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Accessing disconnect. Enable on. MISSION CONTROL: Copy that E.L. Com. All systems are ‘go’ for entry, decent and landing. Stand by…. Stand by. ASTRONAUT:
We are looking fine, flight. Data is good. NARRATOR:
At the dawn of the 21st Century, space agencies in Europe and America began making plans to land the first humans on Mars. But manned missions to the red planet have been proposed before. For some, Mars holds the answers to mankind’s future in space. Others say Mars is too far, too dangerous, and too expensive for humans to explore. And in a world torn by troubles, some say
there is no need, or will, for mankind to reach into space anymore. More than 30 years after the last Apollo astronaut walked on the moon, the American-manned space program seems to have lost its way, unable to reach beyond even low-earth orbit. ZUBRIN: We’ve got a problem, NASA has been literally going around in circles with the space program for the past 30 years. NARRATOR:
Astronautically engineer, Dr. Robert Zubrin, has been arguing for years that sending humans to Mars is the mission the space program needs. ZUBRIN:
It’s time that we set goals for NASA that were worthy of the risks of the human space flight. Mars is the next logical step in our space program. It’s the challenge that’s been staring us in the face for the past 30 years. It’s the planet that’s most like the Earth, it’s the planet that has on it the resources needed to support life and therefore some day technological civilization. It’s the planet that will provide us with the answer as to whether life is prevalent in
the universe or exclusive to the Earth. And it’s the planet that will give us
the critical tests as to whether humanity, can breakout out of the planet of our birth and become a space-faring species. In the early 1990s, Zubrin was the head of the
‘Mars Direct’ program at Martin Marietta Astronautics. His team developed a mission to Mars that could be done at the fraction of Nasa’s projected costs. Using only existing technology, Zubrin argues that the first steps on Martian soil could be made within 10 years. ZUBRIN:
There is absolutely nothing in this that is beyond our technology. DR. EDWARD WEILER: We are not ready to send humans to Mars right now. We don’t know how to keep them alive. There are people out there, right now, that say we can go to Mars tomorrow. One of my requirements, one of NASA’s requirements, is that if we send humans to Mars we bring them back alive. For the past 15 years, Zubrin and his colleagues
have waged a campaign to convince society and the political class that humans-on-Mars should be the goal for NASA now. This is the story of our cold neighboring planet and the debate over
whether man’s fate it tied to the red world. It’s the story of an
engineer’s journey – and the battle of ideas over which direction in
space will truly benefit mankind. ZUBRIN:
We’re at a crossroads today. We either muster the courage to go or we risk the possibility of stagnation and decay. The victor in this debate could determine
the fate of mankind. Will we become a space-faring species? Will we live on more than one planet? In the Winter of 2003, the Chinese put their first tikenaut in space. The European’s space agency has outlined
a plan for humans to the moon by 2024. And to Mars by 2033. And the Russians, building on years of experience are conducting test for
long duration Mars missions. In America, with the impending retirement
of the shuttle fleet and the completion of the International Space
Station, the Bush administration announced in 2004. the Constellation Program. A plan that would return America to the moon by 2020. But the program was never fully funded and was eventually cancelled. In 2010, the Obama Administration announced it’s vision for NASA and human Mars exploration. NARRATOR:
With a new timeline for humans to Mars, sometime after 2035, and
with administrations changing every 4 or 8 years, it is far from
certain that such a plan will be realized. 20 years earlier, the first President Bush also proposed a long-term
human exploration program, under great fan-fair. The program
quietly died in Congress a few years later. ZUBRIN:
If you want to go to Mars, you cannot do it in 30 years, you can’t do it in 20 years. You gotta do it in 10 years or less from program start or you are more or less guaranteed political failure. To date, only the Apollo Moon Program – which
was announced in 1961 and had men on the moon 8 years later – has succeeded in getting astronauts beyond low earth orbit. ZUBRIN:
I was 5 when Sputnik flew. And while, to the adults, Sputnik was a
terrifying event, to me, as a child, who was already reading science fiction, it was exhilarating. Cause it meant that this possibility of a space fairing future was going to be real. And I was 9 when Kennedy gave his speech committing us to the moon… “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other thing. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard. ZUBRIN:
I grew up during the 60’s when it was Mercury, it was Gemini, it
was Apollo. Every month NASA was doing something more
impressive than the month before. We were going to be on the
moon by 1970, Mars by 1980, Saturn by 1990, Alpha-Sintari by the year 2000. We were moving out and I wanted to be part
of that. And so, I got myself an scientific education. But then in
the early 70s this all collapsed. We achieved the first part of the
program: Moon by 1970. But the Nixon administration shut down
the rest and we did not move out into space.
And for a while I accepted that, grudgingly. I became a science
teacher. But then, in the early 80s, something hit me and I said,
“I’m not going to accept myself doing less than what I had dreamed of doing when
I was a boy” NARRATOR:
Zubrin went back to graduate school getting advanced degrees in
Engineering and Aerospace. He then went on to work at Martin
Marietta, which later became Lockheed Martin, designing interplanetary missions. It was here that Zubrin’s obsession with the red planet began to take hold. While at Martin, in the 1990s, Zubrin and his colleagues developed a plan for sending human to Mars that changed NASAs thinking on the issue. But the plan has languished on the drawing
boards ever since. Now, as president of the Mars Society, Zubrin
is a center stage in the debate over the future of manned space
flight. Known as a smart, visionary scientist, he’s
authored several books on exploring space and is the self-appointed
spokesman for the possibility of colonizing Mars. Mars is where the future is. Mars is the closest planet to the Earth that has on in the all the resources needed
to support life and therefore technological civilization. It has water, it has carbon, It has nitrogen. It has a 24-hour day.
It has a complex geological history that has created mineral ore. It has sources of geothermal energy. Mars is a place we can settle. One reason for such optimism over a frozen world like Mars, is evidence that 2 billion years ago Mars was a much warmer and wetter place. DR. PENELOPE BOSTON:
We think that at one time in the ancient past Mars was very similar
to the condition of early Earth. NARRATOR:
This Martian warm age lasted for over a billion years and could have been a suitable environment for the development of life. DR. CHRISTOPHER MCKAY:
If we go to Mars and find evidence of a second genesis on Mars, I think we can conclude that the universe is full of life. We can
probably conclude that on some planets that life evolves to more
complex forms. And I think we’d be reasonable to conclude that intelligence could also emerge on some planets as well. It really does answer the questions, “are we alone?” And that to me, is
a question that transcends science. It’s a philosophical, societal, as
well as scientific question. To me that’s the big prize, that’s why Mars is interesting. That’s why human exploration makes sense. Space programs are often criticized for the
huge sums of money they require. Although the American space
program is less than 1% of the federal budget, a human mission to Mars may have to wait for better times. There are those who say that we have many problems to deal with here on earth, and we need to postpone adventures such as the human exploration of Mars until these problems are solved. Well, there were many problems in Spain in 1492, and there still are. There are problems that need to be dealt with here on Earth and should be dealt with. But, we also have to think of the future. We also have to think about opening up new volumes in human history. I believe that it’s essential for a positive human future that humanity expand into space. The greatest value that we got out of Apollo was the creation of intellectual capital through the inspiring of millions to go into science and engineering, to be part of the great adventure of human expansion into space. DR. LOUIS FRIEDMAN: There’s a phrase that happened with the Apollo program, which was “if we can go the moon we can…” And then everybody filled in whatever they were interested in; build
