Does “reality imitate art“ or
is it that “art imitates reality?”
In this scenario it seems fitting that reality may be imitating art. Here is why…
Charlie Brownsville, the main character in the movie Mars, bears the same name as the city in South Texas which will possibly hold the future spaceport for SpaceX. SpaceX is planning to launch manned missions to Mars in 12 – 15 years.
I think not. One cannot deny the correlations. Hollywood is always predicting what the future will be like. Rarely it is right. This time, “Mars” got it right. And, it seems that certain aspects of this movie are coming true.
How it’s true to life:
1. Mars rover, Curiosity has now landed and is exploring the land for future colonization
2. SpaceX has proposed a future spaceport in Brownsville, TX at Boca Chica Beach
3. FAA is currently undergoing an environmental review for proposed project
4. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, predicts manned missions to Mars will occur in 12 – 15 years.
5. Having demonstrated to safely launch and dock its cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station, SpaceX is now flying cargo resupply missions for NASA.
A new space race is born between NASA and the ESA when Charlie Brownsville, Hank Morrison, and Dr. Casey Cook compete against an artificially intelligent robot to find out what’s up there on the red planet. Mars follows these three astronauts on the first manned mission to our galactic neighbor. On the way they face adventure, doubt, obnoxious reporters, and the boredom of extended space travel. This romantic comedy is told in the playful style of a graphic novel- using an animation process that director Geoff Marslett developed specifically for MARS. Underneath the silliness it is an exploration of exploration.
Musk’s plan for the future of Mars:
In an interview with Wired magazine with Chris Anderson on October 21, 2012. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, was questioned on this vision. Musk’s idea of colonizing on Mars begins with this idea,
“The idea was to send a small greenhouse to the surface of Mars, packed with dehydrated nutrient gel that could be hydrated on landing. You’d wind up with this great photograph of green plants and red background – the first life on Mars, as far as we know, and the farthest that life’s ever traveled. It would be a great money shot, plus you’d get a lot of engineering data about what it takes to maintain a little greenhouse and keep plants alive on Mars. If I could afford it, I figured it would be a worthy expenditure of money, with no expectation of financial return.”
Musk’s first idea to send a greenhouse to Mars is somewhat similar to that of the movie Mars. In the case of the plot line in Mars, it was the lack of hygiene from those damn Russians! On introduction, Pierre (Garry Peters) sneezes and spews slimy green snot all over a robot named the Beagle 2. The Beagle 2 is then loaded onto a Mars-bound rocket. (Not such a bad idea if one wants to spread germs on a neighboring planet thereby causing a growth of bacteria and life on the red planet.)
How is life on Mars possible?
By introducing photosynthetic organisms which take in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen, humans could produce breathable air on Mars. Changing the atmosphere would also have a greenhouse effect on Mars, altering the planet’s climate to something more suitable to humans. The warming climate would cause Mars’ polar ice caps, which may contain water, to melt. Through terraforming Mars, humans could make themselves a new home in space. It has also been found that radiation levels are similar to that of low orbit earth. Current evidence indicates that astronauts can survive on Mars.
When will humans get to Mars?
On August 6, 2012 Musk said in an interview with ABC Nightline,
“I’m confident at this point that it can be done. I think we’ll be able to send, probably, the first people to Mars in roughly 12 to 15 years. That’s my estimate.”
Once humans land on Mars, what then?
Musk has big plans for the red planet. As stated in the ABC Nightline interview,
“The rockets we hope to build in the future are the ones that could take people and cargo to Mars and establish a Martian base.”
This vision translates to big business here at home.
“Mars is the only place in the solar system where it’s possible for life to become multi-planetarian,” Musk said. “We could make Mars like Earth…it’s more than our life raft, it’s like backing up the biosphere.”
Check it out and quiz yourself:
Class Zone – Can Mars support life?
Test your knowledge. Did you pass?