It seems Mars has been all the rage this week. On Monday, NASA was able to land the InSight rover on the planet, leading to numerous cheers (and a well-choreographed celebration) from the scientists tasked with getting it there. Over the next months and years, I’m sure they’re going to acquire an immense amount of data that will prove to be beneficial when humans take their first steps on the Red Planet.
Adding to the intrigue was the third episode of Mars on the National Geographic Channel Monday evening (9 PM/8 CT). The last time we took a look at the scientists and miners, they were engaged in a full-on fistfight over a discovery of liquid water by the Lukrum company. Commander Hana (Jihae) was also dealing with the loss of her sister and as the new episode begins, she’s not done a good job handling the situation over the previous four months.
Marta (Anamaria Marinca) was incensed in episode two about the water issue and she’s still fuming about it. When she beings it up to Hana, the commander’s repression of grief gets the best of her, causing her to explode on her colleague. Marta decides that she’s going to get samples to prove the existence of new life forms and despite being told otherwise, takes a rover to Lukrum and starts collecting. It’s at this point in the show that the drama really begins.
Interspersed with clips of scientists working in remote portions of the Greenland Ice Shelf, a solar flare damages a transformer, throwing everything into disarray. Nobody can communicate on either base. Marta loses her navigational system and stubbornly tries to drive back to the base. This isn’t a good idea when night is falling and temperatures plummet to levels that would kill humans. Since she’s on battery power, she’s limited to what she can do. It suddenly becomes a race against time to rescue Marta from freezing to death. All that she’s worked for up until this point is seriously in jeopardy.
It’s at this point that a distinctive message arises from the episode of Mars. Scientists aren’t always folks who work in labs, but individuals who are so called to their respective projects that they are willing to sacrifice any and everything to make their goals happen. The folks in Greenland left family to accomplish their tasks. Marta was so committed to going to Mars that she put the mission ahead of her boyfriend, who didn’t take the news well. For those who wish to follow after Jesus and be his disciple, they have to be willing to do the same thing—leave all they’re comfortable with and follow him, no matter what (see Luke 9). He never said it would be easy, but worth it in the end (see Matthew 19:29).
At the end of the episode, one of the samples Marta collected begins to show movement. Could this be the start of something big? Or could it be something else? Be sure to tune in next week to find out!