PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 12:00am

A Bridge To Mars

Pearl, 9.30pm

On their first mission to Mars, astronauts will travel to dangerous and uncharted territory more than 160 million kilometres away where they will live and work for two years. In preparation, leading scientists gather every year to study and plan for this extraordinary journey. This film focuses on three remarkable scientists who have become regulars at the Haughton-Mars base camp on Canada's Devon Island, designated by Nasa as the most Mars-like place on Earth. Its bone-dry terrain is ideal for testing robots, rovers, fixed-wing aircraft, spacesuits and telecommunications. And every summer, Darlene Lim, Gordon Osinski and Stephen Braham return to the rocky island with dreams of joining that first mission. Lim searches for life forms buried in the sediment of Arctic lakes to learn about climate change and the limits of life in extreme environments. Osinski maps the geology of the crater, looking for clues of how to find signs of past life on Mars. Braham designed the first interplanetary communications system that should ensure a constant link between astronauts on Mars and their colleagues on Earth.