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Ugly Bug Contest 2016

The Ugly Bugs are launching into space to find other inhabitable planets and other life forms. Which will push the Ugly Bug Space Travel Team as they search for new life? Vote for your favorite bug to be the leader of the bunch of bugs that will inhabit the next frontier.

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Credits: Samantha Lloyd for video production, Jacob Sahertian for video editing direction, and Jo Ramirez for transcript. Thank you to this year's sponsors for making it possible to continue the "Ugly Bug Contest".


The video opens on a deserted red planet; Ugly Bug Contest appears in bold letters.

With a bang we see a spaceship flying through space. It races toward us and then flies past. The camera pans to keep it in sight, giving us a glimpse of a planet in the background.

The scene switches to a NASA team and one of the bugs appears in the corner with a NASA headset on. An unseen narrator says "Atmospheric entry on my mark...five...four...three...two...one...mark." The scene continues to flash from the NASA team to the spaceship preparing its landing.

(intense burning sound)

We again see the ship in space, just before it seperates in two as it prepares for landing.


The narrator's voice becomes tense as he states, "Stop of Odyssey canister data and switch to 32k...in ten seconds... two hundred fifty meters!... one hundred fifty meters!... Constant velocity phase detected! Altitude: forty meters! ...thirty meters!...twenty-seven meters!...twenty meters!...fifteen meters, standing by for touchdown!

The scene shows the spaceship touching down with the sound of an impact.

The narrator exclaims, "Touchdown signal detected!" and the NASA landing crew cheers wildly. He verifies, "Lander...lander init. sequence initiated! Helium vent detected!"

The bugs emerge from the spaceship to explore the planet.

(loud cheering)

He shouts "Phoenix has landed! Phoenix has landed!" (loud cheering) "Welcome to the north polar region of Mars!" (loud cheering)

(music swells as cheering continues) (the bugs gather to the forefront)

The screen fades to black display the words, "Which Ugly Bug will lead the space travel team?"

"Vote by March 15 at askabiologist.asu.edu"

"Footage courtesy of NASA.gov"

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Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.