The First is a new Hulu original series starring Sean Penn about the first human mission to Mars. It will premier on September 14th. Here is the trailer:
From the caption:
The First is created by Beau Willimon (House of Cards) and stars Sean Penn. Set in the near future (2030), this groundbreaking story explores the challenges of taking the first steps towards Mars. Viewers will get an intimate look at the dedicated characters trying to reach the unknown while dealing with the psychological and physical toll it takes to achieve the impossible.
July 20, 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of the first time a human set foot on another celestial body. A start on the coming year of tributes and remembrances will be the movie First Man, starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong. It is currently set to open on October 12th. Here is a trailer:
From the caption:
On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost—on Armstrong and on the nation—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.
Written by Academy Award® winner Josh Singer (Spotlight), the drama is produced by Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars) through their Temple Hill Entertainment banner, alongside Chazelle and Gosling. Isaac Klausner (The Fault in Our Stars) executive produces. DreamWorks Pictures co-finances the film.
Solar Sci-Fi (i.e. hard science fiction involving near-term scenarios within our solar system) has gone big time in the past few years with the major financial successes of the films Gravity and The Martian. The TV series The Expanse, which depicts conflicts among settlers of Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and Earth, has lasted 3 seasons on the SyFy Channel and will now continue on Amazon Prime:
Set in the 2030s, the eight-episode first season is mainly set on Earth as the astronauts prepare for the journey to the red planet and NASA forms a partnership with a private company to support the trip.
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai are currently on an EVA outside the International Space Station. They are re-positioning two robotic arm grappling mechanisms, which were repaired during spacewalks late last year. The astronauts can be watched live on NASA TV:
This animation shows the tasks they are undertaking:
From the caption:
The first task for spacewalkers Mark Vande Hei and Norishige Kanai is to move a Latching End Effector (LEE), or hand, for the Canadian-built robotic arm, Canadarm2, from a payload attachment on the station’s Mobile Base System rail car to the Quest airlock. This LEE was replaced during an Expedition 53 spacewalk in October 2017 and will be returned to Earth to be refurbished and relaunched to the orbiting laboratory as a spare.
Once they have completed that activity, they will move an aging, but functional, LEE that was detached from the arm during a Jan. 23 spacewalk and move it from its temporary storage outside the airlock to a long-term storage location on the Mobile Base System, which is used to move the arm and astronauts along the station’s truss structure.
The National Geographic Channel‘s MARS mini-series, directed by Ron Howard, will debut in the US on Nov. 14 and Nov. 13 internationally. The program consists of a drama about the settlement of the Red Planet plus interviews with a diverse array of experts on Mars, space technologies and space science. The 21 interviewees include, for example, Andy Weir, author of The Martian: A Novel, Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Here are two trailers released to promote the series: