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You can watch 'Mars Calling,' a new Red Planet documentary, for free now on MagellanTV

Humanity's efforts to settle the Red Planet come into focus in a new documentary, "Mars Calling," streaming now to explore how we're doing so far at Mars and where we'll go next.

If you act fast, Space.com fans can watch the documentary for free. MagellanTV will make the film exclusively available until Sept. 6, company representatives told Space.com. 

The film is released in the same year that missions from three different countries arrived at the Red Planet to explore its potential for life, including NASA's Perseverance rover that is seeking signs of ancient microbes. Eventually, Perseverance's work will be blended into an international sample-return mission that could bring pieces of Mars back to our planet as soon as 2031.

Video: 'Mars Calling' 4K – Watch the Trailer
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The Perseverance rover is examining Mars for signs of ancient life. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA is also pushing forward on its Artemis moon program, which it frames as a training ground for eventual astronaut missions to Mars. NASA administrator Bill Nelson said Tuesday (Aug. 24) that the agency remains committed to moon landings (the stated deadline has been 2024) despite several problems that recently arose.

"For the last century, visionaries have dreamed of creating a new frontier of freedom and prosperity on Mars, providing humans with a 'backup' planet if and when the Earth's biosphere becomes uninhabitable," MagellanTV said in a statement. " 'Mars Calling' pits the expectations and enthusiasm for one day populating the Red Planet against the reality of its hostile and unpredictable environment."

The film will span the history of Red Planet exploration from early astronomers (such as Aristotle and Galileo) to more modern-day findings from NASA and other space agencies about water, life and other things showing "how our understanding of Mars has evolved over the years," MagellanTV said.

"Mars Calling" was directed and written by David Sky Brody (also known for "Kingdom of Saturn: Cassini's Epic Quest," and a longtime Space.com writer and video producer.) The documentary is executive-produced by MagellanTV co-founder Thomas Lucas and narrated by Matt Baker.

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Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for Space.com who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is the author or co-author of several books on space exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Space Studies, and an M.Sc. from the same department. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her space-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level, and for government training schools. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.