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Life on Mars

Overview

"Get ready to sy good-bye," your commander says. Within minutes, he will fire the rockets and your ship will leap out of its Earth orbit. You are going to Mars.

You are on a special mission to a place no human has ever been. You will travel a great distance: more than 35 million miles from Earth. You will eat freeze-dried food and sleep floating above your bed. It could be dangerous, but you and your crew know your duties and are prepared for any situation. You are a new kind of pioneer and there is much work to ...

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Overview

"Get ready to sy good-bye," your commander says. Within minutes, he will fire the rockets and your ship will leap out of its Earth orbit. You are going to Mars.

You are on a special mission to a place no human has ever been. You will travel a great distance: more than 35 million miles from Earth. You will eat freeze-dried food and sleep floating above your bed. It could be dangerous, but you and your crew know your duties and are prepared for any situation. You are a new kind of pioneer and there is much work to be done. You are on your way to the planet Mars.

Why are you going? How long will it take? What will you find once you get there? In this fascinating, up-to-the-minute look at space travel, David Getz draws on interviews with scientists and members of NASA, describing what the arduous journey to Mars would be like and the challenges astrounauts might face once they arrived on the planet. The result is a thrilling story with an ending that is still unfolding.

Presents information about Mars as the reader joins a hypothetical three year space exploration of the planet costing fifty billion dollars and requiring fifty-four thousand pounds of food, water, and oxygen.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Trina Heidt
You are going to Mars. What do you need to do to prepare? What will Mars be like? What will you find? What is your mission once you arrive? The object of Life on Mars is to engage and prepare the reader for his/her trip to Mars. This is accomplished by combining interesting facts and theories about Mars with guided imagery and, in a sense, imaginative role-playing. Getz is asking the reader to step into the shoes (or should I say boots) of one of the first astronauts to travel to Mars. Strap yourself in, prepare for take-off, and let Getz and his experts prepare you for the journey of a lifetime.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6Is there? Was there? Could there be? In an engaging mix of fact and speculation, Getz summarizes what we know of Mars's history and current state, counterbalancing the discouraging data gathered by the Viking landers with the recent discovery of life on our own planet in ancient permafrost and other seemingly inhospitable environments. He also invites young readers along on the first expedition to Mars, describing the physical and psychological hazards of long-term space flight, plus how the red planet may eventually come to be terraformed and colonized. Though the author attributes the discovery of Mars's "canals" to Percival Lowell rather than Giovanni Schiaperelli and notes last summer's controversial discovery of possible life signs in a Martian meteorite only in a brief final chapter, the information is generally accurate, specific, and, a real plus, gathered in some part from interviews with astronauts and other scientists. The black-and-white illustrations, a mixture of paintings, NASA photos, and reproductions, are profuse, evocative, and well placed. A lively, widely focused introduction to a big question in science that will certainly be answered in the near future.John Peters, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Getz (Floating Home, p. 380, etc.) offers eager space pioneers a primer on interplanetary travel and Martian colonization. In a penetrating second-person, you-are-there narration, he parades an amusing array of falsehoods and hysteria perpetrated in the name of Earth's neighbor, such as astronomer Percival Lowell's assumption in 1894 that the lines he saw on Mars's surface were canals, or the 1938 radio broadcast of H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds. But it is Getz's deft juggling of scientific facts that is truly engaging. Although the Martian soil is nearly antiseptic and incapable of supporting even the tiniest amino acids, the planet will, at the hands of scientists, get an environmental face lift via terraforming. During the journey to Mars, only vigorous exercise will offset the weakening of muscles and subsequent loss of bone strength in zero gravity; the crew will sleep "standing up," and use a toilet with a seat belt. The numerous black-and-white satellite photos and computer- generated landscapes bring the alien terrain up close and personal; McCarty's charcoal drawings lend a sense of excitement to this lighthearted interstellar adventure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805077292
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 11/15/2004
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

David Getz is the award-winning author of the middle-grade novels Thin Air and Almost Famous, and the nonfiction books Frozen Man and Frozen Girl. When not writing, Mr. Getz works as an elementary-school principal in New York City.

Peter McCarty is the Caldecott Honor-winning author and illustrator of Hondo and Fabian. He also teamed up with David Getz on Frozen Man, Frozen Girl, and Purple Death. Mr. McCarty lives with his wife and two children in Upstate New York.

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