National Geographic Society Focuses on Space Exploration with New Online Portal, Magazine Cover Story, Book and Museum Exhibition

Society partners with NASA on 2 events at National Geographic headquarters, live-streamed at
Jun 18, 2014 4:30 PM ET

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 /3BL Media/ - National Geographic has launched a new Web portal,, dedicated to supporting and discussing ongoing efforts around space exploration. will include space-related news stories, features, photo galleries, videos and infographics.

The online portal will be complemented by additional events and launches in the coming months, starting with the July cover story on astrobiology in National Geographic magazine, which is available on the portal now. National Geographic Live, which produces the Society’s public programs, will present two “Summer in Space” events in cooperation with NASA on June 30 and Aug. 5, which will bring top scientists and experts to National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters and to audiences around the world through a live stream on Also on Aug. 5, National Geographic Books will release MARS UP CLOSE: Inside the Curiosity Mission, by Washington Post writer Marc Kaufman. On Aug. 6, the National Geographic Museum will open a “Mars Up Close” exhibition. Ongoing social media discussions around these events and launches will use the hashtag #OurUniverse.

“National Geographic’s new space portal allows us to convene an ongoing dialogue featuring current insights from some of the foremost thinkers in space science and exploration,” said Jamie Shreeve, executive editor for science at National Geographic. “Our continuing relationship with NASA will help illuminate the wonders of our universe — and all that we still have to learn about outer space.”

Science writer Michael Lemonick’s July cover story for National Geographic magazine, “Life Beyond Earth,” delves into recent developments in astrobiology, sharing the research of leading scientists in the field, including Dr. Kevin Hand, deputy chief scientist of solar system exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and Dr. Penelope Boston, director of cave and karst studies at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. The July issue is available on newsstands starting June 24.

On Monday, June 30, Nat Geo Live and NASA will host the first “Summer in Space” event, “Life Beyond Earth: A Celebration on Cassini’s Tenth Anniversary.” Hand and Boston along with Dr. Linda Spilker, Cassini Project scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Dr. Natalie Batalha, mission scientist for the Kepler Mission, will participate in a panel discussion at 7:30 p.m., moderated by Shreeve and live-streamed at

Tuesday, Aug. 5, marks the second anniversary of the landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars. National Geographic will commemorate this milestone with the release of Marc Kaufman’s MARS UP CLOSE: Inside the Curiosity Mission (National Geographic Books; 978-1-4262-1278-9). This in-depth narrative of the rover’s mission, informed by Kaufman’s two years spent embedded at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is filled with original illustrations and stunning images of Mars, many of which have never been seen before. It will be available everywhere books are sold.

Also on Aug. 5, Nat Geo Live and NASA will present the second “Summer in Space” event, “Mars Up Close.” This panel discussion, at 7:30 p.m., will be introduced by Dr. Jim Green, NASA’s Planetary Science Division director and head of the Mars program, and moderated by Kaufman. The panel will comprise Dr. Ken Edgett, principal investigator, MAHLI Camera, Mars Exploration Program; Dr. John Grant, geologist and long-term planner, Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory; and Dr. Pan Conrad, deputy principal investigator, sample analysis, at Mars team, NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center. This event  also will be live-streamed at

The panel discussion will be followed by a book signing of MARS UP CLOSE in the National Geographic Museum’s “Mars Up Close” exhibition. The exhibition, which will feature stunning Mars imagery, content from the book, a full-scale model of the Curiosity rover as well as models of the Spirit/Opportunity rover and the 1997 Sojourner, opens to the public Aug. 6, but National Geographic Live attendees will get a first look at this free exhibit on display in the M Street lobby.

“Summer in Space” ticket packages are $44 and include admission to both “Life Beyond Earth” and “Mars Up Close.” Tickets may be purchased online, via telephone at (202) 857-7700 or in person at the National Geographic ticket offices between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets are also available for each event separately for $24. 

About National Geographic
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the member-supported Society offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference. The Society reaches more than 500 million people worldwide each month through its media platforms, products and events. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit