Lunar and Planetary Institute

Life on Mars - Resources - Videos
EXPLORE! Life on Mars


Alien Planet. Discovery Channel, 2005, ASIN B0009VRHLA
What happens when we find life outside our own planet? This video brings viewers on a virtual mission of the future. Right now, the search for planets with "life signatures" goes on. These efforts are global, and experts tell us on camera how this search for life is progressing around the world. No longer just the domain of science fiction, what could alien life really look like? Alien Planet dramatizes an exciting — and possible — answer. 

Are We Alone? Discovery Channel, 2009, #267233
Explore answers to the ultimate question — Are we, in fact, alone? Scientists visit the most treacherous and strange regions on the planet, to find clues to the puzzle. This video shows how state–of–the–art technology has taken us closer than ever to the hotly–debated answer. Is there life beyond Earth? Could the bizarre, hellish worlds of our solar system actually harbor alien

Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life. BBC Worldwide, 2009, ASIN B002MIK0UI
This documentary was made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. New and spectacular wildlife footage of fascinating animal behavior brings the theory to life and fresh evidence and new discoveries reveal how Darwin’s work is endorsed and expounded by today’s cutting–edge science. A labor of love for David Attenborough, a man who has been at the forefront of natural history programming for decades, this fascinating program explores why Darwin’s theory is more important now than ever before.

First Steps on Mars: The Search for Life. Global Science Productions, 2005, ASIN B0007VNPF4
This program presents what the first manned mission to Mars might entail, using computer–animation and interviews with scientists.

Five Years on Mars. National Geographic, 2010, ASIN B0031L5CSU
When the NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity touched down on Mars in 2004, they weren't expected to last long — perhaps 90 days, or six months at most. But 90 days stretched into five years, and a short–term science mission searching for evidence of water has turned into one of the greatest adventures of the Space Age. The rovers have trekked miles across hostile plains, climbed mountains, ventured in and out of deep craters, survived dust storms and mechanical failures, and cheated death so often that no one will venture a guess as to how much longer they might last. This is the amazing story of two rovers that have explored vast reaches of Mars and may be among some of the greatest explorers in history. Bonus Program: Is It Real? Life on Mars.

Mars Rising. E1 Entertainment, 2010, ASIN B0037FFB9A
Narrated by William Shatner, shot in high definition and featuring contributions from more than 300 scientists and experts (including Avatar filmmaker James Cameron), this six–part documentary series explores the challenges behind a potential manned mission to Mars — possibly the most dangerous expedition of the 21st century.

Mars: The Quest for Life. Discovery Channel, 2008, ASIN B001PPLJNQ
This documentary from the Discovery Channel provides a unique peek into an otherworldly adventure. Documenting events taking place in 2008, Mars: The Quest for Life captures every moment as senior research scientist Peter H. Smith and his crew struggle to ensure their Phoenix lander sets down on the surface of the red planet safely and securely. Then come the exciting implications: what can this information–gathering spacecraft reveal to humanity about life on Mars? The program includes never–before–seen footage of Phoenix's triumphant landing.

NOVA: Finding Life Beyond Earth. NOVA/PBS, 2011, ASIN B005KLOPGY
Scientists are on the verge of answering one of the greatest questions in history: Are we alone? Finding Life Beyond Earth immerses audiences in the sights and sounds of alien worlds, while top astrobiologists explain how these places are changing how we think about the potential for life in our solar system. We used to think our neighboring planets and moons were fairly boring – mostly cold, dead rocks where life could never take hold. Today, however, the solar system looks wilder than we ever imagined. Powerful telescopes and unmanned space missions have revealed a wide range of dynamic environments — atmospheres thick with organic molecules, active volcanoes, and vast saltwater oceans. This ongoing revolution is forcing scientists to expand their ideas about what kinds of worlds could support life.

NOVA: Is There Life on Mars? Reports from the Phoenix Lander. NOVA/PBS, 2009, ASIN B001MWGZ40
NASA's twin robot explorers, Spirit and Opportunity, have lasted for more than four years on Mars. And since May 25, 2008, they've had company: NASA's Phoenix probe, which dramatically "tasted" water ice on the planet in July. This program showcases the latest scientific results from the rovers and Phoenix, which are poised to reveal provocative new clues in the tantalizing search for water and life on the Red Planet.

Phoenix Mars Mission: Onto the Ice. Arizona Public Media/PBS, 2010, ASIN B004DFHX8K
Following on from Phoenix Mars Mission: Ashes to Ice this documentary tells the story of the Phoenix Lander from its arrival on the Martian surface through the completion of its mission.
Phoenix Mars Mission: Ashes to Ice. PBS, 2008, ASIN B003J7HO8M
The Phoenix Mars Mission blasted off to Mars in August 2007. This film chronicles the meticulous preparation through blastoff. The Phoenix Mars Lander that landed on the Martian surface on May 25, 2008. Once on the surface, scientists from around the world gathered to search for water in the form of ice under the planet's surface.

Roving Mars. Walt Disney/Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 2007, ASIN B000FIMG40
For centuries human beings have contemplated Earth's nearest planetary neighbor, Mars, dreaming impossible dreams of exploring its surface and divining its mysteries. Through the eyes of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, viewers can now see Mars in a way that no one ever has. This important expedition accomplished far more than the simple transmission of thousands of Martian images. The rovers discovered traces of ice within the rocks of Mars and marked clear proof that water once ran on the surface — a giant leap forward in answering that most haunting of questions: Is there life on Mars?

Welcome to Mars. NOVA/PBS, 2005, ASIN B0007GP79G
Mission Control and its two robotic explorers face a daunting task to find proof that liquid water, the essential ingredient of life, once existed on Mars. This video presents a compelling inside story of triumph and technical ingenuity, full of scientific and human drama, with stunning images from an alien world.


Last updated
June 12, 2013


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