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The Adventures of Sojourner: The Mission to Mars that Thrilled the World
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The Adventures of Sojourner: The Mission to Mars that Thrilled the World

by Susi Wunsch, Fpl (Illustrator)
 

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On July 4, 1997, The Mars Pathfinder lander, cocooned in an ungainly mass of airbags, was dropped from a parachute 40 feet above Mars. It slammed to the surface, kicked up the red Martian dust, bounced along like a giant beach ball and rolled to a stop. Pathfinder's three solar panel "petals" unfolded. Nestled inside was Sojourner, a one foot high, remote control

Overview

On July 4, 1997, The Mars Pathfinder lander, cocooned in an ungainly mass of airbags, was dropped from a parachute 40 feet above Mars. It slammed to the surface, kicked up the red Martian dust, bounced along like a giant beach ball and rolled to a stop. Pathfinder's three solar panel "petals" unfolded. Nestled inside was Sojourner, a one foot high, remote control vehicle that looked like something you might find under a Christmas tree. The world had a new hero.

The Mars mission was a genuine phenomenon. In a one month period, there were over a half billion hits on the mission's web site, breaking all records by hundreds of millions of hits. The most watched, most talked about space flight since men had landed on the Moon, it was also the most unlikely.

In The Adventures of Sojourner, Susi Trautmann Wunsch tells the entire story: from the small team of young scientists testing a simplified, common sense of technology, to the tension of blast off, to the wild bounce landing, to Sojourner's trials and tribulations along the rocky road of Mars, to ultimate and resounding success.

It is a page-turning narrative that, along the way, explains the intricacies of planetary exploration to a new generation of young readers. The diagrams and artist's conceptions make space technology instantly accessible. The photographs of little Sojourner tooling along the dusty, red emptiness of Mars make space travel seem not so distant at all.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Book Council and The International Read
Children's Choice, 1999
Science Books and Films
Best Children's Books 1999
Notable Books for Children Smithsonian Magazine
The story of the remote-controlled rover and the researchers who orchestrated that mission is a scientific page-turner.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The planet Mars has long fascinated humans. References to the red planet can be found in the records of the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Romans-in fact, the planet gets its name from the Roman god of war. The U.S. has sponsored several successful missions to Mars, but the one that really captured people's attention was that of the Pathfinder, which landed a little remotely controlled car named Sojourner. The rover did more than its designers and mission control experts could ever have hoped for. For nearly three months Sojourner sent data about the rocks, soil, and weather on Mars, plus hundreds of pictures. Readers follow this mission from its conception and the construction of the rover to the final bits of data sent from Mars. Full color photographs and plenty of illustrations accompany a well written and very interesting text. Kids and adults will find much to enjoy and pore over in this nonfiction offering.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up--An authoritative and exciting recounting of the Mars Pathfinder mission and the success of the Sojourner rover. The story begins with a brief but enlightening discussion of why scientists send missions to Mars and the successes and failures that occurred before the launch of Pathfinder in December of 1996. The book then follows the designing and building of Sojourner, describes her performance on Mars after landing on July 4, 1997, and speculates on her ultimate demise sometime in September or November of that year. The detailed explanations of the rover's construction, the launch and landing of the Pathfinder lander on Mars, and the work done by Sojourner are fascinating. Stunning photographs, the majority in color, add additional details and clarity to the lively text, which is easy to read but does not talk down to readers. A time line of Mars voyages, a chart comparing Earth and Mars, and three Web sites are also included. This book provides enough information for reports, and may inspire students to pursue further research. An entertaining, factual, and immensely readable volume.--Linda Wadleigh, Oconee County Middle School, Watkinsville, GA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780965049368
Publisher:
Mikaya Press
Publication date:
10/01/1998
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)
Lexile:
1090L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Susi Trautmann Wunsch is a freelance journalist living in New York City.

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