This weekend, National Geographic's Mars: The Live Experience is touring Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, with astronaut Buzz Aldrin and scientists from NASA and the European Space Agency talking about the future of space and humanity's goal of reaching Mars -- what many believe should be our goal as a civilisation and the potential for the continued survival of the human race.

Before the shows, we sat down with Professor Mark McCaughrean, a senior science advisor at the ESA, to get his take on what the Agency does, what it sees as the future of missions to space, and how it works with governments and private sector space companies like SpaceX.