Drill, baby, Drill: What will we look for when we mine on Mars?

It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back

  • In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
  • Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
  • The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
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The 2 Biggest Challenges We Need to Solve Before Living on Mars

It seems inevitable that there will be a Mars colony, but the path there won't be easy. There are two key challenges ahead that will push innovation. 

The first crew of Martian astronauts survey their new home. Credit: Mars, National Geographic Channel

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Underwater National Parks: A Compelling Case

National Parks have long been a staple of American wildlife conversation. Why not have some underwater?

Sylvia Earle diving 20 meters underwater to get up close and personal with a Port Jackson shark (source: Getty Images)

Awestruck by nature, early American explorers wrote about western landscapes in terms of such singular amazement that residents of the east coast interpreted their accounts to be works of fiction. Since then, national parks and reservations have been established throughout the United States in order, as stated in the so-called Organic Act of 1916, “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” An imperative to preserve natural beauty and diversity runs through much of American history. The benefits of national parks far exceed their profound picaresque appearance: they help to maintain biodiversity and to produce quantities of fresh air that are crucial to our survival. In short, they constitute a wonderful means of preserving ecological stability and splendor.

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