The Search For Interplanetary Adventurers Is On: National Geographic Channel Unveils Unprecedented "Experience Mars" Immersive Installation in SoHo

 Aspiring Astronauts Challenged to Push their Physical and Mental Limits via Cable Robot Virtual Reality Landing Experience, Virtual Reality Mars Surface Walk and More 


From Executive Producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, “MARS” Explores Humanity’s Next Urgent Mission to Settle Mars; Premieres Globally November 14 at 9pm ET/PT on National Geographic Channel 


October 26, 2016; New York, NY – In anticipation of the upcoming premiere of the groundbreaking event series “MARS,” National Geographic Channel challenges consumers to see if they have what it takes to join the next wave of interplanetary explorers by bringing the planet Mars to the streets of the Big Apple, with a first-of-its-kind immersive activation. From October 26 – 29, a massive dome colony will disrupt the New York City skyline and host the free, public experience designed to push visitors to their mental and physical limits and bring the mission of reaching Mars to life.


“MARS,” from Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, will combine present-day interviews, research and mission planning with leaps into an incredible future just a few decades away, as visionaries including Elon Musk, Stephan Petranek, Andy Weir, Ann Druyan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson guide audiences through the endeavor to colonize the planet. The six-part series premieres globally November 14 at 9pm ET/PT on National Geographic Channel. 


Inside “Experience MARS,” visitors will enter the year 2033, following the landing of the Daedalus and the establishment of Olympus Town on Mars. “Recruits” will be challenged to follow in the Martian pioneers’ footsteps as National Geographic seeks to identify the crew for “Cygnus,” the next spacecraft blasting off to settle the planet. 


Inspired by the content of the series, the activation will allow visitors to be transported to the planet through a series of can’t-miss training modules and space-age technology, including:


·       First-Ever Commercial Use of a Cable Robot Virtual Reality Simulator: Ushering in a new era of virtual reality, a first-of-its-kind VR cable robot system will allow visitors to experience an unprecedented physical-meets-virtual Mars landing experience. The parallel driven cable robot system will boast six dimensions of fine-tuned programmable motion, taking recruits on a one-of-a-kind rumbling, shaking thrill ride as the Cygnus soars and lands on Mars. 

·       Mars Gravity Treadmills: Visitors will experience the sensation of Mars’ 38 percent gravity via the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, the world’s first and only treadmill using NASA based anti-gravity technology. Combined with authentic Fusion VR content, the treadmills will give aspiring astronauts their first taste of walking on the Martian surface, while providing the most detailed and accurate Mars VR experience developed with real orbital and rover mission data.

·       Vacuum Task Boxes: Replica space suit arms installed into the face of active 3.5psi negatively-pressured vacuum chambers will have guests race to complete seemingly simple tasks (e.g. tightening bolts) against the jarring resistance of working and building a human outpost on the Martian surface.

·       Mars Rover Replicas: Visitors can scope out scale models of authentic NASA Curiosity, Sojourner and Spirit & Opportunity Mars rovers. 

·       Digital Gaming Challenges: Interactive gaming stations challenge guests to discover their own astronaut aptitude via VR mission control rocket landing and surface rover mission experiences.

·       Olympus Town Habitat: Guests will enter the compact, meticulously designed Martian living and working quarters to explore the physical and mental challenges for long-term survival.

·       Mission Takeaways: Upon successful completion of all the recruiting tests, the new crew of the next manned mission to Mars will receive a special edition National Geographic “Mars” Magazine with fold-out wall map and a custom Cardboard VR Viewer to continue their digital experience from home.


“Experience MARS” will be open to the public, free of charge, October 26 from 12pm to 5pm ET and October 27 through October 29 from 12pm to 7pm ET at the corner of Canal and Varick Streets in Manhattan. Join the conversation with @NatGeoChannel on social media using #CountdownToMars. 


Brian Grazer and Ron Howard partner with the greatest scientific minds in space exploration to craft the rich world and blueprint for humanity’s next great and urgent mission: the story of how we get to and settle Mars. Six mesmerizing episodes combine present day interviews, research and mission planning with leaps into an incredible future just a few decades away, putting Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and other visionaries in the spotlight to guide audiences through mankind’s ongoing endeavor to make the journey to and colonization of Mars a reality. NGC will reclaim Mars from the abstract of science fiction, casting it as mankind’s next truly great enterprise, revealing the incredible extraterrestrial world like never before. Through a unique storytelling vehicle and a narrative of incredible ambition, NGC will transport the minds and spirits of viewers to the far away surface of MARS.


As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, National Geographic Channel contributes to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society’s mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit

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