on that planet, now what about humans?" It's only DEEP within the work that they speak about the distances between the two planets, the temperature on Mars, how the planet gets pelted with space rocks, etc. Many viewers may have asked naively, "It's our next-door neighbor. Haven't we already visited it?" In many ways, this work puts the cart before the horse.

I always confuse centripetal with centrifugal and this work helped me to distinguish between the two. Neil deGrasse Tyson is often narrating in front of screens that are incredibly fake. I couldn't listen to his words as I was astonished by how cheaply a blue screen was used behind him. Like all the installments in this series, there's a segment that has no narrator and is entirely written. This is fine if you want to read and can do so quickly. However, if you are more of an aural person, this will be irritating.

The work tries to be diverse too. It has interviewees of both genders. It emphasizes the life and work of a South Asian woman. The narrator is a brothaman, etc.
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