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The Martian: What NASA is doing now to put humans on MarsThe new Matt Damon movie "The Martian" explores whether a human can survive on Mars. NASA is already working toward its goal to put astronauts on the Red Planet by the 2030s. Ashley Esqueda spoke with NASA's head of planetary sciences, Dr. Jim Green,...
This will come as quite a shock to my crewmates and to NASA and to the entire world but I'm still alive. Surprise. In the new sci fi movie The Martian Matt Damon. Plays Mark Watney, an astronaut stranded on Mars and forced to figure out how to live in the harsh conditions with little food and water. This movie is really meant to take place in the very, very near future, so we're right on the cusp of being able to do a lot of the things that we do in the movie. While NASA continues to explore Mars with unmanned rovers, plans are already being made for human exploration of the red planet in the 2030s. One of the biggest challenges involves supplies. NASA successfully landed the one time curiosity rover three years ago but needs to deliver much heavier payloads for a human mission. What we're going to need down on the surface to support humans is probably 40 tons worth of equipment. How we're going to use the thin atmosphere of Mars to help Slow down and then eventually lay stuff down on the ground as nicely as we did Curiosity. Curiosity's much celebrated landing. [NOISE] Helped inspire what Dr. Green calls the Mars generation. Adding to the Mars mania, NASA's recent announcement that liquid water exists on Mars boosting hopes of finding microbial life there. Next, NASA will be working to pinpoint which parts of the planet astronauts should first explore. We're gonna find out where on Mars we would wanna set humans, where they would work, where they would extract materials, how they would survive in that environment. With years to go before humans step foot on Mars, movies such as The Martian could help keep the public's interest in space exploration That value is not lost on NASA, which opened its doors to acclaimed director Ridley Scott to do research for the movie. In Los Angeles, Ashley Esqueda, cnet.com for CBS News. He's still alive. [SOUND] [MUSIC]