Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mars colony by Caroline Gasnier

Picture of the Day 19/2/15 - "Station Mars" by French digital artist Caroline Gasnier.

Mars base by Caroline Gasnier

Monday, February 16, 2015

Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets (2004)

Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets movie poster
Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets (2004) is a fictional documentary made by BBC about a manned voyage through the solar system. Five astronauts are traveling with nuclear powered spaceship Pegasus and land on Venus, then on Mars, then they make a close flyby of the Sun for a gravity assist maneuver slingshotting them to Jupiter's system where they visit Io and Europa, then Saturn's icy rings and finally land on Pluto. On their way home they also land on a comet experiencing its destabilization when it closes Sun.

On their voyage they encounter many problems of which the death of one of them (because of a radiation overdose during the flyby of the Sun) is the most depressing one. In all the hardships the landing on Mars where they are delayed only by a sandstorm seems to be one of the easiest one.

There are some scenes from the Mars part of the movie (click to view in full resolution):

Mars landerExploring Mars

Astronauts on MarsMars lander

The Mars part of the movie can be seen here:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars by Peter Elson

A set of paintings for the book covers of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy by classical space illustrator Peter Elson.
More of his paintings you can find here.

Phase 1. - Red Mars:

Astronauts on Red Mars by Peter Elson

Red Mars by Peter Elson

Phase 2. - Green Mars:

Green Mars by Peter Elson

Phase 3. - Blue Mars:

Blue Mars by Peter Elson

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mars colony by Robert McCall

Picture of the Day 12/2/15 - "Mars metropolis" (1999) by legendary space artist Robert McCall. More of his space art here.

Mars colony by Robert McCall

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Carl Sagan: Blues for a Red Planet (documentary)

Carl Sagan: Blues for a Red Planet cover
Blues for a Red Planet (1980) is a documentary about the exploration of Mars by Carl Sagan - the famous visionary of space exploration and colonization. It is the 5th episode of Carl Sagan's Cosmos series and follows the humanity's gradually improving perception of the planet Mars - from our first looks at the night sky to Schiaparelli's Martian canals and global myth of intelligent but dying Martian civilization and finally the first Mars probes and two Viking landers (the most recent Mars probes of that time).

You can watch the full documentary here:

Carl Sagan and Viking lander

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Astronauts exploring Mars by Kyle Brown

Picture of the Day 7/2/15 - Astronauts trying to find a lost Mars rover by American concept artist Kyle Brown. More of his art here.
(Open link in new tab to view ⇩ in full resolution)
Astronauts exploring Mars by Kyle Brown

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars by CarlosNCT

A set of artwork by Spanish digital artist CarlosNCT inspired from three phases of terraformation of Mars in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. Click to view in full resolution:

Phase 1. - Red Mars:

Red Mars by CarlosNCT

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mars colony by Don Dixon

Picture of the Day 31/1/15 - Astronauts set up a relay antenna near a Mars colony by Don Dixon, 2005. More of his space art here.

Mars colony by Don Dixon

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mars movie review - Stranded (2001)

Stranded movie Mars
Stranded (original title in Spanish: Náufragos) is a 2001 low budget Spanish movie about struggle for survival of 5 astronauts stranded on Mars. Not all of them survive till the end.


The movie starts with Mars landing craft crashing on the surface of the planet along with 6 astronauts. The captain of the crew is dead and the remaining 5 are trying to figure out how to survive till the rescue mission could hopefully arrive 26 months later. The resources of food, water, oxygen and energy is limited and the only "solution" seems to be to let survive only 2 of them. So the 3 "expendable" ones are going for a "walk". They reach the edge of the Valles Marineris and descend down. When only 2 of them are left they discover a cave which unexpectedly turn into ancient Martian tunnels with oxygen in them. An unfortunate step into "wrong" tunnel kills 1 of 2 remaining ones. The last surviving women discovers the dead bodies of local Martians and their somehow pressurized (with no visible roof) oasis / ghost town into the depths of Valles Marineris. So she calls the other 2 which had stayed in the landing craft to come and join her. Hopefully they will survive till the rescue comes.

Verdict: 5/10

If the best Mars movie - Total Recall - would be about 1 point short of being "the ideal Mars movie", Stranded is 4 more points bellow that level because of these huge drawbacks:
  • the movie is low budget and it definitely feels like being low budget;
  • the acting is very poor. You don't get the feeling that characters are actual top-level astronauts/scientists which had been carefully chosen to be the first humans on Mars. Dialogues are clumsy and, despite the movie being quite depressive, the actors don't believably act as being hopelessly stranded millions of miles from Earth with possible rescue coming only years away at best.
Despite that, the concept of the movie is quite interesting (unlike some recent Mars-zombie movies like The last days on Mars with a bigger budget) and Stranded is worth watching for Mars fans.

Here you can watch the trailer of the movie:

My reviews of other movies set on Mars: