Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

 Welcome to Mars

Welcome to Mars

Fall 2005 DVD
Ages: 12 & Up
DVD Price: $19.95
Welcome to Mars is a NOVA presentation about the recent landings of two robotic explorers, Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars and the teams of personnel who made it happen. The mission of the explorers was to find proof that liquid water once existed on the planet. The most striking aspect of this video is that the Mars surface explorations happened because lots of technical folks worked toward one goal about which they were interested and excited. They were charged with every beep received from the rover computers and moved by every photograph sent back. When initial problems were encountered with Spirit and technical issues arose later with Opportunity, their problem-solving skills were tested. No one ever gave up. "Let's find a way to make this work" were the word of the day.

These people are as much space explorers as the astronauts and mission specialists in the manned space program. They had to plan a mission three years in advance, considering every possible scenario they might encounter. When the explorers successfully landed on Mars, they had to adjust their lives to Mars time to get the rest of the job done.

The video tells us about the almost unfathomable costs and the amazing advancements in technology that make something like this possible, but mostly it shows us that people make it happen. The press releases during and following the Spirit and Opportunity missions told us that by mineralogical evidence scientists had proven that liquid water once existed on the planet Mars. Without this video, who would have known the amount of effort that went into the project?

This DVD has printable materials for educators accessible using Adobe Acrobat that add to the value of this already worthy production.

Ellie and Don Homce   ©2005 Parents' Choice
Don and Ellie Homce are the parents of two sons. Ellie is a former chemistry and physical science teacher and trainer in the hazardous materials field. Currently a professional volunteer at local schools and a thrift shop, Ellie continues to pursue her interests in art. Don is a health and safety and environmental science professional who enjoys building and fixing things. He has been a Boy Scout Leader for the past ten years.

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WGBH Boston Video

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