Mars, also known as the Red Planet because of the rich iron oxide that covers its surface, is the second-smallest planet in the Solar System and one of the closest neighbours to Earth. Named after the Roman god of war, Mars has been known to humans since the age of the ancient Egyptians and has fascinated astronomers for thousands of years. Although we are yet to discover Martians, it remains one of the most important sites in the search for alien life, and has been the home of the Mars Curiosity Rover since 2012. Maybe one day, with nations like China and companies like SpaceX and Mars One investing heavily, it will be a home for humans.
This week, we speak to theoretical physicist Michio Kaku about the future of humanity, how we’re going to terraform Mars, why the modern space race will change life on Earth, and why aliens probably won’t bother to destroy us.
This week in science history we look at some of the events that shook the world of science, technology and nature including the first flight of a famous plane.