Darwin IV is a fictional planet 6.5 light years from the Earth, with two suns and 60% gravity. It was depicted in the series ‘Alien Planet’ based on Wayne Barlowe’s book Expedition. According to the story, after identifying Darwin IV 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 unmanned 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 life of all sizes. The viewer experiences Darwin IV through the eyes of the probes Ike (Newton) and Leo (Da Vinci), whose data are relayed back to the mothership and then communicated to Earth. The biological and atmospheric data from the probes and mothership are relayed to viewers through computer voice simulation and on-screen readouts. 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.
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