Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Multimedia IconMultimedia

To Mars! With National Geographic

“Mars” is the new docudrama miniseries airing on the National Geographic Channel

Air Date: 11/22/2016
Run Time: 46:14

Listen to the full show:

Or Download mp3


  • Robert Braun, Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Ann Druyan, writer and producer
  • Tim Pastore, President of Original Programming and Production, National Geographic Channel
  • Andy Weir, Writer, Author of “The Martian”

Topics: amateur astrophotos, stars and galaxies, astronomy and astrophysics spacecraft, pretty pictures, Humans to Mars, Space Policy, Opportunity, amateur image processing, WISE, Planetary Radio, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars, amateur astronomers

Support Planetary Radio

The National Geographic Channel’s “Mars” miniseries has begun. Mat Kaplan attended a kickoff for the ambitious docudrama last summer. You’ll hear from series technical advisor Bobby Braun, author of “The Martian” Andy Weir, Cosmos creator Ann Druyan and more. It took two years, but Emily Lakdawalla has completed an important visual document focused on Mars rover Opportunity. Bill Nye steps aside for Planetary Society Director of Space Policy Casey Dreier with a look toward Donald Trump’s NASA. One listener will win a spectacular new Pluto globe in the What’s Up space trivia contest.

“Mars” is the new docudrama miniseries airing on the National Geographic Channel

National Geographic Channel

“Mars” is the new docudrama miniseries airing on the National Geographic Channel

Related Links:

Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are Astronomy magazine’s brand new Pluto globe based on images from New Horizons, a Planetary Society rubber asteroid, and a 200-point astronomy account.

This week's question:

What type of geologic features surround the residual north polar cap of Mars?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, November 29th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

On what date will be the next full moon that is closer to Earth than the one we just experienced on November 14, 2016?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What supernova did famous astronomer Tycho Brahe observe?


Tycho Brahe was one of the discoverers of Supernova SN 1572 or B Cassiopeiae, sometimes called Tycho’s Nova.

SN 1572 supernova remnant

Valts Treibergs; WISE: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA; Chandra: NASA / CXC / SAO

SN 1572 supernova remnant
Astronomer and PlanRad listener Valts Treibergs' terrestrial image of the SN 1572 supernova remnant alternates with images from the Chandra and WISE space telescopes.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

Tim: 12/03/2016 06:53 CST

I have watched three episodes of Mars - Novo Mundo and the one word I would use to sum things up is disappointment. I think the concept is fine but the format is disjointed by the toing and froing between 2016 and 2033. I think it would have been better to do the factual part first and then go to the drama. As for the drama aspect, it's been one disaster directly after another and just how realistic is that? It also leaves precious little time for featuring some actual science in the drama part. On balance, I think I prefer these National Geographic videos:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Planetary Radio Search

Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.


Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!