Ron Howard: Creating the vision of the future Mars colony


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NATional Geographic

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The Mars series predicts how a pioneering human settlement can function on the Red Planet

For the second season of the Mars series, Hollywood director Ron Howard talked to the BBC about creating a realistic picture of the first human colonies on the Red Planet.

If humanity is to expand into the universe, then Mars will probably be our first springboard. In an atmosphere consisting mainly of carbon dioxide and temperatures in the range from 20C to -125C, Red Planeta is not ideally ideal for people.

We would have to adapt to life almost entirely in tightly closed habitats – so outside – these types do not have to apply.

But maybe there is a bigger problem in the game. Colonizing Mars would provide humanity with a lifeboat, ensuring our species survive if a gigantic catastrophe would affect civilization – let's say an asteroid impact or ecological breakdown.

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The director and producer, Ron Howard, said the original space race showed how many people did it

It is something that many important names – such as the founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk – think hard.

Through a hybrid of drama and documentary, the "Mars" series of National Geographic explores how people could be grounded as an interplanetary genre. The second season starts on November 11.

Oscar-winning executive producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are responsible for the long list of blockbuster Hollywood movies, including Splash, Cocoon, A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13, as well as groundbreaking TV series such as From the Earth to the Moon, which he told the history of the space race.

Ron Howard told the BBC News that although he is a huge fan of space exploration, he was not initially sold about the importance of settling on Mars.

"When I first started this series a few years ago, I thought it was a great idea to make an adventure on Mars and we should make it as real as possible," says Howard.

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Dusan Martincek

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The series explores the conflict between scientific and commercial interests in the developing Mars colony

"But I was not sure if I believed in the idea of ​​going to Mars, I knew that I believed in the idea of ​​space exploration … and any program that supported a statement that was healthy and positive for people – to inspire their ideas to look outside .

"But because I went through the process of working on the series and interviewed some of the great thinkers, now I really believe in it strategically – I do not mean that from the military point of view, I mean from the point the continuous evolution of the human species … Not only I believe that it is feasible, I am a great believer. "

The first season of Mars followed the crew of the Daedalus spacecraft, as the astronauts tried to create a pioneer settlement on the Red Planet in 2033. The second season was established nine years later and follows the fate of the first full-sized colony. The scenario covers the daily challenges of settlers, including the first birth on the Red Planet, disease epidemics and mechanical breakdowns.

It also documents the tensions between scientists who want to study the planet and private companies that want to benefit from its natural resources.

"Here, in our program, we have interests that are not fully adapted to the expedition: the private sector versus an international group of scientists, and not all of them have been developed on Earth, each has its own plans and their orders – a small print that the conflict is developing – said Howard.

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NATional Geographic

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The outbreak of illness hits the colony in the second season

The series includes an international organization that is responsible for the scientific exploration of Mars. Indeed, many experts have argued that spreading the efforts and costs of a real manned missions to Mars between countries is the only way possible if we want to reach it in the near future.

However, thanks to US support for the International Space Station, which is due to end in 2024, and relying on the Russian rocket Soyuz to stop flying into the space station in the coming years, we may think we are approaching the unprecedented culmination of international cooperation in the field of flights space.

Point of view: when will we send people to Mars?

Point of view: Should we send people to Mars?

Asked what would be needed for a real Martian settlement to be successful, Mr. Howard told me: "I think that if there is a lesson in our season, it is because more coordinated human beings can be on the international stage, both in terms of exploration scientific interests, national interests and corporate interests, the more equalization, the better. "

The documentary segments of the first season contained loud life stories, such as the daily operations of Musk & # 39; s SpaceX and the annual mission of the astronaut Scott Kelly & # 39; at the International Space Station in 2015/2016. Howard said initially it would be harder to find case studies in the second season, but he found plentiful materials on one of the last borders of the Earth – in the Arctic. Here the interests of oil wells are up to date with the interests of scientists and ecologists.

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The series used real SpaceX plans to send people to Mars; it shows a huge prototype fuel tank for a rocket

"Exploring different aspects of parallel stories in which industry and science clash, and planet ecology is at stake, beautifully linked to what is needed to start really settling on Mars, where people really have to influence their surroundings.

"It turned out to be very interesting and useful, and also because we learned a lot in the first season, I think we've tracked the documentary material that would support and strengthen the drama of the magazine, so I think the whole thing is even more trouble-free if the audience reacts well to this season and we do more seasons, we understand that there are some great ways to continue using the document after an ongoing colonization adventure and beyond. "

Elon Musk presented in detail his real plans for the colonization of Mars. Although there is no fixed schedule, it provides a transport system that can be fully utilized and delivered to Mars in 80 days. Its combination of rocket and spacecraft is 120 meters high – it is larger than the Saturn V rocket from the Apollo era – and can hold 100 people at the same time.

Musk said he believed that a Mars colony would need about a million people to make it self-sufficient – one of his greatest hopes.

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Dusan Martincek

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Colonists take on a number of challenges when they strive to make people an interplanetary species

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NATional Geographic

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Scientists founded a colony known as Olympus Town

Howard said the series is based on some of the engineering ideas proposed by SpaceX, NASA and other sources. "Spacenix probably saw that it was his own hybrid style, we did not use any props from other films, so we had to create everything." We made our own projects and for our production team, in the television budget, probably like dropping our own project to Mars.

Speaking of a new series for a small group of journalists, Mr. Howard explained why he considers exploration of the cosmos for such a lasting appeal: "My fascination began as a boy who witnessed the space race and everything that happened.

"It made the whole world feel as if human beings were able to do a lot more and there was so much to see." Between the mystery of space and the drama and excitement and thrill of mankind's ability to explore and experience – that's what captured our imagination.

"One of the things I learned while working on Apollo 13 and interviewing so many astronauts who went to the moon and walked on the moon – they were really in the matter."

He added: "For them it was just a proof that you can go, and this was the next horizon, that's what people are doing, they are looking at the horizon and they want to go there."

MARS is back for the second season on Sunday, November 11 at 20:00 GMT at National Geographic


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