mass transit, cure cancer, do this, do that. The point is it did give
us a sense that we could accomplish great things. It did bring out
the best in us. DR. EDWARD WEILER:
We excited a generation of engineers and scientists. The generation
that built the computers and cellphones and all the technology
everybody uses today and takes for granted. ZUBRIN:
If we sent humans to Mars as our goal, we’ll get millions of new
scientists that will create new inventions, new industries. This is
the enormous payback. And we can get it if we set the kind of
challenge that will inspire the youth. NARRATOR:
To Zubrin, civilizations, like people, thrive on challenge and decay without it. ZUBRIN:
We have everything we have today because of our predecessors
who had the courage to leave the world of the known and go out in
the wilderness and build new cities. And if we stop being people
like that, then we will hand down much less to our posterity than
our ancestors handed down to us. So there’s the choice in life. One either
grows or one decays. Grow or die. I think we should grow. PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH, SR.: History proves that we have never lost by pressing the limits of our frontier. NARRATOR: In the summer of 1989, the first President Bush announced The Space Exploration Initiative. Directing NASA to draw up longterm plans to get humans back to the moon and begin developing a program of manned-Mars exploration. At Martin Marietta, Zubrin and his colleagues
looked forward to moving NASA’s space program outwards after two decades in low earth orbit. Of course we were very excited when Bush made
his call saying that he was making a national commitment to implement such a program. NASA assembled a large team to take on the space initiative. In 90-days the team developed a 30-year plan that required an enormous build-up of space infrastructure. ZUBRIN: What the NASA bureaucracy decided to do was basically design the most complex mission they possibly could
in order to make sure that everyone’s pet technology would
remain mission critical. Which is the exact opposite of the correct
way to do engineering. NARRATOR:
First NASA would triple the size of the planned space station and add enormous hangers as well as free-floating fuel depos, check out docs, and crew stations. Then on the moon, they would construct more ship-building facilities, bases and depos. Next, the moon
crew would construct the Mars ship, a huge craft, dubbed by its detractors as Battlestar Gallactica. This ship would carry everything to Mars over an 18-month flight. Once in Mars orbit, a small group would descent to the surface, spend a few days, then plant a flag in the ground and go home. The plan became known as the “90-Day Report”. ZUBRIN:
To those of us at Martin who had been engaged in designing Mars missions when they saw the monstrosity of complexity of the 90-
day report, we were dismayed and it was readily apparent to anyone with any insight that that program would fail politically. NARRATOR: The plan was submitted to congress. The estimated cost: $450 billion. The legislators went into sticker shock. This would have been the single most expensive program for the United States since World War II. By the end of 1990, Congress had refused all requests for SEI funding. When the realization came that SEI was doomed, Zubrin wrote a memo to his colleague at Martin Marietta, outlining his problems with the NASA plan and arguing for a more direct approach. Zubrin favored launching a Mars mission directly from the surface of Earth, using only existing rocket technology. This negated the need for a lunar base and avoided the complexity and cost of building ships in space. He also objected to NASA’s plan for a short surface stay on Mars.
A mission that would amount to little more than a flag and a
footprint exercise. To Zubrin we were going to Mars to explore and develop a new world. To maximize surface time, Zubrin
proposed using a faster flight path, known as a “conjunction class” mission. This would mean a crew could arrive on Mars after only a 6 month journey. They would then remain on the Martian
surface for a year and a half. This would give the team time
to explore a wide area and conduct detailed research about the planet.
Then, as the Earth return window opens, the crew would launch from Mars for a six-month trip home. Zubrin was convinced that a simplified, more robust, and cost-effective mission could be designed using these principles. Along with several like-minded colleagues,
Zubrin decided to ask management at Martin to allow them to design alternative Mars missions. ZUBRIN: The management approved it. And we formed a team. It was known as the “Scenario Development Team” of
just 12 people from the whole very large Martin company. NARRATOR: One team member, who’s thinking was closely aligned with Zubrin’s, was David Baker. I went off to my office and said “all right,
how would I do a Mars mission if I had to pay for it and I had to
go on the ride.” And I said, well, it’s gonna be simple, there’s gonna
be no on orbit assembly. I really tried to take everything out of the
mission that didn’t absolutely need to be there. While the rest of the team focused on longer term, more traditional mission plans, that required on-orbit assembly,
Zubrin and Baker decided to collaborate on a mission that could
be done near term. ZUBRIN:
We decided to do Mars the way Lewis and Clark did America. Use the local resources, travel light, live off the land. Zubrin and Baker were convinced that a Mars
mission could be launched directly from the ground. The other team members felt this was impossible – that the weight of the rocket fuel required for a round trip to Mars was so enormous it would render the launch ship impossibly heavy. To solve this problem Zubrin was exploring a radical idea that had
been kicked around the aerospace industry since the 1970s. The idea was to produce a methane oxygen rocket fuel directly from the Martian atmosphere. It was a relatively simple and robust
chemical engineering procedure that was done commonly in the
1800s, the era of the gas light. If the idea worked, astronauts could land a relatively light ship with empty tanks. They wouldn’t have to ship all the fuel
with them for their return trip. This would radically lower their size and weight. The only problem was methane oxygen fuel requires a
hydrogen component. Hydrogen exists on Mars in the form of H20,
but water may be difficult or impossible to extract from the
Martian environment. ZUBRIN:
Really the hydrogen was only 5% of the total weight of the methane oxygen propellant being manufactured. So you if you just
say “Okay, we won’t be pure. We won’t get all of the propellant from Mars. We’ll just get 95% of the of the propellant from Mars. The other 5%, the hydrogen, we’ll just bring from Earth.” NARRATOR: Another fundamental resource that could be extracted from the Martian environment – is oxygen. A second processing unit, could separate oxygen molecules from the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere, providing breathable air for a Mars crew. ZUBRIN:
If used intelligently, the same resources that make Mars interesting
are precisely what can make it attainable. NARRATOR:
Baker and Zubrin had greatly reduced their mission mass. But they still found their ship was too heavy and would require two
launches and assembly in space. Then Zubrin hit on a idea. DAVID BAKER: One of the key events of the Mars Direct development was one morning Bob burst into my office and said,
“I got it!” ZUBRIN:
The idea that I finally hit on, in 1989, was that we would split the
mission up into two parts and we’d send the return vehicle out first
with its own return propellant plant. So the propellant would be
made on Mars before the first astronauts ever left Earth. With two separate direct-to-Mars launches,
a human crew would have a fully-fueled ship waiting for them
on the surface of Mars before they ever left Earth. So Zubrin and Baker had come up with a plan
that seemed to accomplish all of their goals. It was relatively
inexpensive, development time was short, they could use
existing technology, and it’s allowed for a long stay on the
Martian surface. They dubbed their idea “Mars Direct”. NARRATOR:
Aboard an Aries’ rocket, is the Earth Return Vehicle or ERV. No one is aboard this ship. It will pave the way for astronauts who,
years later, will use the ERV to return to Earth. NARRATOR:
On its second day, the ERV deploys a small nuclear power reactor. The reactor powers a chemical plant inside the ERV. The plant will produce the methane oxygen rocket fuel for the launch home. Nearby, a second robotic robot is guided to a pre-picked landing site for the human crew. It places a radar transponder to help guide
the astronauts in. The long journey to land a human being on
Mars begins. Carrying the most skillfully assembled flight
