Visions of Mars: Artwork and Radio Broadcasts

On 28 May 2008, Visions of Mars landed on Mars thanks to NASA's Phoenix spacecraft. Visions of Mars was a mini-DVD provided by The Planetary Society containing personal greetings by space visionaries to the Martian settlers of the future. It was accompanied by 80 stories and articles by leading writers and scientists. A collection of Mars artwork, and classic radio shows narrated by Patrick Stewart, completeD this unique tapestry of our knowledge and our dreams of Mars in the 20th century.

Below is a complete list of the artwork and "Mars Radio" content included in Visions of Mars.

Along with this priceless collection of the words and writings, the Phoenix DVD also carried the names of The Planetary Society's entire membership.

Mars attacks the World
Mars attacks the World Flash Gordon and his scientist friend Doctor Zarkov prepare to impersonate the caped soldiers of Ming the Merciless, ruler of Mars.Image: Universal Pictures

Visions of Mars: The Art






Frank R. Paul

USA (1884-1963)

Martian Science Fiction


A Martian and a man from Earth seem on very friendly terms, portrayed in a strange crystalline garden on the martian surface

Iwasaki Kazuaki

Japan (born 1935)

Twin Peaks


Twin Peaks:  Ceraunius and Uranius gives an oblique view of two of the large martian volcanic cones

Peter Kovalev Olga Kovaleva

Russia (born 1945) Russia (born 1948)



This surrealistic image poetically suggests the difficulties of establishing Earth life on Mars. The details of the spacecraft and the barren desert landscape are reminiscent of the Viking lander photographs

Paul Fouché


Le lever du soleil sur les canaux de Mars


This is one of first landscapes of Mars ever rendered.  It appeared in Camille Flammarion’s Les terres dujciel, an influential book written for the general public.  The author worked closely with the artist in an attempt to present an accurate image of Mars.



Martian Fighting Machines


An early illustration from a Belgian translation of the H. G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds.

W. R. Leigh

USA (1866-1955)

The Things that Live on Mars


This illustration appeared as part of an article by H. G. Wells in Cosmopolitan, an American magazine. These Martians seem very different from the ones that invaded Earth in Wells’ novel.

Artist Unknown


The First Message from Mars


An advertisement for Pears’ Soap that appeared in the American magazine Red Book.

Winsor McCay

USA (1867-1934)

Little Nemo in Slumberland


Winsor McCay created one of the first great newspaper comic strips, Little Nemo in Slumberland.  The nightly adventures of Nemo always ended with the cartoon character waking up astonished in his own bed.  Outstanding draftsmanship and a surreal imagination took Nemo to Mars in an airship drawn by a giant bird, surely the most charming method ever proposed.

Frank Schoonover

USA (1877-1972)

A Princess of Mars


John Carter defends the Martian princess, Dejah Thoris, in this cover illustration for the classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Artist Unkown




The novel Aelita by Alexi Tolstoi was made into a film by a German studio.  This poster was used to advertise that film.  The sets were designed in the contemporary, streamlined style called Art Deco, pervasive in graphic design and architecture of that time.

Lucian Rudaux

France  (1874-1947)

Les dÄsertiques sur Mars


A landscape depicted by the first real specialist in astronomical art. The original caption reads,”CharactÅre probable d un paysage dans les regions considÄrÄs comme dÄsertiques sur Mars.”

Universal Pictures


Mars Attack the World


Flash Gordon and his scientist friend Doctor Zarkov prepare to impersonate the caped soldiers of the tyrannical Ming the Merciless, ruler of Mars.

Artist Unknown


A Martian at his Radio Set


This drawing appeared in Short Wave and Television magazine published by Hugo Gernsback, the founder of Amazing Stories, the first science fiction magazine.  In the early part of the 20th century there was a great deal of popular interest in the possibility of radio signals coming from Mars.

Allen Anderson


Queen of the Martian Catacombs


An illustration for one of Leigh Brackett’s martian stories. The scene is classic pulp, with a sword-wielding hero defending a woman in an alien setting.

Clifford N. Geary


Red Planet


A young human colonist, wearing a protective suit, carries his Martian “pet” through a patch of vegetation on Mars.

Richard Powers

USA (born 1921)

Outpost Mars


A symbolic, almost abstract, depiction of human presence on Mars.

Wally Wood

USA (1927-1981)

Weird Science


Invading Martians capture voluptuous women of Earth for evil purposes.  This comic book also featured an adaptation of a Mars story by Ray Bradbury.

Chuck Jones

USA (born 1912)

I claim this planet in the name of Mars!


Marvin Martian competes with Daffy Duck to claim “Planet X” for their respective home worlds.  This scene is from the Warner Brothers’ cartoon Duck Dodgers in the 24-1/2 Century.

Chesley Bonestell

USA, (1888-1986)

Mars from Deimos


Mars as it appears to the naked eye from its outer moon, according to the best scientific information of  the time.

