Science Channel highlights a new space race in "Man vs. the Universe"

Posted by Karri Ferron
on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Space is the new final frontier, and with its latest three-part series, Science Channel drives that point. Premiering tonight at 10 p.m. EDT/PDT, Man vs. the Universe highlights the latest steps to claim neighboring solar system objects for exploration, resources, and survival.

“For the first time ever, we’re taking proactive steps to protect ourselves from [space’s] perils and use its vast resources to ensure our survival,” Rita Mullin, general manager at Science Channel said in a statement. “This process features extraordinary ideas driven by astonishing feats of technology and engineering. We hope Man vs. the Universe captures some of the remarkable work happening right now in this new race for space, and gives viewers an appreciation for the incredibly smart, creative, driven people doing this work.”

The first episode, “Mining the Moon,” follows various private groups as they compete for the Google Lunar X Prize, which will offer $30 million to the first team to land a robot on the Moon that can maneuver the landscape and send data back to Earth. Unlike the Space Age, this quest has nothing to do with military supremacy; it’s about the resources — including precious minerals — our lone natural satellite could provide. As Bob Richards, co-founder and CEO of Moon Express, says in the episode, “We go to the Moon not because it is easy, but because it is profitable.”

The second episode, which airs August 20, highlights humanity’s quest to protect ourselves from a hidden danger lurking in our solar system: near Earth asteroids. It features the experts building technology to detect the estimated million asteroids out there that could cause real damage to life on Earth and explores NASA’s latest mission to aide in our protection: to learn about these rocky objects by capturing one and moving it into orbit around the Moon.

And if that weren’t enough, on August 27 Man vs. the Universe explores the dream of any space enthusiast: colonizing Mars. The episode highlights two different companies working on how to get there — and survive — but with a key caveat for one: A trip to Mars would be a one-year journey; there would be no coming home.

Now that’s a final frontier.

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