Total Recall

The Colonial Theatre Bethlehem, NH


James Kasting

Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, Penn State University

Total Recall— Terraforming Mars: Can it be done?

It's easy for Arnold to terraform Mars in Total Recall: He just puts the palm of his hand on the (very humanoid) trigger of the alien turbidium generator. But what would it take to terraform Mars in reality? Geoscientist Jim Kasting discusses at this outdoor screening.

The Colonial Theatre Bethlehem, NH

Film Synopsis

When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real—or does he?

In the year 2084, Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a bored construction worker who dreams of traveling to the colonized planet of Mars. He visits "Rekall," a company that plants false memories into people's brains, in order to experience the thrill of Mars without having to travel there. But when something goes wrong during the procedure, Quaid discovers that his entire life is actually a false memory and that the people who implanted it in his head now want him dead. Ensuing events leave no room for doubt that his true identity is that of a highly trained secret agent. He then follows a trail of clues to gradually recover more suppressed memories and reassumes his original calling with renewed dedication.

About the Speaker

James Kasting is a geoscientist and an Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Penn State University. Kasting is active in NASA’s search for habitable extrasolar planets. He is considered a world leader in the field of planetary habitability, assessing habitable zones around stars. Kasting is also an active participant in the ongoing planetary science decadal survey being conducted by the National Academy of Sciences to help guide NASA in its planetary exploration program.