MARS Considers Imminent Human Life on the Red Planet: By award-winning journalist Leonard David, with foreword by Ron Howard

Right now, plans are being put in place and procedures honed to get humans to Mars.

MARS: Our Future on the Red Planet (National Geographic Books; on sale Oct. 25; ISBN 978-1-4262-1758-6; 304 pages; $30) considers the imminent settlement of humans on Mars. Backed by extensive research and written by award-wining journalist Leonard David—who has covered space for 50 years and was co-author of Mission to Mars with Buzz Aldrin—the book is part of a major National Geographic Mars initiative* this fall, including a documentary in partnership with Ron Howard, whose foreword opens the book.

So, what is life on Mars going to take?

  • A parachute the size of the Rose Bowl will be necessary to land a crew on Mars from the spacecraft in which they travel.
  • Mars has the largest volcanoes and deepest canyons in the known solar system, and anyone on the surface of the planet is exposed to lethal levels of radiation.
  • Earth is far: two years away and that’s when the window of return is open.

There’s a whole lot we don’t yet know and MARS takes those crucial questions head-on:

  • Researchers posit the “Earth Out of View” phenomenon as one example of potentialpsychological effects. Unlike astronauts who often report awe and insight when viewing Earth from space, people on Mars may not see the earth in their night sky at all.
  • The toll of a two-year journey through space, let alone life on a new planet, will havedrastic physical effects on every human being living under those conditions. Astronaut Scott Kelly recently spent a year in space and grew over an inch!
  • Immediately upon landing, we will need to make changes to Mars if we are to survive. The ethics of altering the ecosystem of yet another planet is no small question.

In MARS, David investigates the red planet as never before, introducing Mars not merely as backdrop to swashbuckling science fiction but as they very real setting of humanity’s next home.

*National Geographic will extend the MARS experience in an unprecedented cross-platform experience with a six-part documentary series on the National Geographic Channel in November, digital companion prequelBefore MARS” that will launch prior to premiere, a digital virtual-reality experience at MakeMarsHome.com and a MARS Experience installation in New York this October. MARS will be the November cover story of National Geographic Magazine; will be featured in a National Geographic Kids book, MARS: The Red Planet,” on sale Sept. 27; kids media and educational materials; a touring NG Live speakers series; and ongoing Mars coverage on nationalgeographic.com.

About Leonard David

Leonard David is an award-winning space journalist who has been reporting on space activities for over 50 years. He frequently contributes to the website Space.com as their “Space Insider Columnist” and is the coauthor of Buzz Aldrin’s Mission to Mars. In 2015, he became the first recipient of the American Astronautical Society’s (AAS) “Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History” in the category of journalism, and in 2010 he received the National Space Club Press Award.

About Ron Howard

Ron Howard has made a lifelong career in television and film, winning numerous accolades and awards as actor, director and producer. He is co-chair with Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment, which has recently partnered with National Geographic on Breakthrough as well as Red Planet.

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC, a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, combines National Geographic television channels with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic Studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, catalog, licensing and e-commerce businesses. A portion of the proceeds from National Geographic Partners LLC will be used to fund science, exploration, conservation and education through significant ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.