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    Science Fiction and Beyond: Escape to Mars (Research Paper)

    made it impossible to live on Earth? What if it were possible to live on Mars should Earth

    become uninhabitable? This paper examines how science fiction, hypothetically, could make

    Planet Mars the next home for human life.

    Science Fiction

    Science fiction, in a nutshell, is fiction literature that incorporates science and/or innovative

    technology. It deals with the impact of imagined innovations in science or technology, often in a

    futuristic setting. Science fiction stories are largely based on writing rationally about alternative

    possibilities (Wikipedia, n.d.). These stories could very well be possible within the realm of

    science, but they could also be stories that defy the very laws of nature.

    settings may range from a setting in the future, to alternative timelines, to outer space, to time

    travel, or worlds involving aliens. The settings, many times, are contrary to known reality

    (Wikipedia, n.d.). Famous science fiction films include Star Wars Trilogy IV-VI, Aliens, Jurassic

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    do on Earth. Vast dust storms occur quite frequently, obscuring large areas of the surface with

    winds up to 100 miles per hour (Matz &Weaver, 2002).

    Space expeditions have revealed a lot about the surface of Mars, as well. Mars has numerous

    craters. Trace gases such as carbon monoxide, oxygen, ozone, and hydrogen have been found in

    r, 2002).

    It is known that reddish, rust-brown areas cover most of Martian surface. They are dry,

    desertlike regions covered by dust, sand, and rock. The surface material seems to contain

    .

    Another similarity between Mars and Earth is the presence of a moon. In fact, Mars has two

    tiny moons, which are called Phobos and Deimos. Phobos races around the planet in eight hours,

    while Deimos goes around it in 30 hours.

    Other interesting facts are that a year on Mars would equate to 687 Earth days and that Mars

    is around 2.5 billion years old. The shortest distant the planet is from Earth is 34,600,000 miles,

    while the longest distance is 248,000 miles.

    While Mars has some favorable qualities for possible habitation, there are many complex

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    Pollution poisons our air, land and water. One type pollutant - chemicals have harmed

    humans, wildlife, and plant life, on land, sea and air (Web of Creation, n.d). Air pollution, has

    been, particularly harmful. The World Health Organization reports that 3 million people now die

    each year from the effects of air pollution. This is three times the 1 million who die each year in

    automobile accidents (Web of Creation, n.d.) Pollution is classified as point source and nonpoint

    source. Point source pollution is specific, coming from places such as a sewage treatment plant

    or an industrial site. Nonpoint pollution results from rainfall or melting snow depositing

    contaminants into bodies of water.

    re, as well.

    Over the past 100 years, the global average temperature has increased by approximately 0.6 C

    and is projected to continue to rise at a rapid rate (Root et al., 2003). The increase of the

    temperature has a negative effect on both humans and animals. This rapid rise of temperature

    could result in numerous extirpations and possibly extinction (Root et al., 2003).

    Global warming also heats our oceans. Since hurricanes derive their power from warm

    waters, scientists expect more ferocious hurricanes. Scientists also say wildfires, droughts, and

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    Filmmaking

    Aside from distribution of the movie, filmmaking, in the traditional sense, involves four key

    stages: development, pre-production, production, and post production. The development stage

    includes among other things, two key points: a decision on which genre that will be used and the

    writing of the script. It is impossible to have a great film without having a great story, so

    choosing the right materials is more important than anything else (Stoller, 2009).

    Once the story idea is in place, the writer starts scripting. An easy method to create a movie

    is to write a screenplay with three acts. The first act introduces the main character (s) and sets the

    story into motion; the conflict intensifies in the second act and the antagonist comes into play,

    while in the last act, the conflict comes to a climax and the problem is resolved (Stoller, 2009).

    Producing a short film is a good way to start with filmmaking. A short film usually lasts 3-

    20 minutes and includes an entire story arc, from beginning to end. If films are 1-4 minutes long,

    they lend themselves well to the new technology of streaming over such Internet sites as

    YouTube (Stoller, 2009).

    The pre-production stage involves the selection of the crew and the casting of the actors and

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    An animated science fiction movie, detailing humans living on Mars, can be made with

    a program called Xtranormal. This online video editing program is different from the traditional

    movie making because it combines steps and simplifies the methods for movie production. It

    puts direction right into the hand of the user. The user can select a limited number of characters,

    type and assign text for the characters, creating audible voices for them. Xtranormal allows

    plenty of creativity because of the simplicity of the program. The producer of the movie can

    spend more time working with the script and the lines of the actors and actresses because there is

    less to do with setup of characters and scene changes as is required with some of the other online

    movie maker software.

    Once the user selects the characters for the animated movie, the editing screen comes up,

    providing tools to edit, change camera angles, move the characters, and change their expressions

    (Online Tech Tips, 2003). Xtranormal also has the capability to let the user to change the scenes

    and to add a soundtrack.

    This latest technology, combined with researched information on Mars and the trigger

    factors for leaving Earth, offers the movie producer tools to create a mini science fiction movie

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    References

    Davis, K. C. (2001). e . New York, N.Y.: HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.

    Environmental Defense Fund (n.d.). Retreived from http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=1405

    Matz, L. & Weaver, J. H. (1989). The unfolding universe . Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing.

    Online Tech Tips. (2008, May 7). How to Make Your Own Animated Movie on Line.

    Retrieved from http://www.online-tech-tips.com/cool-websites/create-animated-movie-

    online/ (2011, March 3).

    Root, T. L., Price, J. T., Hall, K. R, Schneider, S. H., Rosenzweig , C. & Pounds, J. A. (2003).

    Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants. Nature !421, 57-60.

    Science Fiction. (n.d.). In Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia online . Retrieved from

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_fiction

    Stoller, B. M. (2009). Filmmaking For Dummies . Wiley. Retrieved 26 February

    2011, from !

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    Unit Topic Connects to Odyssey Theme

    with the Odyssey theme for the 2011 summer camp for gifted students. Odyssey, as we define it,

    is a quest for information and a probe for answers that could address and resolve a world

    experience should help students to think, critically, about significant contributions they can make

    to the world they live in.

    The unit provides a challenge for young scholars to investigate information from

    various media as they consider whether Mars is a suitable habitat for humans to live. They will

    not only explore the topography and environment of Mars, but present solutions for building

    homes and communities and meeting all the other needs for human existence in a production of

    an animated science fiction movie. As a precursor to the film production, students will examine

    three factors that could trigger the exit from Earth: pollution, global warming, and nuclear war.

    One of these or a combination of these factors could make Earth obsolete and make relocation

    an absolute necessity.

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    Infused Technology Paper

    Earth is a life sustaining planet, if humans continue on the path of destruction what

    options for survival will they have? Presently we are faced with global warming, pollution, and

    global unrest (which could possibly lead to nuclear war). If Earth became uninhabitable humans

    would need another planet on which to live. When would the great human migration take place

    and where would it lead them? The closet planet to the Earth is Mars; is it a suitable location for

    humans?

    NASA and other space exploration entities around the world have been interested in Mars

    and the possibilities of life on this particular planet. People of all ages especially young students,

    have been interested in space exploration. Mars is the pl