The Podcast Hour for Saturday 4 August 2018
'The Habitat': simulating a Mars mission and 'Crazy/Genius' discusses whether we should go to Mars. Also 'Inside Jaws' goes behind the filming of a movie classic.
People have been dreaming and scheming about the day when we humans will be able to travel to Mars, and maybe even live there, for over a century. And it's getting closer to becoming a reality too, with predictions a few brave people could be making a return trip sometime in the 2030s.
But what if the technological challenge of getting to Mars and back isn't the biggest obstacle we have to overcome? Could human relationships, our ability to manage stress and conflict and solve problems together after being cooped up for months on end, be another major hurdle?
To test this out, NASA's been sending teams of volunteers to live for long periods in an isolation dome on a Hawaiian volcano: the project is called Hi-Seas and it's been running for about the past 5 years. 'The Habitat', produced by Gimlet Media and presented by Lynn Levy, is the story of one of these groups who started a year-long stint in the dome back in August 2015.
The team of six had audio recorders to capture their experiences, and we speak to Lynn Levy about the challenges of telling this story from a distance outside the dome, and play a clip from Episode 2 where the team is about to enter their new home for the very first time.
Some people are already thinking about the realities of getting to Mars, and what living and working there would actually be like.
According to journalist Tim Urban, one day hundreds of people could travel there on 'cruise ships' equipped with cinemas and restaurants and enjoying amazing views of the stars.
From the show Crazy/Genius, hosted by Derek Thompson of The Atlantic, 'Should We Go to Mars?'.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in water, 'Inside Jaws' comes along!
The series inter-cuts between dramatisations of famous shark attacks, scenes from Steven Spielberg's directing career, and stories from the filming of Jaws itself. Shooting the movie was a catalogue of disasters, with persistent problems affecting Bruce, the collective name for the mechanical sharks they used.
And 'Inside Jaws' is entertaining stuff. Some of the shark attacks, especially the one in the first episode when you aren't really familiar with the format, do a great job of ramping up the tension, a little bit like the film does.