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Mars TV Live: Inception (Mars TV Trilogy: Book 1)

by Nathan Belway on 2019-03-31

Would you let Reality TV send you to Mars for $1 million? What if you knew the mission was one-way? Could you leave Earth (and everyone on it) behind? Forever? What would you do?

When Mars TV LIVE! viewers choose Olivia Moyer, a simple girl from Kansas, for the historic Mission Alpha, her life quickly becomes anything but simple.


WE ARE LIVING IN THE DAWN OF THE HUMAN SPACE AGE. Did you have any idea? I know I didn’t. Yet here I am, where I am, I’m already one of its pioneers.

Before Mars TV, I would have said the Space Age began back in the Apollo Era, during the 1960’s. After all, that’s when Apollo Astronauts first set foot on the Moon, right? Maybe someone older like my parents would say it was when Gagarin launched from Baikonur in 1961 and became the first human in space. Technically, astronautical engineers learn it was when Tsiolkovsky derived his famous rocket equation back in 1896, before rockets ever flew. After that, it still took thirty years until Goddard launched the first liquid fuel rocket in 1926, still a long time before Apollo. All of them, significant beginnings, and yet? Still not quite there. Not from where I’m sitting.

You could say any one of those events was the dawn of the Space Age, sure. Though, knowing what I do now, I think there’s a lot more to it than that. With the Moon so close to Earth, a lunar mission barely scratches the surface of deep space exploration. When people begin to travel for months instead of days, through deep space to nearby planets, that’s when the real Human Space Age will begin. Humans will have to be provided every basic need of long-term life support that far from Earth. Communication will no longer take moments but many minutes, even at the speed of light. That’s when it gets serious. That’s when it really counts. We know that now. I know that now.

Which means, the real dawn of the Human Space Age is most likely today. It’s so strange to think of it like that. Me, here... I was inextricably pulled into it the first day I heard of Mars TV. That’s how suddenly it all began.

I remember exactly where I was, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Like how older people remember where they were during nine eleven. Afterward, the world was different. They remember because things were never the same. Mars TV isn’t a tragedy, but it definitely changed the world. People remember.

And what about how many have only talked about going to Mars? Too many to count. It stands out because Mars TV actually made it happen.

That day I found out? I was at my parents’ house in Sainty. I can still see it like it was yesterday. The sky was so dark it was almost black, monster thunderstorms were blowing through. I was inside because it wasn’t nice out, baking my favorite: chocolate cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting (a little cayenne pepper to give them some kick?) The small, white kitchen TV was on, even though I wasn’t really watching. It was more so I wouldn’t feel so alone in that very empty house, considering both my parents were several years passed by then.

The local news was only “blah, blah, blah…” in the background until the story caught my ear. The reporter said a new reality TV show would send the first people to Mars.


A reality TV mission to Mars. Seriously. Not NASA or the European Space Agency or SpaceX, but a California start-up production company called Mars TV. Needless to say, it caught my attention immediately. When she went on to say viewers would pick the crew, I was blown away. I stood there in my apron, eyes narrowed, frosting-covered hands held up like a surgeon ready to cut.

You have to be kidding me, right?

Of course, the story seemed like a goof. Yet so crazy, I couldn’t look away. Four lucky winners would get one million dollars, thirty days before leaving for Mars. For real. That new show was Mars TV Live!

That’s how I found out. That’s t