Mars: Uncovering the Secrets of the Red Planet

Overview

Unimaginably distant, and yet at the same time the most Earthlike of the planets, Mars has exerted a powerful pull on the human imagination for thousands of years. It mesmerized the millions who watched as the small robot known as Sojourner explored its faraway surface from July to September 1997.

Now, with a definitive book on this compelling subject, National Geographic presents a state-of-the-art report on the planet itself, the technology that allows us to explore it, and ...

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Overview

Unimaginably distant, and yet at the same time the most Earthlike of the planets, Mars has exerted a powerful pull on the human imagination for thousands of years. It mesmerized the millions who watched as the small robot known as Sojourner explored its faraway surface from July to September 1997.

Now, with a definitive book on this compelling subject, National Geographic presents a state-of-the-art report on the planet itself, the technology that allows us to explore it, and the prospects for further exciting discoveries. Highlighted by an astonishing collection of more than 125 full-color photographs, Mars includes a stunning, 3-dimensional, 8-page panoramic gatefold with images that capture the genuine wonder of discovery at the Pathfinder landing site.

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Editorial Reviews

Daneet Steffens
. . . Mars lets us see the stuff the planet is really made of. But while the images are out of this world, the most revealing information here is what apparently serves as the true source for scientific inspiration: Mars may be lifeless, but what's not to like about a place with rocks named Calvin and Hobbs?
Entertainment Weekly
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wonder and amazement await all who leaf through this extraordinary new book about the human exploration of Mars. It's not the foreword by Golombek, chief project scientist of the Pathfinder Mission, that will galvanize readers, although he does provide a brief, firsthand (and slightly technical) account of the Pathfinder Mission, which landed successfully on the Red Planet in 1997. Nor is it the exemplary text by Raeburn, a senior editor at Business Week, which does clarify difficult technical and scientific concepts while injecting welcome notes of drama, including a gripping history of our encounters with Mars. Instead, it's the astonishing and unprecedented array of illustrations, mostly photographs, that make this book a keeper. Never before has Mars, the most mysterious and resonant of planets, been brought with such vivid immediacy to human eyes; and in an inspired stroke, the book includes, in addition to stunning 2-D photos, 3-D panoramas of the Martian landscape, viewable through accompanying glasses. For anyone who has ever gazed up at the heavens in awe, this is a book to treasure. 135-plus full-color photos. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The spectacular success of the Mars Pathfinder mission in the summer of 1997 rekindled public and scientific interest in the solar system's only Earthlike planet. After an absence of two decades following the Viking missions, the data returned by the lander and its rover vindicated NASA's new approach to planetary exploration--the "faster, better, cheaper" strategy. In this overview by Raeburn, a senior editor of Business Week, three decades of Mars missions and humankind's historical fascination with Mars are given the full National Geographic treatment, with impressive full-color images returned by orbiting spacecraft and surface landers, including several 3-D prints (3-D glasses included with the book). NASA plans to send probes to Mars at each upcoming two-year launch opportunity (the Mars Global Surveyor is already orbiting the Red Planet on a mapping mission), culminating with a sample return mission in 2005, making this title a timely addition for public libraries wishing to update their planetary science collections.--Thomas J. Frieling, Bainbridge Coll., GA
School Library Journal
YA-For thousands of years, the Red Planet has captivated the human imagination. The Pathfinder mission marked a new era in its exploration, making it faster, better, and cheaper. This book documents the planet's exploration with beautiful, foldout 360-degree superpanoramas, illustrations, technical drawings, and photographs from some of the best photographers in the world. The cameras on Pathfinder transmitted 3-D images back to Earth, thus letting scientists navigate the little rover named Sojourner around rocks and other obstacles. The author has included some of those images in the books along with 3-D glasses, thus allowing readers to feel as though they are actually standing on the Martian landscape. The last chapter deals with the future of the robotic exploration of the Red Planet and a manned mission in the 21st century. This is a wonderful book for any armchair astronaut.-John Kiefman, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Booknews
Presents an abundantly illustrated glimpse of the faraway place that has beckoned to us since ancient times and promises to be our first step onto another planet. About 125 color photographs and a panoramic 3-D image (viewer included) are accompanied by text that explores the long history of our curiosity about Mars, the most recent discoveries, and the future of Martian exploration. Oversize: 9.50x12<">. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Daneet Steffens
. . . Mars lets us see the stuff the planet is really made of. But while the images are out of this world, the most revealing information here is what apparently serves as the true source for scientific inspiration: Mars may be lifeless, but what's not to like about a place with rocks named Calvin and Hobbs? -- Entertainment Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641872839
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 12
Introduction 20
Why do We Dream of Mars? 26
The First Missions 44
Getting to Know Mars: The Viking Missions 68
Pathfinder: A New Era in Mars Exploration 116
Is there Life on Mars? 180
Continuing the Mars Journey 194
Index 226
Credits & Acknowledgements & Additional Reading 230
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