Wednesday, April 19, 2017


  ** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review**
Are you ready to blast off on a space adventure to Mars?  National Geographic's six-part television series MARS immerses you into a realistic representation of a futuristic mission to the red planet.  Academy Award-winning producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard merge a sci-fi drama with an educational documentary by interspersing interviews with real life astronauts, engineers, scientists, and other space experts within a scripted fictional story about a journey to Mars. It's really well done!

If you missed watching MARS when it first aired on the National Geographic Channel last year, the series is now available to purchase on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download.  This show filled with incredibly informative segments about astronomy and space travel as well as a suspense filled adventurous tale really captured my family's imagination and was very entertaining to view.  Plus the home video edition also includes features such as a bonus episode (Before Mars: A Prequel), a behind-the-scenes documentary (Making Mars), and interviews with the cast and crew.

What would life be like on the first human colony on the fourth planet from the sun?  It would obviously be much different than life is here on Earth. Ask your kids what they think it would be like, share with them this informative fact sheet, and have some fun giving them a chance to fill out the form below where they can list what they would pack for their adventure.

Watch MARS together as a family and compare the astronauts experience in the show to what your kids though it would be like.  Since we saw the show, my kids have been interested in going outside to gaze for Mars in the night sky through a telescope and have wanted to learn more about how someone can actually become an astronaut.  If this National Geographic television series sparks the same interest about space travel in your kids as it has mine, you'll want to visit,, which allows people to see if they have what it takes to be an astronaut for a Mars mission through an interactive online experience.

The television series, based upon the book How We'll Live On Mars (2015) by Stephen Petranek, tells the story of a multi-national effort to send astronauts to explore Mars set in 2037.  It revolves around the crew of the Daedalus, which includes mission commander Ben Sawyer (American), systems engineer Hana Seung (American), physician Amelie Durand (French), roboticist Robert Foucault (Nigerian), geochemist Javier Delgado (Spanish), and geologist Marta Kamen (Russian), who will be the first people to set foot on Mars.  As they engage in their adventure, viewers are shown flashbacks of the characters preparing for the mission from four years before lift off.  Interview segments with actual modern day experts are also incorporated into the fictional story explaining how today's technology will be utilized or enhanced to make such a mission feasible in the future.

In the first episode, as the Daedalus prepares to land on Mars a critical system on the space ship malfunctions.  Attempting to avert a disaster, the mission commander is critically injured.  While Commander Sawyer's efforts get his crew's boots on the ground, they find themselves 75 kilometers away from where automated rockets from Earth had previously dropped supplies waiting for them.  How will they survive with limited resources and no easy way to get to their planned landing site where all their vital supplies are stored?  And how do they treat Sawyer's serious injuries when the closest hospital is more than 200 million kilometers away?  You'll have to start watching to find out!  Be aware though that there are life and death situations impacting the crew of the Daedalus so parents should take some discretion about whether the show is suitable for their children to watch based upon that.  It was fine for my 8 year old twins to watch but every child is unique.

If you want to learn even more about Mars, National Geographic has also published a companion book to the television series.  MARS -- OUR FUTURE ON THE RED PLANET is a wonderful 288 page hardcover book filled with 200 color illustrations and photographs.  The book combines science, technology, photography, and art to illuminate how Mars is the next frontier in space exploration.

Thanks to National Geographic you can now explore Mars without the hassle of traveling a million miles to get there.  Let MARS spark your family's imagination and curiosity about space exploration, science, and technology.

For more information about the television series, visit:

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