ARES: Arriving Realistically to Earth's Sister

I chose to use my skills in illustration, design, and visual communication to create a 2D animation that describes NASA’s plans for Orion and deep space travel. This animation uses illustration as its main medium to visualize the characters, settings, and information that detail what this pathway to Mars may look like. Consolidating the amount of information in the history, value, and logistics of humans travelling to Mars was a daunting task. I wanted to captivate interest and inspire appreciation for space travel in audiences that may never have considered some of the unique issues that complicate deep space travel, and how NASA and its affiliates may overcome these obstacles with the Orion MPCV. I chose to emphasize the bigger picture surrounding deep space travel by illustrating where we’ve gone, what obstacles are in our way, and how we may be able to go further with Orion’s help. The ARES pathway (Arriving Realistically to Earth’s Sister) is a fictitious route to Mars that uses pre-existing NASA concepts for deep space travel, such as Orion, the Space Launch System, the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway, and the Deep Space Transport. I took creative licence beyond this point, envisioning reasons why astronauts may visit Mars, how these plans may require a station in Martian territory, and what kind of infrastructure may be implemented to make this journey feasible.

The film was selected as a finalist in the NASA and SciArt Exchange Project Mars Competition.

© 2021 Mark Belan.

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