Rescue Mode

Rescue Mode

by Ben Bova, Les Johnson
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Rescue Mode by Ben Bova, Les Johnson

Gritty and scientifically accurate science fiction adventure from New York Times best-selling author Ben Bova and NASA space scientist Les Johnson.

The first human mission to Mars meets with near-disaster when a meteoroid strikes the spacecraft, almost destroying it. The ship is too far from Earth to simply turn around and return home. The eight-person crew must ride their crippled ship to Mars while they desperately struggle to survive.

On Earth, powerful political forces that oppose human spaceflight try to use the accident as proof that sending humans into space is too dangerous to continue. The whole human space flight program hangs in the balance. And if the astronauts can’t nurse their ship to Mars and back, the voyagers will become either the first Martian colonists—or the first humans to perish on another planet.

About Rescue Mode:
"Space enthusiasts will appreciate the technical accuracy of Rescue Mode which reflects the engineering background of author Les Johnson, a rocket scientist. . . . Space enthusiasts . . . will want to add this one to their collection."—Ad Astra, National Space Society

"Bova and Johnson artfully introduce us to the major players in . . . the ambitious program for humankind’s first manned mission to Mars . . . and a tribute to Bova and Johnson’s story-telling skill . . . [which] shows plausible scientists at work in spite of daunting obstacles. . . . a story well-told."—LabLit

About Mars, Inc.:
"The Hugo winner returns to his most popular subject: the quest for Mars."—Publishers Weekly

About the award winning novels of Ben Bova:
“Technically accurate and absorbing . . .”—Kirkus

“[Bova is] the science fiction author who will have the greatest effect on the world.”—Ray Bradbury

“A masterful storyteller”—Vector

“Gives a good read while turning your eyes to what might be in the not so distant future, just like Clarke and Asimov used to do so well.”—SFX

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476736471
Publisher: Baen
Publication date: 06/03/2014
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 992,617
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Ben Bova has written more than one hundred twenty futuristic novels and nonfiction books, and has been involved in science and high technology since the very beginnings of the space age. His Baen books include Mars, Inc. and Laugh Lines. President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a past president of Science Fiction Writers of America, Bova received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2005, "for fueling mankind's imagination regarding the wonders of outer space." His 2006 novel Titan received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year. In 2008 he won the Robert A. Heinlein Award "for his outstanding body of work in the field of literature." Bova is a frequent commentator on radio and television and a widely popular lecturer. His articles, opinion pieces and reviews have appeared in Scientific American, Nature, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other newspapers and magazines. Earlier, he was an award-winning editor and an executive in the aerospace industry. His Grand Tour novels, such as bestseller Mars, combine romance, adventure, and the highest degree of scientific accuracy to show how the human race will expand through the solar system, and the impact this will have on individual human lives and society as a whole. Bova has taught science fiction at Harvard University and at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, where he has also directed film courses. Bova currently lives in Florida.

Les Johnson is a NASA physicist and author. By day, he serves as the Deputy Manager for the Advanced Concepts Office at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. In the early 2000s, he was NASA’s Manager for Interstellar Propulsion Research and later managed the In-Space Propulsion Technology Project. He was technical consultant for the movie Lost in Space and has appeared on the Discovery Channel series, Physics of the Impossible in the “How to Build a Starship” episode. He has also appeared in three episodes of the Science Channel series Exodus Earth. He is the author of novel Back to the Moon, coauthored with Travis S. Taylor, and the coeditor of the groundbreaking science/science fiction collection Going Interstellar.

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Rescue Mode 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Review by John Vester In Ben Bova and Les Johnson's "Rescue Mode" Bova revisits the Mars of his 1992 book, "Mars" and realizes the old adage that "getting there is half the fun." Or half the terror. "Rescue Mode" is a relentless, hard sf page turner. Bova and Johnson's eight Mars bound astronauts and scientists survive the worst the cosmos can throw at them. They survive by their own wits and with the support of mission control. As a sober and sobering counterpoint to the mission's life and death perils are the machinations of those who hold the purse strings and control NASA's budget. As a stepping stone to greater power they are willing to let the Mars mission astronauts go without rescue and so die, and use their deaths to justify ending all manned space flight past the moon. Their stated argument is that human space flight is just too dangerous, as the tragic Mars mission proves. The book's authors, with many years experience with actual US manned space programs, provide an impassioned counterargument through their principal Earthbound protagonist, the US President. Just as the original space race was less motivated by idealistic urges to explore and learn, so, in the end, the Mars mission is saved, not for humanitarian reasons but as a politically expedient path to power. As the survivors on Mars would likely say, who cares about deeper motivations, at least we are going to Mars. "Rescue Mode" is rich, fast paced, interesting, up to date and a delightful 500 plus page addiction. Get the book. Get hooked.
dbraden More than 1 year ago
One wonders if Rescue Mode was in work before or after Mars, Inc. Both books urge space exploration and Mars as the first destination. The addition of Johnson of NASA is most evident through the first half of this novel that quickly becomes a sequence of Murphy's Law catastrophes. Bova's optimistic motif is invisible until the second half of the novel. The political anti-exploration sect has the reader's attention until all seems to be lost. Then Bova's style and development rescue the reader and reasserts human heroic ability. Space exploration is rife with dangers, but that the Arrow lacks an asteroid scanning detector seems far from possibility. Just as far-fetched is crew members fooling the psychologists testing their ability to survive with each other for two years. Rescue Mode closes down much too fast given how it developed to reach its "all okay" finish. However, the reader should neither be forced into more Murphy's Law nor a sequel. Let the Christmas presents suffice.