The CGI or computer animated drama/documentary takes place on Darwin IV, a planet 6.5 light years from earth, with 2 suns and 60% of Earth's gravity. Having identified Darwin as a world that could support life, Earth sends a pilot mission consisting of the Mothership Von Braun and three probes: Balboa, Da Vinci, and Newton. This robotic fleet is responsible for finding and assessing any life forms on Darwin IV. Initially, the expectation is to find microscopic life, but the probes soon find themselves in the middle of a developed ecosystem teeming with diversity of life of all sizes. The drama on Darwin IV is motivated by real science missions, such as the NASA Origins Program and the NASA / JPL Planet-Finder Mission, as well as the European Space Agency's Darwin Project. "Alien Planet " is a cosmic expedition along side Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Jack Horner, Craig Venter, and George Lucas, and NASA's Chief Scientist Jim Garvin. No longer just the domain of science fiction, "Alien... Written by
Did You Know?
The program was based on the work of science fiction writer and illustrator Wayne D. Barlowe
, specifically the alien lifeforms presented in his 1990 speculative fiction book "Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the 2358 A.D. Voyage to Darwin IV". The main difference is that the book is presented from the writer's point of view, as if he were an explorer on an alien planet, whereas this documentary focuses on robotic exploration probes. See more