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Mars rover video "7 Minutes of Terror" fascinating for NOVA fans

Dave Masko's picture

John Beck, the NASA filmmaker behind the “7 Minutes of Terror” video - that is one of the most-watched on YouTube today - also made equally stunning videos for the PBS “Nova” TV science program.

Watch NASA’s “7 Minutes of Terror” video, and you will better understand the great passion behind the great amount of money that our government is willing to spend on the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence on Mars, other planets and the Cosmos. In fact, the Los Angeles Times recently reported how John Beck - the NASA filmmaker behind the “7 Minutes of Terror” video that’s gone viral on YouTube - also made equally stunning videos for the PBS “Nova” TV science program. For instance, the Times reported how Beck “contributed footage to Nova’s one-hour feature “Mars Dead or Alive;” while last night’s July 25 double-feature on Nova also spotlighted stunning NASA videos produced for both of Nova’s award-winning “The Fabric of the Cosmos,” and “The Elegant Universe” series. In turn, both of these Nova programs continue on future PBS television broadcasts of Nova with the same compelling videos of Mars and other outer space wonders produced for Nova’s TV documentaries by Beck and others at NASA; who are now marketing man’s quest for alien life in outer space like never before.

Thus, this “7 Minutes of Terror” video is super exciting, say Nova fans, but simply more of what viewers of this top-rated science TV show have come to expect, and seen previously on other Nova space shows.

Also, the real “7 Minutes of Terror” will be realized by NASA when the Mars “Curiosity” rover attempts to land on August 5 with the help of a hypersonic parachute, retro-rocks and something called a “sky crane system” that NASA now says costs nearly $2.5 billion; while critics think this is a heck of a lot simply to find out if there was extra-terrestrial intelligence on Mars.

Nova's science TV show mirrors “7 Minutes of Terror”

While fans of science fiction – who may not warm up to TV shows such as Nova, since there’s no space sex, gore or other space soap opera nonsense – are now into this NASA video “seven minutes of terror” because “it’s the real deal and not fiction,” says Oregon UFO “watcher” Errol.

In turn, Errol told Huliq during a July 26 interview that he has high praise for the video because “it’s as close to what may happen when the Mar’s rover reaches the Red Planet in August, and attempts to land – taking seven minutes.”

Errol also explained: “I will tell you this, when the Rover successfully lands on Mars next month and this ‘7 Minutes of Terror’ video happens for real; then, maybe, we will return to those good old days when everybody was talking about space travel.” And, he adds: “Just imagine all those UFO hoax fans out there getting the fact that our country continues to spend millions and even billions of to simply find evidence of alien life on Mars with this latest Mars exploration rover mission.”

In turn, both the NASA website and recent TV episodes of Nova on PBS explains its “Mars Exploration Rover Mission” as an ongoing “robotic space mission” is aimed at exploring the planet Mars for signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Also, NASA states that the mission’s scientific objective is to first search for “a wide range of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity on Mars, with the total cost being $820 million;” while Nova programs about previous Mars “Pathfinder” probes noted that the cost in 2012 could reach into the billions to simply find life on Mars.

The video “7 Minutes of Terror” explained

In general, this video “7 Minutes of Terror” simply features the Mars Exploration Rover's parachute test; while the parachute is vital in helping to slow the spacecraft during entry, descent and landing on Mars.

While the recent July 25 airing of a Nova double-feature - with episodes of “The Fabric of the Cosmos” and “The Elegant Universe” featured Beck’s outstanding videos of both Mars and other destinations aimed at discovering alien life in outer space – this recent NASA video “7 Minutes of Terror” compliments what Nova’s producers say they’ve been trying to do all along; and that’s “make science exciting and accessible to the masses.”

For “7 Minutes,” Beck told the L.A. Times that he “shot all the footage, composed all the music, directed the movie - and produced it to boot. He said he wanted to convey to viewers that the mission is risky and the potential for failure is high—a sure reason for people to tune in for the main event in August.”

“I really wanted people to get the sense that, you know, this mission is really crazy,” Beck said in an L.A. Times interview. “It’s almost comical how crazy it is. And I really wanted to make the engineers seem vulnerable.”

Beck, whose childhood hero was Neil Armstrong, said his goal is to bring a sense of wonder and humanity back to NASA by also producing videos for the popular PBS “Nova” TV science program explained this new marketing push for outer space occurring after NASA “became generic and faceless, and it was just all about what a great job NASA does. But people want to see the space jockeys.”

Also, the L. A. Times reported how “Beck was low on the JPL totem pole in 1998 when the Mars Pathfinder mission was gearing up,” but that changed when he proposed making documentary films for Nova and other public access that spotlight new NASA space missions.

NASA film maker started presenting outer space on Nova

Beck, who also produced the 35-minute film, “The Pathfinders" - that was also a big hit on PBS “Nova” TV broadcasts - also earned top honors for NASA at the 1999 Chicago International Film Festival.

in turn, Beck told the L.A. Times how the film “humanized” the Pathfinder engineers by following their successes and failures as they prepared for and carried out the mission; while Beck noted how “that was what got this whole thing going.”

Not surprisingly, Beck is a huge fan of Nova on PBS, with numerous video credits attributed to Beck and his NASA team for including Nova as part of its mission to reach out to everyday Americans with the good news that space is still the final frontier; with NASA on the cutting edge.

NASA's goal is to "market" space travel as cool again

At the same time, Beck told the Times how he “detects more than a hint of irony” when he hears complaints that NASA does not do a good job of communicating publicly.

“When I started here back in the ‘90s, we were specifically told not to do things that were cool, because back then people complained that we were making entertainment with tax dollars. Now we’re hearing the opposite.”

Also, the Los Angeles Times – that reports about Hollywood film makers on a regular basis – offered this new NASA video “7 Minutes of Terror” high praise, stating: “The production values are straight out of Industrial Light and Magic but the terror of the scientists during the seven minutes of landing inside a communication blackout will be all too real.

The result is this popular “7 Minutes of Terror” video that can be viewed on both YouTube or on the NASA website; while fans of the PBS science TV show “Nova” are proud to report they’ve already been fans of Beck’s videos for nearly 12 years on Nova when it regularly airs those pioneering and space travel videos.

Image source of an artist's conception of NASA rover on Mars come August 5 when it lands after “7 Minutes of Terror,” per the name of a new NASA produced video that presents this space mission as very real and dangerous, and no science fiction. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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