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  • Wendy Shreve

RED HEAVEN: RECREATING CONDITIONS TO LIVE ON MARS


If we have the power to turn another planet into Earth,

then we have the power to turn Earth back into Earth.

--Neil deGrasse Tyson


Mars is there, waiting to be reached.

--Buzz Aldriin


August 2015, a group of six disparate, vetted professional candidates (three women and three men) entered an isolated geodesic dome (called HI-SEAS) on Mauna Loa, Hawaii to test their individual and collective fortitude for one year. A space architect, soil geologist, NASA astronaut, geophysicist, astrobiologist and doctor chose to challenge their endurance--some of whom leaving spouses, all of whom family behind--to live in close quarters.


In this documentary, Red Heaven (2020), viewers get a sneak-peek at what conditions could be for those who choose to go to Mars. The crew filmed their experiences regularly to allow outsiders to see how they interacted, performed experiments, and overcame obstacles. Each has their unique characteristics but some have more quirks than others.


The environment, albeit similar, cannot replicate life on the Red Planet. And, unlike the science fiction film The Martian (2015), disastrous climate or weather threats do not threaten the lives of the inhabitants.


As an examination of human nature Red Heaven entertains. You don't have to be a scientist to appreciate the day-to-day complexities of the social experiment. Of course, those who enjoy anything science-oriented may glean more from this film.


That said, Neil deGrasse Tyson's quote above applies even to this one-year-long adventure. For if the personnel, technological and financial resources are available to make this habitation possible, then those elements could be used to make our planet more livable.


Thus, the discerning viewer could see Red Heaven as an argument for, as Buzz Aldrin remarked, or against sending men/women to Mars. Either way, this documentary makes the audience think.


Unrated.


Available, now, on Apple TV and Altavod.


Earlier reviews not seen on this website (before May 20, 2021) are available on https://www.rottentomatoes.com/critic/wendy-shreve/movies or my previous blog site, featuringfilm.com


Care to share? Post or e-mail your comments to featuringfilmreviewer@gmail.com

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