MarsQuest

MarsQuest traces humanity’s centuries-long cultural and scientific fascination with the planet Mars. In the show's first section, "Homage," we trace Mars through history – from an "incantation" of the various War God forms given by different cultures, to the early observations of Schiaparelli and Lowell, and the infamous "canals" which led to science-fiction stories about Martians. We hear excerpts from H. G. Wells’s "War of the Worlds" and Edgar Rice Burroughs's "Barsoom" novels. "Mars In Focus" details the Mars of our time -- as seen in the night sky, through binoculars and telescopes, and from our Mars explorations. Mission findings from Viking, Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor feature reports on Mars weather, climate, and areology. We compare the climate and terrain of Earth and Mars, and present the current thinking about the areologic history of the planet, and a rationale for future exploration. “Mars in the Future” examines where on Earth we can prepare to live on Mars, what will be needed to get crewed missions to the Red Planet, and what the first landing may be like. The show ends with “Rhapsody on a Red Planet,” a poetically-styled “ode to Mars,” this time from a future perspective; an eloquent soliloquy tracing the efforts that led to humanity’s first footsteps onto the desolate and dusty Martian surface.

*Science Education Content (click here)

Length: 40 minutes