Even after years of exploration, space remains a largely mysterious place, an endless expanse outside of our atmosphere. Hosts of science fiction films have imagined what might exist up there—various extraterrestrial life forms, interstellar space travel, etc.—but there are those who like to see hard science, and see outer space as it has been captured. For those people, titles like Galactic Adventures: 3D Sun & Mars 3D are a great find.
Giving viewers a unique 3D experience, this double feature offers a quick, fascinating, and scientific look at space. These two programs—they’re really too short to call features—go a long way in demonstrating just how important the space program is in relation to other scientific endeavors. They also give us a sense of what our planet might look like in the future. Each feature is under twenty-five minutes in length, so interested parties are likely to be left wanting more.
Narrated by Al Roker, viewers are taken on a CGI look at the STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) project from NASA intended to give scientists a better understanding of the corona (the plasma that surrounds the Sun and other celestial bodies, including the earth), and find out more about the physics of space weather such as solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and when and how they occur.
3D Sun provides a quick overview of the reasoning behind exploring the Sun and the science behind STEREO. CGI animation is used to make the 3D effects consisting of watching twin satellites orbiting the sun, combined with actual 3D models created using the information gathered from the STEREO probes. It’s all very fascinating, but it’s so short that interested viewers will be left wanting more.
Mars 3D looks as NASA’s launch of Spirit and Opportunities, two rovers sent to land on Mars in an effort to determine whether there’s ever been life on the Red Planet. The most interesting angle is the look at the NASA team as they wait inside mission control for confirmation that the rovers have landed successfully. It’s interesting to watch Steve Squyres, the project’s principal investigator as he watches the launch at Cape Canaveral. Watching him, it becomes obvious just how much time and energy these men and women put into their work.
From there, the program employs a mixture of CGI and rover-cam footage to create a 3D experience that demonstrates what the surface of Mars looks like. Similarly brief to its companion 3D Sun, 3D Mars manages to be fascinating in a rather short timeframe. Like it’s partner, interested viewers will want to seek out further information.
The goal of these two programs is likely to pique viewer’s interest enough to seek out more information. It certainly made me more interested in NASA’s activities and there’s a treasure trove of information available on the internet.
Both films are presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, and both images look very sharp. Visually stunning throughout, colors burst forth and shine. Mars 3D isn’t IMAX; there are a few spots where the HD is lesser than in others. There are no specific digital anomalies.
The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio soundtracks are both satisfactory, presenting music and dialogue with clarity, and punch.
No subtitles are included, but 3D Sun does offer a Spanish language track.
There are no extras.