Episode 6 is the last episode in this ground breaking series. Search For Life explores one of the primary reasons for taking the almost certainly deadly mission to our closest planetary neighbor. Few people think, well few people that have brains think that we will find Martians, but is there, or was there life at some point in its history?

It is cold, it seems lifeless, and it has a poisonous atmosphere. It doesn’t sound good! But, if you look at our planet, we have some pretty inhospitable places, we think of water as a must have, yet even in the worst places there is life. It may be microbic, but it may well be there.

Recent Mars discoveries include overwhelming evidence that at one time there was water on Mars, and water means the possibility of life. There is no water remaining on the frigid and hostile surface, but if you were to poke down a mile or so into the planet there could well be water, and water, well that means the potential of life. Drilling a mile deep on earth is no easy business, drilling a mile deep in the hostile environment of Mars will take a whole new technology.

A microbe, even a dead one, is a dangerous thing though. It might be harmless on Mars, but it could be deadly on Earth. The pioneers that went to the Moon were sequestered in a converted Air Stream trailer on their return. That will not work for a trip to Mars. Mars is a long way away, and it is incredibly hostile, who knows what secrets it holds?  A whole new de-contamination system will need to be created for their return to Earth.

Narrator William Shatner talks and walks us through the challenges that we will face when we decide to try and conquer the Red Planet. Some might say that we are wasting our time and money on such a project. I disagree, from time immemorial mankind has had the spirit to explore. Mars is the obvious next step.

So to any Martian reading this article, I give you fair warning, we are coming! It may not be in my lifetime, but we are surely coming.

You can catch Mars Rising – Search for Life on The Science Channel, at 9pm Tuesday December 4th. This has been a riveting series, and I do hope that they release it on DVD. There is no doubt in my mind that series has been riveting viewing. The photography has been fabulous, the experts interesting and informative, it is sad that so few TV programs are made to this high standard.

Simon Barrett


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