team in history, four astronauts begin their 2.5 year mission to the red planet. This will be the first time a human has gone beyond the Earth-Moon system, 250 million miles farther than
any person has ever been. To counter the health problems of zero gravity, and to fully acclimate the astronauts to Mars, the ship will deploy a weighted tether attached to the last stage of the spent rocket booster. By thrusting the ship into a rotational spin the counterweight of the
rocket will create centrifugal force and thus artificial gravity. The
crew will be able to live with their feet planted firmly on the floor during their 6-month transit. But the HAB is not entirely alone on its journey, just ahead of it is a second ERV, identical to the first. Launched just a few weeks prior to the HAB, it will prepare the way for a second
human crew that will follow two years later. It can also function as a backup to the first mission, if anything should go wrong. On the 6th month of the flight, the crew will
gaze upon an alien world. This is the new frontier. ASTRONAUT:
Spectacular. Just spectacular. After days in orbit, and satisfied with the
landing conditions, the crew will receive final word from mission
control on Earth. MISSION CONTROL:
All systems are ‘go’ for entry, decent and landing. It will be a tense 40 minutes before people
back on Earth get the signal from Mars and know if everything has gone well. For more than 500 days, the astronauts will
live on Mars and embark on one of the greatest journey’s of discovery in the history of science. Will they find life? Or the fossilized
remains of past life? Such a discovery could tell us whether our solar system has seen more than one genesis. And answer the ultimate question. Are we alone? In any case, these explorers will be learning
how feasible the colonization of Mars really is. And whether
or not mankind has a future among the stars. Then, when the time comes, and the window Earth return opens,
the crew will climb into their Earth-return vehicle and head home. They will arrive home, heroes, the first to stretch the limit of man’s
expanse from one planet to another. Their names added to the list
of great explorers of new worlds. In their footsteps, others will follow. What began as a trickle is free to rise into a deluge of humankind,
sweeping over a once-barren land and transforming it into a viable, new world. When Baker and Zubrin presented Mars Direct
to their bosses at Martin, they expected the worst. To their surprise, management was excited about it. They liked the fact that everything needed was relatively simple and near term. As time went on, Martin Marietta embraced Mars Direct as their creation and put Bob and I on an airplane to several NASA centers to present Mars Direct and try to build some
momentum for it. NARRATOR:
Baker and Zubrin flew to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This had been one of the original design hubs for the Apollo moon
landings. But recently many of the engineers had become demoralized by the failure of NASA’s SEI program. Tag team style, Baker and Zubrin presented
their alternative mission architecture. The response was thrilling. The old school Apollo crowd embraced it. This was a plan that actually made sense and was within reach. ZUBRIN: Baker and I gave a number of briefings. The first was at the Marshall Space Flight Center. The next was at Johnson. These people were incredibly excited. NARRATIOR: Over the next few weeks, Zubrin and Baker were flown around the country, pitching to all branches of NASA and
everywhere they went the response was electric. The plan was standing up to scrutiny and groups all over NASA were converting
to Mars Direct. Their tour culminated in a public presentation to the National Space Society. The crowd gave the two aerospace engineers a standing ovation. A week later, the story was in newspapers around the country. But a counter attack was beginning to form within NASA. The space station teams and many in the advance propulsion groups were against the idea. Since Mars Direct didn’t
need their programs they felt under threat. As quickly as doors opened
for Zubrin and Baker they began to close. DAVID BAKER: NASA didn’t want to pursue a Mars mission at that time. They didn’t want to be derailed by a bunch of Mars fanatics that thought that their idea of what NASA should
do should overwhelm what NASA thought NASA should do. ZUBRIN: What we did in Mars Direct was literally come up with the leanness solution. The one that involved the least spending on an assortment of technologies and infrastructure
elements including for example we made no use whatsoever of the
International Space Station. And so people involved in all those
programs were very upset because we showing they shouldn’t
go to Mars without their program being required. They felt that
we were de-justifying them. The NASA administration rejected Mars Direct. The two engineers were outsiders again. But Zubrin remained determined. DAVID BAKER:
Bob had grabbed hold of it, and I could see that it was his and no
matter what I did he was going to do what he was going to do and
he was going to be a proponent for it and push it and I really saw
my role sort of evaporate. It’s a little bit like being a dim planet
next to a bright start around him in terms of his enthusiasm and
you really can’t compete with that. All you can do is decide how
you’re going to deal with it. NARRATOR:
By February 1991, Baker quit Martin to start his own firm. Zubrin battled on. For the next year and a half Zubrin tried to get NASA to
pay attention; giving speeches, writing papers. But Mars Direct’s
time seemed to have passed. But then in 1992, a new administration came into power
at NASA, and Zubrin saw a second chance. ZUBRIN: I was invited to brief Mike Griffin, who was
the associated administrator for space exploration, in charge
of the whole space exploration initiative. He immediately became a very
strong supporter of Mars Direct. But before the engineers at NASA would take
another look at Mars Direct, they wanted Zubrin to prove that producing
rocket fuel on Mars could work. They gave Martin Marietta
a small budget to do an experiment. Zubrin and his team built a
machine called the Institute Propellant Plan.
It could take carbon dioxide, the dominate gas in the Martian
atmosphere, combine it with a little hydrogen, and produce a methane oxygen fuel. ZUBRIN:
We did it in three months. With a very small team. We built a plant
that was 94% efficient. And no one who actually participated in
that effort was actually a real chemical engineer, they were all
aerospace engineers, like me, who were simply dabbling in
chemistry in order to prove to NASA that 19th Century chemical engineering really worked. NARRATOR:
With the experiment a success, the administration had Zubrin give
detailed briefings of the mission plan to the engineers of the Johnson Space Center. They liked it, but had some problems. Dave Weaver was the lead mission architect. DAVID WEAVER:
There were a number of things that we were concerned about with Bob Zubrin’s mission. First of all, we thought his estimates of mass were probably too optimistic. It didn’t have sufficient margins for a
variety of things. Not the least of which would be things like
provisions for the crew, the amount of water that would be required. We thought his assent vehicle was very large – which meant his power requirements, his propellant requirements, were much larger than needed to be. His trip times out were too long, and for very little effort you could get them shorter. The other problem was the size of his crew. He had a four person crew.
I think virtually every study that’s been done says that a four person crew, for a three year type of mission, is probably not realistic. NARRATOR:
Weaver took Zubrin into his office and the two men worked out compromise mission architecture. First, Weaver wanted three
launches for every mission, instead of two. The first year, three ships would launch. A MAV, Mars Ascent Vehicle. An unoccupied HAB and an ERV, Earth Return Vehicle. The HAB and MAV would land on the surface
and begin producing fuel for the return flight and air
for the crew. These craft would spend two solitary years on Mars allowing NASA to test all of the systems before sending a human crew. Then, in the third year, three more ships would launch. This time with the HAB occupied by astronauts. The other two ships are for a future mission, unless needed for a backup for this crew. Once on Mars, the team could also utilize the first HAB. Then, after a year and half stay, the crew would climb aboard their small capsule, and rendezvous with the return ship. This ship would
