There are two solar systems – NASA’s and Hollywood’s – and the twain don’t always meet. NASA would like to send humans to Mars, if Congress would bankroll the mission. But Hollywood filmmakers have sent humans to Mars for decades, ever since Buster Crabbe piloted giant Roman candles across the cosmos of Depression-era America. More recently, new digital technologies have allowed movie-makers to depict extraordinarily realistic-looking Mars flights. Digitally realized space odysseys include last winter’s “Mission to Mars” and the forthcoming 50-odd-million-dollar “Red Planet,” plus the recent orbital comedy-drama “Space Cowboys.”
October 29th, 2000
Creative space: NASA at the movies San Francisco Examiner
April 8th, 2000
NASA Ames man joins Mars projects San Francisco Examiner
Scott Hubbard — associate director of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View — has helped send highly successful robotic NASA probes into the solar system. NASA hopes his good luck will rub off on its embattled Mars program. Embarrassed by the recent loss of two expensive Mars probes, NASA has named him the new Mars program director — their Mars czar, if you will.
January 23rd, 2000
NASA, slightly humbled, dreams on San Francisco Examiner
Bruised but unbroken by NASA’s biggest humiliation in years – the back-to-back failure of two robotic expeditions to Mars – space scientists and engineers are planning even bolder trips, including drilling operations on the Red Planet and submarine voyages in an extraterrestrial ocean.