Going to Mars: The Stories of the People Behind NASA's Mars Missions Past, Present, and Future

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The greatest adventure of the twenty-first century has already begun. And now, for the first time, we can all share in the excitement and wonder of that incredible journey with this authoritative and personal account of our first steps to Mars.

When the little Martian rover Sojourner left its tracks in the red soil of another world, this marked both the beginning of a new era for Mars and a radical change in our exploration of space -- no longer the exclusive domain of male scientists with crew cuts, white shirts, and billion-dollar budgets. An entirely new concept of blazing a trail to other worlds has been invented by the men and women of the groundbreaking Mars Pathfinder mission -- one of the most unusual and youngest assortments of scientists and engineers ever assembled at NASA. Their rallying cry of "Faster-Better-Cheaper" has opened the door to a spectacular new era of innovative missions for the twenty-first century.

Written by the leader of the Mars Pathfinder program, Brian Muirhead, and the acclaimed science fiction writers Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Going to Mars is more than a dry compendium of facts about our sister planet. In it, the authors reveal the human side of space exploration -- detailing the never-before-told stories of personal triumphs and tragedies, the complex drama of powerful personalities in collision, and the behind-the-scenes conflicts that threatened to derail one of the most remarkable technological achievements of our time.

Going to Mars is enriched by special sections providing complete, detailed, and easy-to-follow guides to the intricacies of space science, from the breathtaking precision of interplanetary navigation that allowed Pathfinder to land safely within thirty miles of its target coordinates after a seven-month journey of 309 million miles, to the astonishing developments in "telepresence" at NASA's Ames Research Center that might one day make it possible for each of us to visit Mars by interacting directly with robot explorers through a home computer.

Going to Mars also looks at the history of our culture's interaction with the Red Planet, from Hollywood versions of Mars exploration to the first Viking missions, and to the future. The book presents the best predictions of science fiction and science fact (as well as the most humorous and least plausible), and offers a detailed examination of NASA's developing plans that might one day lead us from the first human footprint on Mars to the first self-sustaining habitat. The authors also delve into the fascinating footnotes to the history of Mars, from Orson Welles's classic War of the Worlds invasion hoax to the bizarre conspiracy theories surrounding the Face on Mars, and the latest tantalizing discoveries that have redefined our very definitions of life, and where it might be found among the rocks and sands of Mars and other worlds.

Illustrated with hundreds of photographs, drawings, cartoons, and computer-generated images, most never published before, and many from the personal collections of the people whose story this is, Going to Mars is the insider's guide to humanity's ultimate adventure.

 

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Going to Mars: the stories of the people behind NASA's Mars missions past, present and future

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Muirhead, a scientist-engineer at NASA, and science fiction writers Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, who have written numerous Star Trek novels, present with aplomb information about Mars and the ... Read full review

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Contents

one Six Minutes Of Terror Entry Descent and LandingJanuary 2004
1
two You Dont Want to Get Too Close to These Guys Assembling the Team
31
three The Overarching Objective Why Go at all?
63
seven The Point Of Going Back The Next Ten Years
187
eight It Cant Happen Soon Enough for Me Humanson Mars
215
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About the author (2004)

Muirhead led the design, development, and launch of the flight system for the Mars Pathfinder Mission.

She is the author of William Shatner's bestselling Star Trek novels and are well-loved Star Trek authors in their own right--their hardcover Star Trek books include "Star Trek: Prime Directive", "Star Trek: Federation" and "The Art of Star Trek".

Along with his wife Judith, Garfield Reeves-Stevens writes science fiction and screenplays. They have written Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a behind-the-scenes look at the popular show, Star Trek: The Next Generation, a tribute to the TV series, and the thriller, Icefire.

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