carry them back home in a roomier environment than Zubrin’s ERV. Zubrin called the plan MARS SEMI DIRECT. NASA called it the DESIGN REFERENCE MISSION. They had a larger crew than we had, they had bigger ships, they had more equipment, they had heavier equipment. So they had to do the mission in three launches, instead of two, but it was done with the same principles of Mars Direct. The plan was subjected to the same cost-analysis that tagged the 90-day report with a 450 billion dollar price tag. The Design Reference Mission came back at a fraction of the cost, 55 billion. Spread out over 10 years, it could be done within NASA’s existing budget. The plan made the cover of Newsweek. Here was a mission architecture that was affordable and could be done today with existing technology. But NASA’s astronauts have not left low Earth orbit since. With the completion of the International Space Station – and the retiring of the Space Shuttle Program – a debate rages over the future of space exploration. Should NASA continue to focus on low Earth orbit, developing technologies for the future? Or should NASA have a goal – like it did in the 1960’s with Apollo? The way we got to the moon was by a Presidential imperative, that demanded that NASA get to the moon within
a decade. So NASA was forced to sit down, design a plan
for how to do that, and then fly the mission. Since that time, without the presence of a driving imperative, we engage in basically a random set of constituency-driven programs which are justified ad hoc afterwards by the argument that they
could prove useful at some time in the future when you actually have a plan to go somewhere. BAKER:
I think NASA has focused on a study process where the government can’t just pull the plug on their funding. I think the Apollo cancellation was very traumatic for NASA and it really transformed NASA from what it was in the 60s to more of what it is now. If you have a singular program like going
to Mars, then it is very vulnerable to having its funding pulled. ZUBRIN: NASA must be destination driven. It is the only thing that allows the agency to be productive. NASA was a hundred times more productive when it was destination-driven
than in the period that it has not been. And we have stagnated at NASA since 1973. 30 years. More than a generation has been wasted. ZUBRIN:
The American space program’s been stagnant for 30 years. There’s a once in a generation shot right now to get it moving again by giving it a goal that’ll take it somewhere. So the stakes today are high. And if you ask me if I am nervous right now – I am. Sen. JOHN McCAIN: Dr. Zubrin. ZUBRIN: Why is NASA stuck in low Earth orbit? The problem with NASA’s lack of current achievement is not money, the problem is lack of focus, it’s lack of a goal. It shouldn’t be humans to Mars in 50 years, it should be humans to Mars in 10. We can do this. We do not need gigantic nuclear electric spaceships to send people to MArs That is pork, it’s nonsense. The primary
question I get from the American people is, “Why aren’t we
doing this?” There’s a big sense of disappointment, almost verging on
a sense of betrayal. The purpose of space ships is to actually
travel across space and go to new worlds. Not to hang out in space and observe the health effects of doing so. Sen. BROWNBACK: Dr. Zubrin, in your testimony you were very passionate but you also were mad. You’re mad we haven’t done this or that this vision has been stolen from a generation. ZUBRIN: I guess you could say that. It’s like Columbus coming back from the new world and Ferdinand and Isabella saying,
“Ah, so what. Forget it. Burn the ships.” Okay. That’s
what has happened in this country. ZUBRIN:
We’ve won our point, that there needs to be a destination. What we need – the point we need to win on now is the destination
needs to be Mars and it needs to be soon. The moon program is never fully funded and
eventually is The movement to send humans to Mars, in the near term, began at the University of Colorado in 1978. When a graduate student in astrogeophysics, named Chris McKay, gave a small seminar on the possibility of introducing life to Mars. CHRIS MCKAY:
I got interesting in Mars in graduated school. I entered graduate school the same year that Viking landed on Mars. It sent back these images. And it sent back data that showed all the elements needed for life are here on this planet and yet there’s no life here. That’s odd. It’s sort of the lights are on and nobody’s home. And I thought, well that’s curious. Some of my other grad students
and I, we sort of got together to talk about well, if there’s no life on
Mars now could we put life there? And that evolved also into the
question, well maybe there was life in the past. And so we could find fossils, evidence of it. Well, how would you do that? Well,
you’d do that by sending people there. NARRATOR:
Together with fellow graduate students, the group decided to put
together a small conference to discuss the matter of human Mars exploration. CHRIS MCKAY:
We basically just started a forum. And we invited everybody from all
the NASA centers and from all the Universities that were involved in it. And they all came, and it was, it really was, in retrospect I realize, a very important step toward building a consensus for human exploration of Mars. ZUBRIN:
In 1996, I published my first book, “The Case for Mars.” And the response was phenomenal. I got 4000 letters from all over the world. I had Parisian bankers, and 12-year-old kids in Poland, and firemen from Saskatoon, and astronauts, and they’re all writing me and saying — “How do we make this happen?” CHRIS MCKAY:
Bob Zubrin came to the third Mars conference and got very much involved. And he was willing and interested in forming a society, forming a group, and organizing. ZUBRIN:
I said, look if we could pull these people together, if we can get them to work together. We could have a force that could actually
make humans-to-Mars happen. NARRATOR:
The group formed The Mars Society. Robert Zubrin became the President. They held their first convention in 1998. The convention was just magic. We had no idea how many people were coming. They were there, not just from the United States and Canada and Europe, they were there from Israel,
they were there from Mozambique, they were there from New Zealand. It was astonishing. Since its inception, The Mars Society has
attracted members worldwide. Derek Shannon is the head of the Southern California chapter. He has met with Political leaders from all over the country. DEREK SHANNON: If you make them look at the whole Mars vision in historical terms, it becomes a much easier sell.
How will the Martians remember our century? They’re probably
not going to remember our deficit, our wars, our healthcare. Those
will be footnotes. What they’ll remember is that out of all human
history there came a generation that decided to take this amazing
step out into space. And if you tell politicians that they’re the ones
whose names actually gets remembered that’s when hopefully the
space program starts going somewhere. NARRATOR:
In order to further the knowledge necessary for a manned-mission
to the red planet, the Mars Society has been building research
stations around the globe. All of them based on the design of Zubrin’s HAB module. Most recently, the society set-up a desert
research station in Utah. Here International researchers and aerospace
students come to do experiments under the harsh desert conditions
and learn what’s necessary to keep a Mar’s crew alive and productive. REECE LUMSDEN:
Basically what we’re doing here is undergoing analog studies. Crews of up to six people at a time come together to live in a full
simulation environmental for up to 14-days. So what that means is
every time we have to go outside the HAB people have to don space suits. They have to depressurize. When we go outside they are called extravehicular activities, they can only be of a certain duration due to the air supply. We have to recycle all our water
and basically have our own food as well. DR. EDWARD WEILER: It’s great to fantasize, but it’s another thing when you have to put it together, when the nuts have to fit the bolts. Like the Apollo missions to the moon, sending
human beings to Mars will mean putting people in harms way. There are many dangers in outer space and many things could go wrong. A serious equipment breakdown could doom the crew to their deaths. Some argue that the risk of failure is simply
too high. ZUBRIN:
You know, back in the days when Medieval man was looking out from Europe, thinking about exploring the world, the world was unknown and map makers populated their maps with dragons. We’ve got the same thing today. There are people who are afraid to
go out into space and they’ve populated their maps of the solar system with dragons. You know, we’ve got cosmic radiation, we’ve
got zero gravity, we’ve got back contamination. But these are dragons that we can take on. There are two kinds of radiation astronauts
must contend with in outer space, solar flares and cosmic rays. Solar flares are floods of protons that burst from the sun at irregular intervals, and would be dangerous to an unshielded human crew. We are not ready to send humans to Mars right now. We’ve got to know a lot more about radiation and radiation mitigation. One of the Apollo flights barely missed, like by a week, a major solar event. If it has gone off when the Apollo astronauts were on the way back and forth to the moon, they would have gotten their entire lifetime radiation dose in that one mission. And that’s just one solar flare. So that’s why we worry about this. NARRATOR: In the Mars Direct plan, Zubrin envisions a central insulated core where a crew could retreat to while the radiation passes by. The core would be surrounded by all the provisions of the mission. This should stop any harmful dose of radiation from reaching the astronauts.
ZUBRIN: Basically you use your pantry as your storm shelter. So a solar flare happens, the alarm bell rings, the crew goes into the storm shelter They stay in there cramped up pretty
tight for a few hours until the all clear rings and they come out.
This is gonna happen once, it might happen twice in the course of the mission. The second type of radiation is cosmic rays. This constant rain of charged particles comes from interstellar space, And cannot be avoided without many meters of shielding. We can experience some of this type of radiation on Earth, at high altitudes. Airline pilots, who spend their careers flying high in the atmosphere, can receive almost as much of this radiation, throughout their life, as a Mars astronaut would on a 2.5 year mission. DR. WEILER: It’s a long trip. It’s a 6-month trip there,
a 6-month trip back. It’s probably a year on the surface. That’s a
lot of radiation. ZUBRIN:
The best estimates are that the magnitude of that dose is not that great. Perhaps 60 rem of radiation scattered over 2.5 years. Now 60 rem of radiation, delivered over a long period of time like that, would not create any noticeable effects at all. It would though, it is believed,
increase your statistical risk of getting cancer at some point later in your life by about 1%. Right now, if you’re an average American
and you do not smoke, you have a 20% chance you’re going to die
of Cancer. This would make it 21%. If you’re an average American smoker, it’s 40%. So, in fact, if you recruited the Mars crew out of smokers and sent them to Mars without their tobacco, you would be reducing their chance of getting Cancer. NARRATOR:
With the immense distance from Earth – never before experienced by a human being – with the constant dangers of outer space
surrounding their small, life-sustaining craft, and with no where else to go, the psychological impact on a crew could be sever. FRANKLIN CHANG-DIAZ: Fear is real. It would be, to me, abnormal for a person to not feel the fear of getting on a rocket and launching
into space and going to Mars. So I think fear is a very normal thing that all astronauts, in fact, are supposed to have. And I would be afraid to fly with someone who does not have fear. Some psychologists worry that “cabin fever” could set in and the crew might literally go crazy. ZUBRIN: The human-Mars-mission is a more rigorous and difficult condition than most of us experience in daily life. But it is hardly more difficult situation than many people have endured throughout human history. We could compare the Mars crew to the crew of 19th century, or prior, sailing vessels. Many of whom were away from home for
three years or more than three years, under conditions in which they’re eating extremely bad food, without any medical knowledge to support their health, commanded by brutal officers. In every respect the crew of a human-Mars-mission with the full support of Mission support and the whole world cheering for them and great rewards waiting for them, in life, upon their return, is in a vastly superior condition. NARRATOR: The Mars Direct crew will spend most of their time inside the two story HAB, carefully designed to promote psychological well-being despite the confinement. KURT MICHEELS: The space where I think everybody would spend the most time, you know, just like a lot of homes on Earth, would be the galley/war room area. There would be chairs, a table, some kind of large screen for entertainment. You would have the individual staterooms – about four or five feet wide. The ability for them to communicate with loved ones, or with colleagues on Earth, I think will be almost unlimited. A Mars crew will need to be carefully chosen
and thoroughly tested to insure their ability to handle the extreme isolation. CHANG-DIAZ: John Young, who went to the moon, he used say that he could cover the Earth by just lifting his thumb up to it. And, he says that, when you go to Mars you are going to re-define the concept of loneliness. So it is very important that the crew be well-balanced and well-chosen so that they can support each other. NARRATOR:
Whoever gets picked to go, they will have to learn to live together for 2.5 years. ZUBRIN:
If you put out a call for volunteers for the first crew to Mars, they’d be lined up coast to coast. Most people recognize that what’s left after
you go is the good you left behind. And to take part in a venture of
this character – such a historic character – of extending the reach of the human species, this is something of immortal significance. ZUBRIN:
One of the most bogus threats associated with the Mars mission is the so-called back contamination issue. Which is this notion that you go to Mars, discover these virulent disease organisms that you bring back to Earth and destroy all life on Earth. NARRATOR:
If we discover life on Mars, one fear is that our Earth biology will have no defense against possible Martian pathogens. Some argue that missions to Mars cannot be risked until we can prove Mars is free from harmful contaminants. ZUBRIN:
This is completely nonsensical. There is natural transfer of material
from Mars to Earth all the time. We get around 500 kilograms of unsterilized Martian rocks landing on Earth every year, and they have been doing so for the past 3, 4, billion years. And so, if there were Martian organisms that could contaminate the Earth, they’ve already done so. NARRATOR:
Although the prospect of Martian diseases seems remote, law makers have required that NASA create elaborate protocol to ensure that any extraterrestrial material stays contained. And like the Apollo astronauts who spent 17-days in quarantine after their return from a sterile moon, a Mars crew will have to be thoroughly tested for any harmful Martian pathogens. DR. PENELOPE BOSTON:
The probability is infinitesimally tiny. But never-the-less this is our home planet and it’s extremely important and we have to protect it. The idea of a pathogen on Mars is clearly
ridiculous because there is no megafauna or megaflora on Mars for pathogens to infect. So it is impossible to propose a credible lifestyle
for a Martian pathogen. The diseases that afflict us have been co-evolving with us and our ancestors and near-relatives for the past 3 billion years. And they are specifically designed to live inside the habitat of the human body and to overcome its defenses. And they’ve been engaged in
an arms race with the human defenses for those 3 billion years.
This is why humans do not get diseases from distantly related species. For example, I don’t know of any person who has ever contracted Dutch Elm Disease. You know, and trees don’t get colds. NARRATOR:
When the first Mars lander touches down the crew will be staring out a new world. A place that, in 4 billion years, no eyes have ever seen. The crew won’t be alone. Millions of television viewers back home will be watching as the first man or woman places their footprint into the rust-colored soil. The crew will savor these moments. For here, someday, a new branch of civilization might begin and future Martians will remember and celebrate this day. There is much for the crew to do and explore. One of their main mission objections will be to search for signs of microscopic life. To do this, they will follow the ancient water flows – for on Earth, where there is water, there is life. To help the crew in their search, they will
have a pressurized rover that allows them to explore in a comfortable shirt-sleeve environment. This means the crew can examine a vast area around the landing site – during their 18-month stay. And there is much to explore. Mars has 58 different kinds of topography and a surface area equivalent to all the continents of Earth, combined. If these explorers can uncover the fossilized remnants of indigenous Martian life they will redefine mankind’s understanding of its place in the universe. For if life arose separately on a planet so close to our own, it strongly suggests that the universe is a biologically rich place
and full of life. For some, the ultimate question of Mars though, is – Will there be human settlements on the planet? Will Mars become a new branch of human civilization? As each subsequent Mars mission explores a wider and wider area of the planet, over several years, an ideal site for a base will be found. Probably one with a thermal vent that can supply water and power. At that point, several HABs will be landed in this one spot with crews that plan to stay for 4, 8, or even 12 years. The HABs will be interconnected and a permanent human presence on Mars will be established. This scientific community will have to learn
