In 2037, four years after Mars colonization, a storm threatens the outpost. In reality, Antarctica serves as a site for a simulated human settlement.
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The episode, devoted to the planet Mars, begins with scientific and fictional speculation about the Red Planet during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, Edgar Rice Burroughs' science fiction books, and Percival Lowell's false vision of canals on Mars). It then moves to Robert Goddard's early experiments in rocket-building, inspired by reading science fiction, and the work by Mars probes, including the Viking, searching for life on Mars. The episode ends with the possibility of the terraforming and colonization of Mars and a Cosmos Update on the relevance of Mars' environment to Earth's and the possibility of a manned mission to Mars.
Sometime in the future humans will leave Earth to colonize Mars, and in doing so will begin to adapt to life on another planet in surprising ways. Evolutionary biologist Dr. Scott Solomon foresees a series of changes to our species from the size of our hearts and heads to the pigments in our skin.