For our first podcast, we sent Eric to Mars. Well, that was the plan, until we learned it would cost around $20 billion. So instead, Eric tagged along with a crew of NASA research scientists as they explored the next closest Mars-like place … the bottom of a lakebed in Canada.

Tune in to learn about the underwater hunt for the mysterious microbialite, and how finding them on Mars could be the key to proving whether or not there was ever life on the Red Planet.

Then special guest Mary Roach, author of Packing for Mars, drops by Field Trip Mission Control to talk about what it would actually be like to send a team of astronauts to our planetary neighbor, and some of the obstacles that might confront them on an unprecedented two-year mission. Among them: Space capsule bickering, and death by shower.

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A new adventure will be coming your way next Monday.

You can stream the podcast, or click to download, on the player below.