to become selfsufficient. To be able to survive on Mars without supplies
constantly being sent from Earth. But unlike any other planet in the
solar system, besides Earth, Mars has all of the fundamentals
needed to make this possible. It’s 24 hour and 37 minute day is critical for
growing plants. It has all of the elements necessary for creating
building materials like plastics, metals and glass. And it has oceans of water frozen into the soil. ZUBRIN: If we can develop this craft of living on Mars, then Mars becomes inhabitable. Not immediately physically, but intellectually. I mean, look, what determines whether an environmental is habitable or not? Is Colorado habitable? We’re not naturally adapted to live in Colorado. We are tropical animals. No one could survive a single winter night here without technology – such as clothing, efficient use of fire. We invented our way into becoming people that could colonize such hostile environments. NARRATOR:
Eventually with a lot of ingenuity and invention the scientists will learn to live off the land. They will grow crops in the iron-rich but
potassium-poor soil. And they will produce oxygen and energy
from the water and atmosphere. Sooner or later, children will be born, the first true Martians. They
will grow up to see Mars as their home. With time, more and more people will arrive. These won’t only be scientists – but settlers – people who plan to stay. They may come for all kinds of reasons, but to them, Mars will be a chance to start over, to build a new life for themselves. ZUBRIN:
The well of human social thought is not exhausted by the present age. And I don’t think will ever be exhausted. There will always be people with new ideas on how humans should live together. With Mars so far away, the hold of Earth
governments on their colonies will be tenuous. The Martian will need to govern themselves. ZUBRIN:
Mars is not going to be a utopia. Mars is going to be lab. It’s a open frontier. It’s a place where things are going to be tried out. I think we’ll see a lot of noble experiments on Mars. Perhaps some of these Martian colonies, with their novel ideas – based on the best thought the 21st Century has to offer – maybe they’ll find ways in which humans create society that are more humane and offer more opportunity for human potential. NARRATOR:
The ultimate dream of the Martians will be to terraform their planet – to make Mars as hospitable as Earth. This may not be as big a fantasy as it seems. CHRIS MCKAY:
Here we are in Earth, a world that’s very sophisticated and
developed and complete and anything we do is just a subtraction.
Because we live in such a biologically rich planet. When we go to Mars, we have an opportunity that we don’t have on Earth. Here’s a planet that’s died. Here’s a world that’s not full of biology,
probably doesn’t have any at all. Well there we can actually do something to help. ZUBRIN:
Once there are large human settlements on Mars that would have significant industrial capability, we could actually start addressing
ourselves to the question of transforming the Martian environment itself. Terraforming Mars, as it’s called. Because Mars was once a
warm and wet planet, and it could be made so again through human engineering efforts. NARRATOR:
With day time temperatures in the Martian tropical zone averaging around zero degrees centigrade and with an atmosphere only 1% as
thick as Earth’s, exposure to these elements by a human without a space suit, would be instantly fatal. The first step to terraforming Mars and bringing
it back to life would be for the Martian colonies to warm
up their planet. CHRIS MCKAY:
Well we know how to warm up planets. We’re doing it on Earth. By putting gases in the atmosphere. On Earth it’s not a good idea to warm up the planet – the temperature is just fine, thank you. We
don’t need it any warmer here. But in principle, if you could trap the sunlight reaching Mars today, every single photon that’s hitting Mars, Mars would warm up in about 10 years. Well, obviously, you can’t trap every single
photon that’s hitting Mars but you can trap about 10% of them with
the greenhouse effect. So that would imply that Mars could
warm up in about 100 years. Well, a 100 years is a long time but it’s
not astronomically long. NARRATOR:
One idea is to build small automated factories that produce super-greenhouse gases with no ozone depleting side effects. Although these gases would be unwelcome on Earth, for the Martians, they would be an efficient way to trap heat. ZUBRIN:
Then within a few decades we would raise Mars by more than 10 degrees centigrade. And if you did that that, that would cause massive amounts of carbon dioxide that is currently absorbed into the
Martian soil, to start to outgas. NARRATOR:
Carbon dioxide is also a natural greenhouse gas. As it builds up in the atmosphere, more and more heat will be trapped, which will in turn cause more C02 to outgas. The process will become automatic, as the atmosphere thickens, Mars will eventually reach a
state of equilibrium and stay warm naturally. The rise in air pressure would mean that the
human colonists could discard their pressure suits. And walk around the surface of Mars carrying only a supply of oxygen. And as the temperatures rise on Mars, water frozen into the soil will begin to melt out. And for the second time in its history, Mars
would have liquid water on its surface. Dry Martian rivers will start to flow. Seas will rise. And there will be rain clouds in the skies. The return of Mars to its warm and wet stage will make it a fertile environment for life. Any indigenous Martian organisms lying
dormant will begin to grow and Mars will be full of Martians. If no native life emerges, or that life is all dead, then humans can begin addressing the idea of bringing life from Earth. At first, it would be simple organisms, perhaps genetically engineered, that would thrive in the Martian environment. Then more complexed plants could be introduced. The plants would be right at home in a carbon dioxide atmosphere. And with no competition and whole planet to cover, they could transform Mars into a green world. Warming Mars so that it sustains life is rapid. But then the slow process of making the atmosphere breathable for humans and animals start. And that’s done by plants. Although the process will happen naturally, if the colonists can’t find a quicker way, it will take tens of thousands of years. This is philosophical debate. Many people
think the universe has a big sign on it that says, “Do not touch.
Leave it alone, it was made this way, it is not in our purview as human
beings to change anything.” I can respect that view, although I disagree with it, I think the universe has big sign on it that says, “Go forth and spread life.” Because when I look around the universe, I think life is the most
amazing thing we see. It is just incredible. And, we human beings
are uniquely positioned to help spread life – form this little tiny planet, which it seems to have been started on, beyond. And that’s our gift. Earth’s gift to the universe, I think, is the gift of life. ZUBRIN:
This scheme for terraforming Mars is based on 20th Century notions of engineering. I think I don’t think it is how Mars will actually be terraformed. What you have here is a 20th Century mind trying to address a 22nd Century problem. And so, I think Mars will be
terraformed by the 23rd Century. Not by the 33rd by the 23rd.
Things that would seem utterly fantastical to us is how it will actually be done. But it’ll be done. We’re at a crossroads today. We either muster
the courage to go or we risk the possibility of stagnation and decay. DR. PENELOPE BOSTON:
The exploration of the solar system and expanding of life to the rest of our solar system and some day beyond, is the kind of thing that will keep our civilization going. DR. EDWARD WEILER:
We’re explorers by nature. Eventually we go to the stars. The question is when will we start? DAVID BAKER:
I think a manned-Mars mission could happen within 15 years. DR. LOUIS FRIEDMAN: Some days I’m very optimistic, I think we can do it in 10, maybe 15 years. Other days, I see all the political
things that go into the space program. I look back on the 30-years we’ve been bogged down and I get more negative about it and
I say it’s gonna be another three decades, four decades. DAVID WEAVER: I would be surprised if we got to Mars prior to 2025 or 2030. FRANKLIN CHANG-DIAZ:
In May of 2018. ZUBRIN:
Understanding the various political obstacles that exist and what we need to fight through to get the program started, I believe that we will be on Mars by 2020. You have to believe in hope. You have to believe
in the future. There are more and more people coming around
to the point of view that a positive future for humanity requires
human expansion into space. And we will eventually break through the forces of inertia that have been holding this thing back. The Mars Underground: Director’s Cut Radius Productions, Inc.


