The Mars Generation

Director: Michael Barnett

Institute History

  • 2017 Sundance Film Festival


Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Since NASA’s first mission to Mars in 1964, humanity has seen the planet as the ideal target for the first interplanetary space mission. In The Mars Generation, director Michael Barnett delves into space exploration’s history and current state while looking beyond technology to what we will really need to get to the Red Planet: the power of youthful dreams.

Through amazing archival footage of the space program as well as interviews with a number of scientists and astronauts—including Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and Sunita Williams—Barnett provides an overview of the history and current state of space exploration. The film juxtaposes this with a revealing and intimate look at participants in NASA’s space camp for youth. These self-proclaimed “space nerds” aspire to be the scientists, engineers, and technicians on whose shoulders humanity will reach the Red Planet. Their infectious passion and optimism is the heart of the film, leaving little doubt that if given the support and opportunities they need, they will get us there.

— P.H.

Screening Details

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