Mars Event Blasts Off

National Geographic’s sweeping initiative considers imminent human life on the red planet.

The red planet has always captured earthly imaginations, but the topic of humans traveling to Mars has never been hotter.

National Geographic has enlisted the best creative and scientific minds to illuminate the quest for Mars from all angles, from what we will breathe and eat to where we will live to how we will harness energy to make the more than 30-million-mile journey. This unprecedented initiative envisions in scientifically accurate detail what it will take to travel to and colonize our closest planetary neighbor.

The National Geographic Mars multiplatform event includes two books, a television series in its second season, a magazine cover story, a digital virtual-reality experience, an installation in New York, kids media and education materials, a touring speakers series, and ongoing coverage on

Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet (ISBN 978-1-4262-1758-6, $30) by award-winning journalist Leonard David and with a foreword by miniseries producer Ron Howard is the definitive book on the human settlement of the red planet. Backed by extensive research and filled with gorgeous photography and art, this 304-page volume tackles crucial questions like the physical effects of the more than two-year journey and the ethics of altering Mars’s ecosystem. The book is also available in audio format. For children, Mars: The Red Planet (ISBN 978-1-4263-2754-4, $7.99) by Elizabeth Carney explains concepts like Martian weather and high-tech rovers for 6-to-9-year-olds.

View Images
Scene from National Geographic Channel miniseries ‘MARS’

Airing on the National Geographic Channel, ‘MARS’ is the pioneering television series from producers Brian Glazer and Ron Howard. Now in its second season, this groundbreaking combination of scripted drama and documentary captivates viewers with arresting visuals and commentary from leaders in space exploration. Set in the year 2033, the global miniseries tells the story of the first manned mission to Mars, interspersed with present-day interviews with more than 20 scientific experts, including James Lovell, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Andy Weir. Variety calls it “a thought-provoking and visually stunning production.”

Tune in to National Geographic Channel Mondays at 9/8c for new episodes.

For extras like behind-the-scenes videos, simulations, a poster, photos, and much more, visit the National Geographic Channel ‘MARS’ page.