  1. Corinne Vickey Author

    Fascinating. Gives new perspective to exploration. However, i have Real concerns for our human population to trash another planet. Perhaps we should expand our ingenuity to clean up earth? Namaste

  2. Alain Michael Author

    Bull shit. Nothing can penetrate the dome firmament. NASA is a fraud. Earth is a stationary plane. It’s flat. Apollo was a hoax. Satellites and space doesn’t exist.

  3. Jim Green Author

    One of my favorite books as a Young child, A World of Wonder Book, was of the Sputnik. At the age of 6, when it was scheduled to fly over my area of California my Dad took all of the kids up into the East Bay hills and we waited along with my Mom. Then IT happened, as though it was flying over head just for us. It was a beautifully clear night and from left to right as if drawn across the blue/black night – studded with stars. Sputnik made it's way. Everyone fell silent….except for my and forever stupid big brother. But he didn't ruin the absolute MAGIC of the moment. From that moment on, I was hooked on space, The American Space Agency later to be NASA.

  4. Poy Ester Author

    No ,No, No. We have to elect Bernie, then appoint people like Alexandia Cortex , Maxine Waters , Louis Farakahn , Debbie Wasserman Shultz and the Clintons to have complete power over us. Then we ratchet up our Gobbel's derived news outlets to convince men they are really women trapped in a man's body and women are men trapped in a woman's body. Then we get everyone to believe we only have 12 years left etc.. That way we go no where and Al Gore emerges as the main puppeteer, marries John Kerry and they control planet earth ! Are there any good Democrats left ? If we choose to go the other way, the $450 billion plus plan is used,, and then Mars will be swamped with Trump Hotels and golf courses ! So Space X , Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are the best to start with. Also a few Space companies from Europe , Japan ,, Russia and China etc.. Some money from the Middle East and Africa might help too.

  5. Prem.G .Gaikwad Author

    I think iit's the drive to reach destination against the people who want get benfit out it, may be political, financial etc. Only when we treat it as a pure scientific goal for the future of human race can we full fill this ambitious mission.

  6. binyam letarge Author

    Amazing, first you should study on earth and give solution for human being. After that investing (wast) this amount of money next. May God give you the truth.

  7. Morten Bourget Author

    The Russians did everything, orbit, dog orbit, man in orbit. The United States, nothing. But they traveled to the moon, lol. Established a lot up there, ha ha. Are there still some who think they were there?

  8. boneman1960 Author

    What are they talking about, i watch Corei Goode and the space program he was part of, he said they have a base on Mars, this all crap for the people.

  9. LEIGH BARTON Author

    The issue of back contamination is a bigger dragon than the good doctor is admitting.
    SPACE is an unknown quantity. Where the mariners of old had drowning or scurvy to deal with. astrophiles will have to brave explosive decompression and calcium depletion. Muscular atrophy and gross edema don't even BEGIN to complete the picture. If we admit that we ARE ignorant savages with respect to space, we just might live long enough to explore it. As a species.
    Since we only have experience with Terrestrial environments, THAT is what we have to use as a guideline. The highest probability for extraterrestrial first contact will be fossils. About an 80 percent or better chance. Unless there are associated toxins with these there shouldn't be much problem. There is about a 70 percent chance that first contact will be bacteriological. This should be a carefully scrutinized event. Three percent of the terrestrial bacteria have a deleterious effect on the human body. And we ARE a fragile species. Far too easily killed or maimed. With the communicability and virulence of pathogens, the species is at risk. Just because a "credible life cycle" cannot be proposed by one of the "ignorant savages" , does not mean there isn't one. The "Andromeda strain" is a novel about just such a scenario. Recommended reading. We ARE ignorant about space. We NEED to be wary. Proper precautions are prudent, and probably STILL won't be enough. Prophylaxis is the best defense we have.

  10. Interested In Author

    Interesting documentary, but I don't see the necessity for human occupied missions especially given the success of unmanned missions, robotics, ai, etc.

  11. Heinrich Peter Maria Radojewski Schäfer Leverkusen Author

    That's not really deeply convincing at all. If you have
    to make such an effort to praise the wonderful, exciting
    and fantastic life in a new place, it is overly clear. Here
    you should put the screws on. So, please think twice
    about what and for whom this should be done.
    The dramatic music in the video doesn't help.

  12. Steven Andros Author

    Very thought-provoking. Unless I missed it, no one made reference to the massive dust/wind storms with wind speeds over 200 mph. That would certainly effect all aspects of having humans there, even if we are only there a year.

