It was 30 years ago that the first space shuttle, Columbia, was launched. It was such a triumph of technology, engineering and organization that it's easy to forget the programme was primarily the product of an economy drive. The disposable Apollo missions had cost billions. A reusable craft was deemed more expedient.
Landing humans on Mars will be hard, but keeping them alive will be even harder. NASA scientists are on the verge of designing some of the most innovative rockets and training the astronauts who will pilot them.
Finding alien life on a distant planet would be amazing news - or would it? If we are not the only intelligent life in the universe, this probably means our days are numbered and doom is certain.
Brian Cox explores the ingredients needed for an intelligent civilisation to evolve in the universe - the need for a benign star, for a habitable planet, for life to spontaneously arise on such a planet and the time required for intelligent life to evolve and build a civilisation. Brian weighs the evidence and arrives at his own provocative answer to the puzzle of our apparent solitude.
Life once existed on Mars, but a series of devastating mass extinctions have made present-day life nearly impossible. The latest science shows how Martian life keeps bouncing back as it transforms from a watery world like Earth into a desert planet.
An exploration of the dramatic fate of our future descendants, the technology they'll need to survive the end of this world billions of years from now and our options for colonizing and starting again on a new planet somewhere far from Earth.