Due to an embarrassing deficiency in math skills and a primal fear of extra-terrestrial abduction, I was never too keen on becoming an astronaut. Regardless, I did grow up with an appreciation of science fiction, and the desire “to boldly go where no one has gone before” was not lost on me. I’m grateful for an institution like the Clark Planetarium because it’s helped pansies like me to explore space from solid ground. Starting on May 22, the planetarium will be screening Journey to Space 3D, an IMAX documentary about NASA’s future plans to put a human on the angry red planet of Mars. As the mission to Mars is our generation’s next great interstellar adventure, it’s interesting to see how NASA is planning to expand humanity’s reach into the galaxy. Patrick Stewart’s commanding elocution takes us through the evolution of the space program, highlighting some of the improvements that NASA has made in its space-travel technology. While the behind-the-scenes looks into the inner workings of the space program are fascinating, the film takes full advantage of the IMAX technology. There are some truly beautiful renderings of photography taken by the Hubble Telescope, and the footage of life on the International Space Station captures the unconventional beauty of these machines that support human life outside of Earth’s atmosphere. While the International Space Station represents an amazing achievement in international cooperation—15 nations were involved in its construction—the film makes it clear that its construction was not the end goal. The experience of building a functional habitat in space paved the way for a manned journey to Mars. According to the film, the biggest obstacle in our path to Mars was the sheer amount of time that such a journey would take. Now that we’ve created a habitat that has sustained life for the past 15 years, it’s only a matter of time before we create a ship that will be able to put a team on the surface of Mars. Not only does Journey to Space 3D bring the audience directly into some of the environments that only NASA’s bravest and boldest have seen, but it represents something eternally optimistic about the human race. It serves as a testament to our desire to test the boundaries of the world around us, as well as the amazing things that countries can achieve when they put aside their differences and focus on a common goal. It’s true that the idea of travelling into space terrifies me to no end, but I’m grateful to those far more courageous than I am—those who have put fear aside for the sake of realizing humanity’s scientific potential. Get your tickets to Journey to Space 3D here.