Are you a fan of science, space exploration, and the mysteries of the Red Planet? Then you've got something to be excited about - NASA will be launching a new rover to Mars!
Appropriately named 'Mars 2020' it is due for departure on 17 July and in the meantime NASA have provided a wealth of exploration of the rover itself on its dedicated website.
Mars is an amazing place and has also played a pivotal role in shaping the science fiction genre in books and film. If you're a science fiction reader, or even curious about the genre, have a look at our science fiction reading guide - you're sure to find something out of this world! Or check out our Mars - Red Planet page for more factual resources.
And with the 'Curiosity Rover' continuing to trundle about on the surface (it has it's own Twitter account btw!), its discovery of an underground lake, and the space agencies of the world looking at a possible manned mission to the Red Planet in the "not-too-distant" future, humanity's best insurance policy against planetary extinction has never seemed so close!
So I plan to study up before we head off-world again (albeit mechanically), and here's a beaut mix of fact and fiction for you to explore the possibilities of life on Mars. But first, some music...
Mars is an inspiration to us humans, as a creative springboard for science fiction storytelling, and as the ultimate destination for the intrepid traveler. Here's a list of the fantastic and fanciful of all things Martian!
Between 2015-2016 Scott Kelly spent a year on the International Space Station while his twin brother Mark stayed behind on Earth. Both are being studied and monitored (potentially for the rest of their lives) as an experiment to see what happens to the human body after so long in space. With Mars being approx. 7 months flight away from us, this study is potentially the most important in human history!
The modern classic tale of the "man left behind". How can one man survive on the hostile environment of Mars. Mark Watney has been left behind by his crew-mates, presumed dead. But he's alive and now the race is on to rescue him and he's about to "science the shit out the situation."
This is part tele drama part documentary, all about how a first visit to the Red Planet would potentially pan out. Full of amazing insights and very informative, combined with stunning atmospheric music scored by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis makes this compelling viewing for space enthusiasts and the Mars-curious.
The original Martian! Michael Valentine Smith is a Mars-born human but being born and raised on the Red Planet means he has developed some very interesting abilities. This is the story of his coming to Earth, sexual awakening, messiah experience. An absolute classic of science fiction.
Is this the most famous Mars story...?? Got to be close. This is the story that inspired the radio-play/musical that we are all so familiar with and one of H.G. Wells' best stories. Another stunning classic of science fiction.
This is the music inspired by the story. "The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, they said!"
A recent release novel and a bit of a whodunnit on Mars! A private corporation is colonising Mars but how to achieve such a feat?? Why not take a leaf from the book of colonial Britain and send your unwanted convicts to do the setting up for you before the "important people" arrive! That's just what happens, but then the crew starts dying, and it looks like there's a murderer among them!
Written in consultation with NASA scientists this is science fact! There's maps, pictures, facts and figures, all around the Curiosity Mission and operating a $2.5-billion multitasking robot on a planet 35 million miles from Earth. A must read for all space enthusiasts.