Chesley Bonestell

USA (1888-1986)

Arrival at Mars Orbit


In orbit above Mars, winged landing craft are detached from an interplanetary spacecraft. The one at the right is decelerating as it enters the martian atmosphere.

Frank Kelly-Freas

USA (born 1922)

Martians Go Home!


This image, originally painted as the cover for a novel by Fredric Brown, has been widely reprinted.  It has come to symbolize the “Little Green Man” category of Martians’ an impish creature that could be annoying but was not completely malevolent.

Alex Schomburg

USA (born 1905)

Secret of the Martian Moons


This immaculate airbrush rendering presents an image of Mars that combines features of the best telescope photographs of the time with the canals drawn by Percival Lowell.  It was painted for the novel “Secret of the Martian Moons”  by Donald A. Wollheim.

Ed Emschwiller

USA (1925-1990)

Follow Me …


A robot finds the bones of an unlucky human half-buried in the sands of Mars.

Paramount Pictures Corporation


Robinson Crusoe on Mars


Poster for a film in which an astronaut and his small monkey companion fight for survival after being stranded on the martian surface.

Andrei Sokolov Alexei Leonov

Russia (born 1931) Russia (born 1934)

Cosmosdrome on Phobos


On Phobos, a base for spacecraft operations is seen against the looming presence of Mars.

Andrei Sokolov Alexei Leonov

Russia (born 1931) Russia (born 1934)

Approaching Mars


A landing craft separates from the main ship and begins its approach to the martian surface.


Rick Sternbach


USA (born 1951)


“Special Velikovsky Issue” of analog magazine



Powerful energy is somehow exchanged between Mars and Earth, according to the theories of the Russian scholar Immanuel Velikovsky.


Ludek Pesek


Switzerland (born 1919)


Approaching Dust Storm on Mars



A dust storm rolls along the martian horizon, shading the surface. The craters, sand dunes, and orange skies all reflect discoveries made by spacecraft about the surface of Mars that the artist has incorporated in this convincing landscape.

Vincent di Fate

USA (born 1945)

The War of the Worlds


Martian fighting machines destroy a town while other Martian spacecraft streak towards the ground. This image was painted for a late 20th -century edition of Wells’ famous novel.

Donald E. Davis

USA, (born 1952)

Mars from Deimos


Mars is seen from its outer moon, Deimos.  All of the features on the planet have been carefully mapped using spacecraft photographs as a reference.

Anne Norcia

USA (born 1945)

Valles Marineris


The artist used photographs taken by the Viking orbiters as the basis for this painting for Astronomy magazine.  The viewer, perhaps standing too close to the edge, sends some stones tumbling into the
canyon below.

David A. Hardy

England (born 1936)

Terraformed Mars from Base on Phobos


The Red Planet has a mantle of blue and green in David Hardy’s image of a far future Mars where clouds swirl through an atmosphere dense enough for water to flow.  The debate over terraforming may be a long one, and both enthusiasts and skeptics have their say on this disc.

Ezra Orion

Israel (born 1934)

Proposal for sculpture on Mars


A sculptor who has constructed large works in the deserts and mountains of Earth proposes creating lines of stones at the indicated locations on the rim of Valles Marineris on Mars.

Roger Dean

England (born 1944)

The War of the Worlds


A late 20th_century interpretation of Martian fighting machines, drawn by Roger Dean and colored by Tim White.


Robert T. McCall


USA (born 1919)


Pioneering the Space Frontier



An explorer salutes a landing craft returning to space from a large Mars base in the year 2025.  The artist painted this for the cover of a major study by NASA about the future direction of the U.S. space program.

Vyacheslav Davidov


Phobos mission


A poster created for the Institute of Space Research in Moscow commemorating their mission to the inner moon of Mars.

Arthur Gilbert

England (born 1936)

Phobos Encounter


The Phobos spacecraft shoots a laser at the surface of the moon to determine chemical composition by the reflection. Tragically, the mission failed shortly before reaching Phobos.

Jon Lomberg

USA (born 1948)

East Meets West (and Goes to Mars)


Representative buildings of Russian and American culture symbolically docked in orbit. Mars is visible just beneath the junction, a small and tantalizing orange dot.  The Earth beneath is a view of the Eastern Pacific, showing the Bering Strait and the islands of Hawaii, where the artist lives.

William K. Hartman

USA (born 1939)

Aerial View of Mars


A space probe, seen from a higher orbit, scans the giant martian volcanoes.

Pamela Lee

USA (born 1949)

Together to Mars


This work portrays young representatives of formerly competitive space-faring nations in Mars orbit an enormous accomplishment achieved through collaborative effort.

Michael Whelan

USA (born 1950)

The Martian Chronicles


This image was painted for the cover of a 1990s paperback edition of Ray Bradbury’s classic short story collection.

Paramount Pictures Corporation


Enterprise Dedication Plaque


The dedication plaque that appears on the bridge of the starship Enterprise, an interstellar vehicle of the 24th century in a popular 20th -century television series.  Designed by Michael Okuda.

Lilika Papanicolaou

Greece (born 1923)

Sunset on Mars


This work was probably inspired by the famous Viking photograph of a martian sunset.  Using a palette knife and oils on canvas, the artist has created an impressionistic image of Mars.

Adam Hughes Mark Nelson


Martian Manhunter


Among the friendliest Martians ever to visit Earth was this amiable green-skinned detective with superhuman abilities.  His adventures appeared in Superman comic books beginning in the 1950s.

Paul Maker David Scharf

USA (born 1934) USA (born 1942)

Nanolithograph of Viking lander


The “i”  in Viking is one micron long in this tiny image of the spacecraft.  This “nanolithography” appeared on a chip made by the Microdevices Lab at JPL.  The electron microscope photograph was taken by David Scharf, a distinguished virtuoso of that instrument.

Beth Avary

USA (born 1941)



Against the backdrop of Valles Marineris, a flag of Earth flies on Mars. The artist has represented the flags of nearly every country on Earth (in 1991) in this design.

Ron Miller

USA (born 1947)

Dust Devils on Mars


Viking orbiter photographs showed the shadows of dust devils small rotating vortices of wind and dust. This image shows how they might appear from the surface of Mars.

Michael Carroll

USA (born 1955)

Russian Rover


A robot exploration vehicle, controlled by operators on Earth, explores the gentle slopes of Olympus

Paul Hudson

USA (born 1960)

Where Next, Columbus?


This is a section of a mural the artist did for a gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., showing 21st-century explorers on Mars.

Carter Emmart

USA (born 1961)

Farewell Tom, We Yield Not


This image of explorers raising a flag on Mars was painted in memory of Thomas O. Paine, a strong supporter of space exploration, who designed the Mars flag in the painting

Don Dixon

USA (born 1951)

Red Mars


The cover for the first novel in Kim Stanley Robinson’s science fiction trilogy about the terraforming of Mars.

Carlitos Cruz

USA (age 11)

Peace of the Worlds



Greg Cooper

USA (age 11)

The Moon over Mars


This is a picture of Mars in the future.  The moon is just rising over the city in the atmosphere bubble.

Dominic Terlizzi

USA (age 12)




James Yeh

USA (age 12)

A Sunrise at Olympus Mons



Courtney Wilson

Australia (age 7)

Aliens of the Future


These are what aliens on Mars might look like.  Their nose is on top of their head.  Their bellybutton is always red.  It has waves on it that are red too.  They have huge tongues about 3 metres long.  The fathers are called “hutys” and the mothers are called “bruts.” The babies are called “runts.”

Aaron Madriaga

USA (age 9)

The Dawn of a New Era


This picture represents humans and aliens meeting each other with acceptance.  They will create another species.  This evolved form will be equipped to face the challenges of the New Era.

Neil Lande

USA (age 5)

Mars Observers


This is an astronaut who is going to see what Mars is like.  He has attached himself to the Mars flag.  Lots of aliens, stars, satellites and other terrestrials are also so curious to see what is on Mars and what it would be like there.  They want to protect Mars and keep it safe for the future of the universe.

Samina Ashrof

Pakistan (age 11)




Margo Anderson

USA (age 8)

Mars in Space


I drew a picture of Mars in space.  Mars has 2 moons.  The lighter side is reflecting from the earth.

Daniel McConnell

USA (age 9)

Mars of Tomorrow


If you look at the left top corner, you can see Jupiter.  There are many craters on the surface.  Here are two examples of space crafts you could get around in.  The surface is red because of the iron-oxide. There are very strange plants hanging from the top of the picture.

Peter Zorin

Russia (age 8)

Mars Rover



Dusty Duvall

USA (age 9)

Mars City


My picture shows a city on Mars with Martians riding in different kinds of Mars transports.

Mars Radio



Introduction to Mars Radio1996Actor Patrick Stewart, "Captain Picard" of Star Trek the Next Generation, introduces and narrates the Mars Radio portion of Visions of Mars.
War of the Worlds1938The famous radio broadcast of H.G. Wells' tale of an invasion from Mars was directed by Orson Welles. The broadcast took place on the night of Halloween, and was so realistic that it caused widespread panic.
Wells and Welles1940H.G. Wells and Orson Welles meet and discuss War of the Worlds, the book and the broadcast.
The Viking Landings1976Jon Lomberg's report on the Viking landing on Mars, July 20, 1976. Includes live recordings from mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and interviews with science fiction writers and actors.

Visions of Mars

Visions of Mars is a digital time capsule attached to NASA's Phoenix spacecraft on Mars, awaiting retrieval by future astronauts.