(Silver Spring, Md.)— CuriosityStream – the award-winning streaming and on-demand destination from Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks – invites audiences 150 years into the future for LIVING UNIVERSE, an original documentary adventure that combines the latest cutting-edge science with science fiction. Debuting on CuriosityStream on Thursday, October 25, LIVING UNIVERSE combines humanity’s natural wonder, the latest scientific discoveries and jaw-dropping visuals for a four-part adventure that will captivate viewers’ curiosity.
Recent scientific breakthroughs have confirmed that each star is orbited by one or more exoplanets. Some may even be earth-like – but what will explorers find waiting for them when they get there? LIVING UNIVERSE fast-forwards 150 years into the future to follow the maiden voyage of the Aurora, an interstellar starship piloted by an artificial intelligence (A.I.) entity known as Artemis. The Aurora’s mission is to make the 50-year journey - at 20 percent of light speed - beyond the Milky Way to Minerva B, an Earth-like planet in a neighboring star system. If the Aurora’s journey is successful, Artemis would provide the first contact for humans with whatever lifeforms could be waiting on Minerva B.
“LIVING UNIVERSE is the perfect interplanetary odyssey for CuriosityStream; using leading scientific minds and mind-blowing CGI animation to address one of society’s core questions – ‘Are we alone in the Universe?’” said Clint Stinchcomb, President and CEO of CuriosityStream. “Complementing the incredible visuals and science-based content, LIVING UNIVERSE features all the drama and adventure of a science fiction epic – making for a completely unique and compelling viewing experience.”
Recent advances and theoretical forecasting from the worlds of computer science, astronomy, engineering, and biology provide the scientific basis for the story of the hypothetical future space mission. The action in LIVING UNIVERSE is powered by the thrilling research of several leading planetary scientists including NASA’s Gentry Lee, chief engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at MIT, and David Charbonneau, an astronomer at Harvard University.
“The world’s best scientists - including NASA engineers, astrophysicists and astronomers - are greatly expanding what we know about worlds beyond our solar system; as well as what it would take to eventually reach them,” said Steve Burns, Chief Content Officer for CuriosityStream. “While this story might seem fantastical in 2018, journeys like this are our destiny in the not-too-distant future. It is our hope that LIVING UNIVERSE can inspire the next generation of researchers and explorers in the quest to discover alien life.”
Episode 1 – “Planet Hunters”
For as long as we’ve had eyes to see and minds to wonder we’ve marveled at the stars. But it was only on the eve of the 21st Century that a handful of scientists dared to gaze into the gloom between, believing planets like our own Earth could be found there. Since the discovery of the first so-called exoplanet in 1994, the Planet Hunters have transformed the way we see the Universe. We now know that every star in the sky has at least one planet. How many of them might host life?
Episode 2 – “The Explorers”
The new space race has begun. After more than 50 years exploring nearby planets, it’s time to venture beyond the limits of our Solar System to explore alien worlds orbiting distant suns. But the scale of this adventure is unlike anything humankind has ever attempted before. To meet the challenge, the world’s greatest engineers will have to revolutionize propulsion technology, navigation, and artificial intelligence to build an autonomous spacecraft of the future.
Episode 3 – “A Second Genesis”
Life on Earth is a miracle and an enigma. The great mystery of its origin has beguiled the human mind since we developed the capacity for wonder. But on the eve of the 21st Century that mystery took on a new dimension. The discovery that there are Earth-like worlds outside our solar system confronts scientists with a new question: How many more miracles might be out there hidden among the stars.
Episode 4 – “Contact”
Scientists now believe that the conditions for simple life are common in the Universe. But what about animals, even including creatures something like ourselves? Will we ever come face to face with another form of intelligence? And if we did, what would it mean for our belief systems? Can we survive long enough to find out?
LIVING UNIVERSE is an Essential Media and Entertainment and ZED co-production for CuriosityStream, Arte France, ABC and UKTV’s Yesterday. LIVING UNIVERSE was directed by Alex Barry and Vincent Amouroux, written by Alex Barry, and executive produced by Chris Hilton, Manuel Catteau and Marcys Gillezeau, and Steve Burns for CuriosityStream.
Launched by Discovery Communications founder and media visionary John Hendricks, CuriosityStream is the award-winning streaming and on-demand destination where viewers can journey through our world and beyond. Our immersive experiences feature experts from Stephen Hawking and David Attenborough to Veritasium’s Derek Muller, stunning visuals, and unrivaled storytelling to demystify science, nature, history, technology, society, and lifestyle. With over 1,800 documentary features and series, many in Ultra HD 4K, including exclusive originals, CuriosityStream is available worldwide to watch on TV, desktop, mobile and tablets. Find us on the web and via Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV and Sprint and Google Chromecast, iOS and Android, as well as Amazon Prime Video Channels, Sling TV, DISH, VRV, Comcast Xfinity on Demand, Cox, and the Sony, LG, Samsung and VIZIO smart TV platforms.