This past weekend marked the opening of the American Museum of Natural History's brilliant new exhibition, Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration. As part of our ongoing Hardcore Science Interview series, io9 spoke with the show's curator, AMNH astrophysicist Michael Shara, about the exhibit.

Shara tells us about NASA's upcoming mission to Mars, how our descendants will go about terraforming the red planet, Jupiter's mysterious (and potentially life-harboring) moon, Europa — and why this truly is the golden age of astronomy.

Learn more about the Beyond Planet Earth exhibit, and buy tickets, over at AMNH.

This interview was conducted by Robert Gonzalez, and directed & edited by Matt Toder. Many thanks to the AMNH. Be sure to watch for other videos in the ongoing Hardcore Science Interview series, and visit the AMNH to see their latest exhibitions.