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This was made by the National Geographic Channel, rather than SyFy, so it tries to maintain an edge of realism. The result is a docudrama of sorts, but instead of reconstructions of historical events it features live-action dramatisations of a future mission to Mars. These are intercut with interviews of space scientists and visionaries such as Elon Musk.
This week, the take-off and seven month trip from Earth to Mars go very smoothly. However, once the spaceship tries to land on Mars the drama starts. The ship is forced off-course, which sets the astronauts' story up for the Season.
The Mission Commander has been severely injured. The others must get him to the base before he dies.
The interviews draw parallels with the Challenger disaster, a reminder that space travel always comes with an increased risk of death.
The Mars team must search for somewhere to shelter. They have trouble finding a lava tube that is accessible. Hopefully they will also find a water supply.
The story has jumped forward by four years. New colonists have arrived to join the original survivors. Now they must upgrade the power supply accordingly.
This episode concerns the failing mental health of one of the colonists. He is clearly unsuited to the situation, but somehow was not excluded in pre-launch screening sessions.
The interviews draw parallels with Antarctic exploration groups like the Shackleton expedition.
The Mars explorers try to cope with the aftermath of the disaster. Their next move is to search for signs of life.
The interviews are heavily focused on Elon Musk, and feature footage of his test launches. Since Nixon used the Apollo 13 situation to cut NASA's budget in the 1970s, any plans for a manned Mars mission have involved the private sector.