Segments in this Video

Introduction: Crash Landing on Mars (02:06)


Science fiction movies often use problematic Mars missions as a plot mechanism. NASA and other space agencies intend to send astronauts to the planet, and must prepare for worst case scenarios. This program is a scientifically based projection of one such event.

Mars Mission Day 174: Planetary Contact Imminent (06:43)

Crew members, specifically mechanics, have mastered skills. They utilize multiple spacecrafts including a Hab used for habitat and study, and the Earth Return Vehicle, which transforms carbon dioxide into fuel and oxygen. Aerobraking is a complex process wherein much can go wrong. The Hab encounters an engulfing dust devil and is thrown off course.

Mars Mission: Hab Location Unknown (02:54)

The crew is alive, but severely off course and communications are down; they must determine location by celestial navigation. They are in the Valles Marineris, hundreds of miles from the ERV, and their cab is leaking oxygen.

Hours Since Loss of Contact With Mars Mission: 16 (01:33)

The Martian atmosphere is thin and 95% carbon dioxide. The crew assembles the rover, complete with life support and communication systems.

Valles Marineris: Communication Restored (07:46)

The crew messages their status; the distance creates transmission delays up to 44 minutes. They and mission control establish a provisional survival plan. The crew searches for geological samples, and evidence of liquid water and life.

Valles Marineris: X-3 Red Alert (03:52)

Mission control signals the arrival of a solar flare. Mars does not offer a shield from radiation and the crew must seek shelter. The rover uses hydro-carbon rich feces as radiant protection; the crew reaches the vehicle and continues their journey.

Valles Marineris: Mission Plan Changes (04:10)

The crew decides to stay on Mars and complete the mission; they will trek to the ERV and use it as a Hab. They reach the Valles Marineris outflow channel where they identify and take samples of stromatolites. The planet's sand traps are a danger, and the rover becomes stuck.

Valles Marineris Outflow Channel (03:31)

The distance to the ERV is too far to walk; the crews' oxygen supply will not last. They use balloons to float a crew member to the ERV, where she will find the rover and rescue the others.

ERV Site: Arrival at ERV (03:27)

The crew member successfully lands and begins the rescue mission using the two person rover. A dust storm threatens the mission and spacesuit integrity. As the Commander moves toward the ERV, his tears, exposing him to the vacuum of the atmosphere.

ERV Site: Critical Air Leak (01:36)

The Commander has crucial seconds before going unconscious; the crew has 90 seconds to prevent permanent damage from oxygen deprivation. The crew gets the Commander to the ERV, and he survives.

Mars Base Alpha: Mission Ongoing (04:41)

The crew recovers from adversities and continues their mission on the frigid, sandy planet. Dust presents difficulties for delicate instrumentation microscope, but surface winds are mild. The crew adapts to the harsh conditions, extracting water and growing food.

Mars Base Alpha: Return to Earth Begins (01:16)

The alignment of Earth and Mars is correct for return, and the crew starts the journey home. Another crew is on their way to start a new mission. (Credits)

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Crash Landing on Mars

Part of the Series : The Universe
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



What might happen if the first manned mission to Mars crashes hundreds of miles from the rocket that would take them back home? Could they survive the crash, and travel across the brutal Martian surface to their home ship?

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL160945

Copyright date: ©2011

Closed Captioned

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