What is life on Mars like?

By Im Eun-byel

Korean celebrities experience Mars on Earth

  • Published : Jul 12, 2018 - 19:16
  • Updated : Jul 12, 2018 - 19:16

Even at this very moment, humankind is moving one step closer to Mars.

Mars is getting more frequently mentioned by scientists and even non-scientists, as institutions such as NASA and Space X reach for the planet.

To bring the exploration one step closer to viewers, tvN’s upcoming sci-fi reality series “Galileo: Awakened Universe” aims to explore what life on Mars would be like, though from the safety of Earth. 

Poster for “Galileo: Awakened Universe” (tvN)

In June, the cast and crew visited the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, the US. At the station, launched in 2001, participants can experience a simulated Mars environment. Usually, groups of scientists exploring possibilities in the outer space sign up for the program.

“A physics major in college, I wanted to combine elements of science with entertainment,” producer Lee Young-joon said at a press event Thursday at CGV Yongsan IPark Mall in Yongsan-gu, Seoul.

“The most often discussed subject in science today is living on Mars. I wanted to show viewers how humankind is preparing for life on Mars,” Lee said.

The series will be similar, in a way, to the Hollywood film “The Martian” in 2015. For this production, four Korean celebrities, actress Ha Ji-won, comedian Kim Byoung-man, idol singers Kim Se-jeong and Nichkhun, took the role of actor Matt Damon.

They stayed at the station for a week, eating, sleeping and carrying out missions -- along with more than 140 cameras installed inside. 

From left: Nichkhun, Ha Ji-won, Kim Se-jeong and Kim Byoung-man pose for photos before a press event held Thursday at CGV Yongsan IPark Mall in Yongsan-gu, Seoul. (tvN)

“It was the most touching event of my life. Since young, I have been always interested in the universe. I hoped to go to space one day,” Ha said. “Now that I look back on the experience, it is as if I rode a rollercoaster. Every little thing hits me in a different way (when thinking that I am on Mars).”

Kim Se-jeong, who earned the nickname “vitamin girl” for her positive attitude in previous reality shows, said this proj(ect was about letting go of her positivity. She stressed that through the experience, she was able to learn more about herself.

“At one point, I had to ask myself, ‘Will this positively make a difference here?’” Kim said. “Life on Mars was about asking more about myself, what kind of a person I am, what I am here for and what I am feeling now.”

The weekly series is slated to begin airing Sunday at 4:40 p.m.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)