The National Geographic Channel, fresh off its sale to Fox, is now focusing on creating premium original content. Its first effort: a fact-based dramatization of what it might be like to send the first human visitors to Mars in the 2030s. As part of that effort, the company has taken over an empty lot in downtown Manhattan and seeded it with a collection of interconnected domes meant to evoke what the first habitations on Mars might look like.
The place is set up as if it were a recruitment center for Mars-bound astronauts. And the hardware inside is set up to allow visitors to experience a bit of what it might be like to arrive on Mars through some pretty impressive virtual reality hardware.
The press got a chance to check things out today as part of the launch of the miniseries, entitled simply Mars. Everyone involved in it, including the large panel of the technical consultants on hand to talk about the program, said the emphasis was on making it as fact-based and realistic as possible. We'll have a discussion of their efforts a bit closer to the program's airing. For now, we'll focus on the Earth-bound Mars experience that National Geographic has put in place in Manhattan.
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