  13. hopeCafe' anew Author

    Why would anyone think rockets will be much more bang ,than a shaking of a beer or pop can.
    I want the same curiosity from the deep state as the aliens gave us, vehicles that will traverse vast areas of space yet can explore the smallest valley in our beloved earth.
    Selfish motives keep the technology of elect-gravitic and anti- gravity secret.
    Trust in one another without killing each other is the truth.
    Endless war ? Enslavement? A better way ?
    Yes , first never lie again for any reason.
    Truth is the only way forward without exception.

  14. fruityrudy21 Author

    ""MARS""?? HA! All planets are really stars upon God's Firmament! Rockets crash into the ocean, which is where I suspect Mr. Zubrin will go – Not DOCTOR, because that word refers to a man educated in Christian doctrine! May the truth of God's perfect flat disc (except for hills and valleys) be spread far and wide!

  15. 07LunaSky Author

    It won't be Americans that go to Mars and beyond. Many other countries will surpass the USA in space exploration and technology. The USA went to the moon about 50 years ago and now the government is content to never do anything worthwhile ever again.

  16. Ang Bart Author

    Before teraforming… Let earth be transformed too back to its greenish pleasant environment. Its kinda B.S though we cant organize it with all other country. Then we talking on transforming mars? with its larger mass than earth.

  17. daniel ash Author

    Why ? I know China has advances in the space launch programs and its a text book of NASA's old books just fine tuned and added to it .All Nations Must set aside Politics and be as one but separate in monetary fund when 3 dollars from every person is donated from all the high power A.I.P the learning type creation by shelf shift so dramatically increase the chances of that road to space advances faster then the PC .


    American NASA always hidden the real truth of space and the Aliens communication… Thay never want to distribution the actual reality of knowledge of univers.. I am very shamefull because they are also a human of earth of our milkyway galaxy..

  19. Johnny Tightwad Author

    Why do you dumb fucks think we should go to a dead wasteland planet? Go live in the middle of the desert or go to the middle of antarctica.

  20. Bill Greenough Author


  21. Dragon seven Author

    What the fail to say is the gravity on mars is far less than that of earth and you will never get enough density of atmosphere to tera form it no one ever mentions the gravitational factor such bs

  22. Dragon seven Author

    now if you could increase mar's m,ass say with many comets and asteroids you might then increase the gravity enough but the surface will be molten and hot for many many hundreds or 10000's of years also consider this would this disturb the orbit?/ mar's will never ever be even remotely like earth as the say in the film

  23. Timothy Nechville Author

    Ya well I have been trying to get funding for a Air/Space craft since 2010 that could make this a reality in the next 2 years I haven't even managed to get $20 people are relying on the Gov't to do every thing all I want is a few $100,000 from a few investor who want to make huge returns and we will be Mars capable in a couple years. I did the same building a Buffalo Farm with a lot less money.

  24. Doug A. Author

    Making mars livable so people could migrate there to escape the insanity here on earth is a good idea ..but screening would be needed to prevent the undesirables from getting there too the greedy racist lawless Trumpian types who do not respect human rights and life. If no screening is done, life on Mars would become very dystopian like the insanity of life on earth …might as well stay on earth if that was the case. ..oh ..and no lawyers allowed!

  25. Johansen Yoyanovich Author

    1:09:05 Our gift to the Universe is the gift of life? I had to think of the irony in that comment….Because we have made an industry out of killing millions of little unborn lives through abortion. Life is only precious in a theory and when it benefits us because we are incredibly selfish. But, when we abort a fetus because it is a nuisance?….well, I think that shows how much we don't believe in how life precious is. We treat whole people groups, and even little unborn babies like crap.

  26. Old Man Author

    Now let’s not forget to be politically correct here. The only white guy on the first Mars mission will have to be gay. The mission commander will have to be a transgendered gay minority with some form of handicap,who firmly believes that 2+2=4 is a racist,homophobic,sexist,genderist and xenophobic construct. After all,this is the all inclusive and oh so tolerant 21st century.

  27. Brian Hagen Author

    With advances in AI, robotics, and 3D printing, what about a colony of droids first? I would like to see that. (R2 and 3PO could report …)

  28. Susan May Gudge Author

    We, as humans, are not ready to go anywhere. We still have not learned to clean up after having a picnic in the park. We throw garbage out car windows. We pollute the air we breath and the water we drink to survive. We have polluted this planet so badly it may not survive us. We went to the moon and left tons, yes tons, of garbage behind. Now, go to Mars to destroy it too? Humans are pigs. Until mankind has learned to respect a planet or moon, we are best to just stay here and fix what we can, if it is not too late to do so.

  29. Charles Toles Author

    problem !-i give a crap if klingons are circleing uranus-i want reasonable healrh care and would realy like to have something to live in !

  30. Eric Norgren Author

    🖖 Yes, I can just imagine Dr. Leonard McCoy in his fabulous fits of impeccable emotionally charged logic, "My God Man, it would take 10 years just for any countries space agencies to agree on how to come to any agreements!!! And another 10 years just to come to any agreement on the design specifications for anything to send to Mars!!!".

  31. Truth Seeker Author

    The dumbest idea ever, is to go live on Mars. The gravity there is 38% of earth's. That fact alone should dissuade any reasonable, sane person from living on Mars long term. What will happen to the human body after living in Mars gravity five years? How about ten or fifteen years in Mars gravity? Heavy loss of bone density, heart failure, weakened or non-existent immune system? Who knows? Who wants to be the guinea pig to answer these questions?

    Another problem with colonizing Mars in the foreseeable future is our lack of an adequate logistical infrastructure. Each way to mars using propulsion technology commonly used today, takes between six and nine months, depending on the position of Mars from Earth. It takes a long time for supplies to get to Mars from Earth. Who wants to be stuck on Mars waiting for needed supplies?

    The answer to human expansion in space is building space cities/human habitats/ human controlled environments in space, not colonizing Mars or any other planet.

  32. Vahan Good Author

    A great movie indeed. 👍 Definitely inspiring thinking about going to Mars. And going to Mars we should!

    Why? As Dr. Zubrin eloquently envsions…1) For the science – Mars has a lot scientists can learn from. 2) For the challenge – it will be one of the most challenging Human endeavors; we thrive off of challenges and decay without them. 3) For the future – Mars is the best place to establish a new branch of Humanity. Think about that and the enormous possibilities!

  33. Achiles Redemptia Author

    mars environment much different then earth. lower gravity which human not design for, no moon so the planet wobble more, lower magnetic field power means more radiation and most of all, dry weather that can create crazy sandstorm that easily cover the whole planet

  34. Armando Roig Author

    The question is not if we have the technology to reach Mars. The question is: If we have the technology to terraform and improve an atmosphere, on another planet and, if we have the decision to work on another planet, united by the common good and development … why don't we choose to do it on Earth before? …

  35. Sonia Glasper Author

    If we have been getting hit by rocks from Mars for the past 2 or 3 billion years, how were they launched and, does Mars ever get hit by Earth rocks, and if so, how


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