Published On: Thu, Dec 18th, 2014

Discovery’s ‘Red Planet Rover’ brings Mars exploration to life

Red Planet Rover on Mars Discovery Channel photoIt’s a stunning breakthrough that will forever change the way we look at the world: on Tuesday, NASA announced that the Curiosity rover found organics on Mars, the necessary building blocks of life. Discovery Channel cameras were rolling every step of the way with unprecedented access — experiencing the ups and downs of the expedition through the eyes of the science team and from the perspective of the Curiosity rover itself.  But what is ultimately discovered, will truly change everything.

RED PLANET ROVER, premieres Thursday, December 18, at 10 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel.  Viewers will get access unlike anything else seen before, and take an incredible ride with the smartest, most complex robot ever launched from Earth – a one-ton, nuclear powered, all-terrain vehicle, part geologist, part chemist, part photographer. Even though it’s a sophisticated piece of equipment, anything could go wrong and one minor mistake could stop the rover in its tracks.
NASA’s Curiosity was sent to solve one of the greatest mysteries of science – did life ever exist on Mars? It’s an audacious mission with no margin for error.  And like most things, making history hasn’t been easy.

The Curiosity rover mission marks the beginning of what may only be the beginning to the story of life on Mars.   Curiosity looks to uncover how Mars evolved over billions of years.  Was it once — and could it be now — habitable for life?

Bombarded by radiation, Mar’s surface is cold, dry and lethal.  But it wasn’t always this way.  Billions of years ago, life might have had a chance.  Of all the planets in the solar system, only two have been in liquid form at some time:  Earth and Mars.  Both were enriched by all the chemicals necessary to create human form.

“When we look at Mars, we have to wonder did life happen there as well?  If so, what happened to it?” asked Gentry Lee, a veteran JPL engineer.  “If life evolved first on Mars, what’s the possibility that life was knocked off of Mars and carried all the way to the planet Earth? Perhaps you and I and everything that’s living on the planet Earth are Martians!”

In its time on Mars, Curiosity has gone to Gale Crater – a basin three miles deep and a hundred miles across – and with an 18,000-foot mound in the middle called Mount Sharp.  And Curiosity found signs of past water, as well as key chemical ingredients for microbial life, in a spot called Yellowknife Bay.

We’ve been searching for Martians since the Space Age began.  Now this latest evidence may finally help solve those ever-enduring questions – Is there life beyond Earth?  And are we really alone?

RED PLANET ROVER is produced by MDTV Productions for Discovery Channel.  Mark Davis is executive producer for MDTV Productions.  Howard Swartz serves as vice president of Production and Development for Discovery.  To learn more, go to www.discovery.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/discovery and on Twitter @Discovery. 

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  1. Red Planet Rover: Discovery Channel Mars Curiosity Exclusive – Discovery News | Malaysianewsjournal.com says:

    […] ReportEvidence of ancient water on surface of Mars confirmed by CuriosityBio & Tech InsightsDiscovery's 'Red Planet Rover' brings Mars exploration to lifeThe Global DispatchPopular Science -Science Times -Tech Timesall 211 news […]

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