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Documentary about the potential of a manned mission to mars. Many scientists work together to predicted what the pros and cons of such an expedition would be.

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Mars Rising
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  • Is there life on Mars? Scientists in North America are combing the most barren places on Earth to search out bacteria, amino acids or carbonates that might offer clues. What if Mars has its own independently created life forms which are deadly to humans? Researchers on the Arctic's frigid Devon Island, British Columbia's Pavilion Lake, Chile's Atacama Desert and caves in New Mexico offer compelling chronicles.

  • The last six minutes of the flight to Mars are the most terrifying. Only an inflatable aeroshell will protect the capsule as it enters Mars atmosphere at a temperature of 4,000?C and a speed of 16,000 km/hr. After the capsule's speed has been slowed, the astronauts have 90 seconds to pinpoint a safe place to land.

  • The human spirit itself may be the Achilles heel of the Mars Mission. Mental breakdown, sexual tension, near-suicide and mutiny have already taken place on shorter space missions. The crew knows there is a 50 per cent failure rate in Mars landings.

  • The spacecraft that will take a crew to Mars will be assembled ' in space. Up to 10 rockets will be required to carry equipment and the astronauts to the mothership. The 56-million-kilometre journey to and from the Red Planet could take up to three years. Will the fuel be thermo-nuclear or super-heated charged particles? Engineers must get it right the first time ' or the astronauts will die.

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