Friday, August 28, 2009

Nova: Welcome to Mars; My Reflections

I decided to use my netflix account to educate myself in the area of astronomy. I watched "Nova: Welcome To Mars" a documentary on the Mars rover Spirit and Opportunity. I found this video to be excellent. The film crew was there on hand during the crucial moments at NASA's JPL. I was in college during the the launch and landing of the rovers.. but at that time I wasn't that interested in astronomy.

I found this video very entertaining and educational. My wife was asleep on the couch when I started he video but she woke up and decided to watch it. That is saying a lot for this video.

Nova did a great job with narration of this film. Also, great care was given to get interviews with appropriate people. They had access to lead investigator Steve Squires even during key moments in the rover missions.

The visuals in this video are "out of this world" (haha), but seriously it was great seeing the NASA computer animation and more exciting access to images from Mars.

Watching this video makes me want to go out and spend some quality time observing Mars. I wasn't around when humans landed on the moon but I sure that people who watched those first steps must have felt compelled to take a second look at the moon. I know I'll take a second look at Mars next time I observe.

I really liked the humanistic side of the video. They explore how the JPI rover teams adjusted their schedule and lived on Mars Time. They even interview a couple who both work on the Rover Mission and how their schedule affects their children. They even state that due to the stress of the work many of the JPL scientist switched their diets to ice cream.

I found this video excellent and recommend it to anyone interested in Mars, astronomy or science.

In fact you can watch the video right here: