Thursday November 21, 2019

National Geographic to Launch new Mini-Series ‘Mars’ that will unfold Mankind’s First Voyage to the Red Planet in Future

The show will depict the first manned mission to Mars in the year 2033

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Mars, Source: NASA

November 13, 2016: After uncountable movies and artworks on space travel and extraterrestrial science fiction, now National Geographic brings to us “Mars” which is set to release on November 14 in the US and online on 13 November globally. This mini-series unfolds mankind’s first voyage to the red planet in the future.

The show is about to depict the first manned mission to Mars in the year 2033. “Mars” is scripted uniquely and has present day interviews with experts amidst everything. It works constantly with current and historic context to create a very different storytelling.

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We have been obsessed about setting our foot on the planet for a long time. This show not only tells us how heavy, reaching the planet is; but also tells us that survival on Mars will be a much more difficult task.

The six-part depiction of the journey had inputs and advice from experts and space enthusiasts like Elon Musk of SpaceX and the CEO of Tesla motors to make the production as realistic as possible, mentioned PTI. At the premiere of “Mars” in New York, Justin Wilkes, a producer at RadicalMedia revealed that the team had been granted complete access to the SpaceX team and its brilliant minds.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia.

Many other people were interviewed for “Mars” other than the space enthusiasts. The effects of the journey on the human behavior and psyche were discussed by Psychologist Davis Dinges.

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The policy implications of sending colonists to unclaimed territories were revealed by Casey Dreier, the director of space policy for the Planetary Society, and Thomas Kalil, the Deputy Director at the White House Office of Science and Technology. Elon Musk said that humanity will either travel to distant planets and settle down on different planets or remain on Earth and wait for an eventual extinction.

This stellar venture brings great directors like Brian Grazer and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment and Justin Wilkes, Jon Kamen, and Dave OConnor of RadicalMedia and Mexican filmmaker Everardo Gout under one roof to work on a semi sci-fi masterpiece.

SpaceX spaceship. Pixabay.
SpaceX spaceship. Pixabay

The production of such magnitude required unfathomable efforts. Even the scripted portions had to be realistic and thus, needed professional inputs and advice. The on-camera efforts are just the tip of the iceberg. Daniela Ciancio, the designer of the futuristic spacesuits revealed that her main inspiration was the BioSuit concept designed at MIT.

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Bobby Braun, a professor from Georgia Tech was the technical aid to keep the show realistic. He designed the spacecraft Daedalus in “Mars”.

The mini-series was shot in Morocco and Budapest. The scripted part stars various actors including Sammi Rotibi , Ben Cotton, Jihae and Alberto Ammann embarking on their maiden voyage to the red planet in 2033.

– prepared by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker

Next Story

Heart Rate Gets Altered in Space But Returns to Normal on Earth

Upon return to Earth, space-flown heart cells show normal structure and morphology

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Heart Rate
Relatively little is known about the role of microgravity in influencing human Heart Rate at the cellular level. Pixabay

Heart Rate gets altered in space but return to normal within 10 days on Earth, say researchers who examined cell-level cardiac function and gene expression in human heart cells cultured aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for 5.5 weeks.

Exposure to microgravity altered the expression of thousands of genes, but largely normal patterns of gene expression reappeared within 10 days after returning to Earth, according to the study published in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

“We’re surprised about how quickly human heart muscle cells are able to adapt to the environment in which they are placed, including microgravity,” said senior study author Joseph C. Wu from Stanford University.

These studies may provide insight into cellular mechanisms that could benefit astronaut health during long-duration spaceflight, or potentially lay the foundation for new insights into improving heart health on Earth.

Past studies have shown that spaceflight induces physiological changes in cardiac function, including reduced heart rate, lowered arterial pressure, and increased cardiac output.

But to date, most cardiovascular microgravity physiology studies have been conducted either in non-human models or at tissue, organ, or systemic levels.

Relatively little is known about the role of microgravity in influencing human cardiac function at the cellular level.

Heart Rate
Heart Rate gets altered in space but return to normal within 10 days on Earth, say researchers who examined cell-level cardiac function and gene expression in human heart cells cultured aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for 5.5 weeks. Pixabay

To address this question, the research team studied human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). They generated hiPSC lines from three individuals by reprogramming blood cells, and then differentiated them into heart cells.

Beating heart cells were then sent to the ISS aboard a SpaceX spacecraft as part of a commercial resupply service mission.

Simultaneously, ground control heart cells were cultured on Earth for comparison purposes.

Upon return to Earth, space-flown heart cells showed normal structure and morphology. However, they did adapt by modifying their beating pattern and calcium recycling patterns.

In addition, the researchers performed RNA sequencing of heart cells harvested at 4.5 weeks aboard the ISS, and 10 days after returning to Earth.

These results showed that 2,635 genes were differentially expressed among flight, post-flight, and ground control samples.

Most notably, gene pathways related to mitochondrial function were expressed more in space-flown heart cells.

A comparison of the samples revealed that heart cells adopt a unique gene expression pattern during spaceflight, which reverts to one that is similar to groundside controls upon return to normal gravity, the study noted.

Heart Rate
Past studies have shown that spaceflight induces physiological changes in cardiac function, including reduced Heart Rate, lowered arterial pressure, and increased cardiac output. Pixabay

According to Wu, limitations of the study include its short duration and the use of 2D cell culture.

In future studies, the researchers plan to examine the effects of spaceflight and microgravity using more physiologically relevant hiPSC-derived 3D heart tissues with various cell types, including blood vessel cells.

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“We also plan to test different treatments on the human heart cells to determine if we can prevent some of the changes the heart cells undergo during spaceflight,” Wu said. (IANS)