Water and the Search for Life on Mars

Water and the Search for Life on Mars

by David Harland, D. Harland
     
 

Provides a comprehensive account of the recent ‘Spirit’ and ‘Opportunity’ Mars Exploration Rover missions.

Relates how NASA/ESA have sought evidence of life on Mars, with the prevailing mood sometimes being optimistic and sometimes pessimistic.

Details an account of the rationale for the tests for life carried out by the Viking missions

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Overview

Provides a comprehensive account of the recent ‘Spirit’ and ‘Opportunity’ Mars Exploration Rover missions.

Relates how NASA/ESA have sought evidence of life on Mars, with the prevailing mood sometimes being optimistic and sometimes pessimistic.

Details an account of the rationale for the tests for life carried out by the Viking missions in 1976, with an account of the debate over their results.

A concise primer for readers wishing to ‘bone up’ when NASA next sends a lander explicitly to seek life on Mars.

Discusses the nature of life on Mars in terms of the most primitive forms of life on Earth, and reviews the implications of there being life on both planets.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews:

"David Harland’s book is well times, as he succinctly sums up the history of Mars exploration, linking together the early telescopic observational stuff with the modern, represented by the wildly successful Sprit and Opportunity rovers…There’s also a highly informative section on the chemical basis of life, in which we learn about the extremophiles that live next to hot thermal vents on the Earth’s sea bed… Approximately 230 well-labelled and informative pictures and dozens of diagrams alone make the book good value, and one feels again some of the excitement when reading over the last 60 pages about the landings and explorations of the US Spirit and opportunity… His fine interpretations of how it all hangs together to paint a picture of an ancient Martian history in which large standing bodies of water almost certainly exited on the planet makes a book that anyone interested in Mars should have." Steve Tidey (Astronomy Now)

"This is a typical David Harland book - lots to praise … . Narrowly focussed, it covers man’s progress in understanding the nature of the red planet, Mars, and whether it has, or once had, liquid water and perhaps life. It is written in an easy style and flows nicely in spite of the comprehensive detail. … The book is well illustrated with monochrome drawings and sketches, especially of spacecraft." (Roger Feasey, AAS Journal, September, 2006)

"The book is organized as an historical review of observations and theories about Mars from telescopic observation, followed by a chronological description of Mars exploration from space probes. The historical section is full of fascinating information, with many stories … that give a detailed background as to the state of knowledge of Mars up to the start of the space race and how it was obtained. … there is a wealth of detail and many interesting anecdotes." (The Observatory, Vol. 126 (1195), December, 2006)

"The prolific Mr Harland has come up with a real winner in this slim but highly readable volume. … The book is profusely illustrated with maps and photos from the various missions, and there is even a very nice selection of colour plates, particularly of the spectacular views from the rovers. This really is a very fine book, and anyone interested in Mars exploration would get much out of it." (Liftoff, Issue 233, May/June, 2006)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780387260204
Publisher:
Springer New York
Publication date:
01/28/2006
Series:
Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration Series
Edition description:
2005
Pages:
239
Product dimensions:
9.45(w) x 6.69(h) x 0.03(d)

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