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  1. #1
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Reality TV in Space

    Approximately 24 hours from now, NASA's Phoenix lander will attempt to land on Mars. This is a rare and exceedingly difficult event - 50% of all Mars missions fail. In fact this mission is called "Phoenix" because it's the resurrection of a previously failed mission.

    The whole thing will be covered live on NASA TV. IMO this is reality TV at it's best... high drama, careers on the line, millions of dollars at stake, and of course the question of whether life could exist on Mars.

    If you like the type of "drama" accompanied by non-stop pumping music as in The Amazing Race, well, this is a little different. Most of the shots will be people working at mission control, along with interviews and background information. There won't be any petty bickering or tears as relationships hit the rocks - these are boring professionals who stay calm and don't throw things.

    We won't "see" the landing as such - we only get to see the reactions as it happens. The first images from the surface of Mars should appear within a few hours of landing.

    However once you get into the feel of it, it's a lot more intense than seeing who can drink the most disgusting-looking drink on The Fear Factor. Imagine the poor people who made the fuel calculations for landing, knowing what happened the last time someone stuffed this up (the entire mission was lost). I've watched a few of these landings in the past and it's hard to describe the tension as the mission control room waits for the confirmation signal of a successful landing. And when those first images from the surface come through, the elation is something you just can't get from Dancing With The Stars.

    I recommend starting to watch at least an hour before the landing. This will give you enough time to get the feel for what's happening and appreciate the process. You do need to have a bit of knowledge about what to expect to fully enjoy it.

    On the other hand, if you think reality TV should be about making nice frocks and soufflés, stick to Project Runway and Top Chef.

    Links:
    NASA TV (streamed live on the web)
    Phoenix mission home page with countdown clock
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  2. #2

    Reality TV NOT in space

    Hi Dave, hope all is well

    While I was in England channel 4 had a reality TV show called "Space Cadets"

    They convinced contestants that they flew them to a Russian space facility, trained them and planned to make them the worlds first televised British space tourists.

    They put 3 of them in a simulator with actors and pretended to be in space for 5 days

    Even though there was gravity on the "Space Craft" they brought it, its people this stupid you wish they would burn up on re-entry

  3. #3
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Good grief, is there no end to people's gullibility? I can't believe the contestants would be so ill-informed that they would fall for something like this. If you think you're going into space, wouldn't you do a little research first? I guess not.

    Anyway, good to hear from you Danny. Maybe I'll see you at the races some time. Are you still doing the Trackside thing?
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

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