Ron Howard: Space race is on

Direc­tor Ron Howard’s new series on hu­mans colonis­ing Mars is out of this world, writes Shannon Mol­loy

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - CONTENTS -

HOL­LY­WOOD leg­end Ron Howard is many things – ac­tor, pro­ducer, direc­tor, fa­ther and, more re­cently, a pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for the coloni­sa­tion of Mars.

Man will set foot on the red planet within two decades, and it’ll be more than a pass­ing visit, he says.

Ac­cord­ing to Howard, we will re­set­tle a chunk of our pop­u­la­tion there in a bid to save our species.

“I al­ways thought of Mars like how I’d thought of the moon – a place to go to bet­ter hu­man­ity’s un­der­stand­ing, a ter­rific and ro­man­tic idea,” he says.

That was un­til he started work on the bold new TV series MARS and con­cluded that set­tling there is our only hope of sur­vival.

“As I be­gan to read more and talk to ex­perts, I saw it very dif­fer­ently,” Howard says. “I saw im­me­di­ate coloni­sa­tion of Mars as a very wise idea, a wor­thy am­bi­tion and a way of per­pet­u­at­ing our species and restor­ing this planet be­fore it’s too late.”

The show is part mod­ern­day doc­u­men­tary fea­tur­ing an ar­ray of ex­perts, and part high­spec drama telling the fic­tional tale of a manned mis­sion to our plan­e­tary neigh­bour in the year 2033.

Howard in­sists this is a mag­nif­i­cent glimpse at our very real fu­ture. “It’s just around the cor­ner,” he says.

Howard has long been fas­ci­nated with space. In the ’90s, he put that pas­sion into his work and di­rected block­buster film Apollo 13, as well as pro­duc­ing the TV minis­eries From The Earth To The Moon.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate the beauty of it, its in­com­pre­hen­si­bil­ity. It doesn’t make me want to go, but the deeper mys­tery of it as­tounds me,” he says.

MARS

SUN­DAY, 7.30PM, NA­TIONAL GEO­GRAPHIC

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