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NOVA; Is There Life On Mars


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Is There Life On Mars
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Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

NOVA goes behind the scenes of the latest NASA missions to the Red Planet to reveal new clues and challenges on the road to answering this ultimate question.

With unique access to the NASA Phoenix and Mars Exploration Rover missions, NOVA shows scientists and engineers in action, directing the operations of spacecraft millions of miles away, as the robotic explorers drill into rock, claw into soil, analyze samples, and trundle across the rock-strewn landscape in search of signs that Mars once or maybe even still harbors some form of life.

So far, there is good news and bad news on Mars. The good news is that the planet has water today in the form of subsurface ice, and there is evidence that water once flowed in abundance across the planet billions of years ago. The bad news is that for all its superficial resemblance to Earth, Mars and our planet clearly took different paths billions of years ago. Mars today is a cold, dry, hostile world with an ultra-thin atmosphere that won't support liquid water at the surface.

NOVA interviews paleontologist Andrew Knoll of Harvard University and planetary scientist Christopher McKay of the NASA Ames Research Center. Both are on the science teams for Mars landing missions. Knoll contends that the possibility for life on Mars—past or present—is looking less and less likely as the data come in. By contrast, McKay fervently believes that definitive signs of life will eventually turn up.



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Broadcast program

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Chicago: “NOVA; Is There Life On Mars,” 09/01/2009, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed January 20, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_7D5FB8CDFA854136ABED8A41AA0B2103.
MLA: “NOVA; Is There Life On Mars.” 09/01/2009. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. January 20, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_7D5FB8CDFA854136ABED8A41AA0B2103>.
APA: NOVA; Is There Life On Mars. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_7D5FB8CDFA854136ABED8A41AA0B2103
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