For a space junkie like me, the premiere of Mars on National Geographic last night was a dazzling moment. Much more meaningful because my dream is to make the first photo report on Mars for National Geographic… I was born a year after the man first steps on the Moon and the achievement always resonated in my head. Still remember my father telling that he and his friends spent all night outside looking at the moon waiting to see Armstrong sticking a flag on the moon’s surface. My childhood revolved around the idea that in my adult years we would travel through space just as easy as we catch a plane to a distant country. Didn’t came true… Yet.
Space heroes and science fiction were common back then and all kids loved watching Star Trek, space 1999 or Galactica. And of course, reality, real science and technology fueled our spirits when the space shuttle Columbia left Earth for the first time. School ended early in the day so that we could watch it on TV. Like the Russian space station Mir and it’s long term manned missions made us believe anyone could live out there.
And then came the most treasured moment for space junkies, the Cosmos TV series and the lovable Carl Sagan taking us traveling with him through the universe.
But things started to fade away. Science fiction became something for a late night movie session. Space shuttles navigate through space several times like a common flight until the huge bill for American taxpayers and the tragic missions dictated it’s end. Mir station fell down to Earth and space junkies, just like space scientists had to cross an extremely hard desert.
However, dreams are the only fuel for humankind and exploring space came back to life in different ways. The world changed and that allowed sharing knowledge and efforts making science more rich than ever. Europeans, Russians, Americans and several others started to go further. To Pluto, to meteorites and to the brother planet. Suddenly and after some crazy ideas about going back to the Moon – politicians trying to captivate audiences – scientists decided to travel a different way. Destination: Mars. And science fiction changed too, becoming less fiction and more science.
National Geographic and Fox gathered the best of the best and, since last night, is taking all of us to Mars. In a fictional story with scientific knowledge. Believable and dazzling at the same time.
Just like me, space junkies all over the world eager for the next episode just like we did when we were children and waited an entire week to see if our heroes saved the universe from the dark forces.
Just one word more. Ron Howard. I’m a fan.