(4 out of 5 stars)
"Very intriguing and definitely worth the pruchase if you are interested in the red planet and the prospects of a possible manned mission there in the near future. The DVD actually as has 2 separate films- one on each side. Side 1 focuses on possible traces of life on Mars, and how this notion is given credence from a certain meteric rock which shows some life-like 'residue' within it. The 2nd side of the DVD is also very interesting, for it focuses on the who, how, when, where, and why will humans one day within the next thirty years or so take a manned mission to Mars. It goes through a simulated journey, describing the mission, the type of spacecraft, the dangers involved, the crew, the time-frame, etc. There is some nice bonus material in the DVD too, such as a slide show of actual photographs of the red planet taken both from space and from the surface. Although it's a relatively short slide presentation, the music is nice and there are some great, rare shots. The other bonus feature which I find far more interesting is a text-based survey of man's involvement with Mars from pre-NASA times through each and every of the journeys launced there, even covering the Russian probes and failures in detail, and onwards to man's likely future prospectus. Next year, in 2003, Mars once again comes closer to Earth on its 2-year orbit around the sun, and a number of probes will be launched to Mars next summer (2003), arriving in Mars at the end of the year. Should be an exciting year for Mars buffs, and for you, if you check out this DVD first! The price may seem borderline steep for this DVD- but it is worth the money because the two movies you are getting are very long and very interesting. The interviews with the ex-NASA Chief Administrator are fascinating and inspiring. Onwards to Mars!"