Summer 2020, NASA’s Perseverance rover launched on its seven month journey from Cape Canaveral, Florida to Jezero Crater, Mars. To accompany Percy on its seven-month journey, we’re compiling a literary mixtape of Martian-themed sci-fi set to music by DJ Kid Koala. New episodes are released every month.
Voyages to Mars is made possible by the support of the Secretary of the Smithsonian and the Smithsonian Orlando Regional Council.
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In 1897 author H.G. Wells imagined a different way to see Mars in his short shorty, “The Crystal Egg." Writing around the same time as his famous novel, “War of the Worlds,” he introduces us to two humans who discover a mysterious egg-shaped crystal that allows them to view the surface of Mars – and the strange creatures that inhabit it.
The search for life is a pillar of Mars exploration. But our search isn’t only confined to the planets of our solar system. Radio telescopes search for signals of intelligent life from far away planets, orbiting other stars. In his story, “The Great Silence,” science fiction author Ted Chiang features the Arecibo telescope as he considers the significance of the animal life that surrounds it.
Voyages to Mars: Dreaming
Interplanetary road trips take a WHILE. So for this episode of Voyages to Mars, while we cruise onward towards the Red Planet, we’re listening to some poetry that pays tribute to long duration space travel.
Voyages to Mars: Sending Humans
Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, published a few years before the world’s first satellite was even launched (!), remains one of the most influential stories of human settlement on Mars ever published.
Voyages to Mars: Robots
Humans aren't yet able to go to Mars ourselves, so we’re reliant on the help of rovers and landers to be our eyes and ears on the surface - our mechanical “boots on the ground.” This episode is our ode to ROBOTS!
Voyages to Mars: Crossing Lunar Orbit
Leaving Earth on your way to Mars, the first pit stop you might make is the Moon’s orbit. In this episode, we follow three Mars-bound space travelers from Mark Wicks’ novel, To Mars via the Moon.
Voyages to Mars: Launch
To accompany NASA's Perseverance rover on its seven-month journey, we’re compiling a literary mixtape of Martian-themed sci-fi set to music by DJ Kid Koala.