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Human Missions to Mars: Enabling Technologies for Exploring the Red Planet (Springer Praxis Books) Hardcover – 12 Sep 2007

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From the reviews:

"A skeptic’s view on the realities of sending a human mission to Mars in the 21st century. … Human Missions to Mars is hardbound, and Rapp’s use of supporting formula, graphs, and technical illustrations … make it clear that this volume is meant to be used as a reference book in research institutions, technical libraries, and scientific organizations. However, Rapp’s engaging writing style and pragmatic view on this subject also makes it an interesting read for the armchair Mars explorer … ." (Anthony Young, The Space Review, March, 2008)

"This book looks at human missions to Mars from an engineering perspective. … The book includes appendices describing the use of solar energy on the Moon and on Mars and the value of indigenous water on Mars. This book was written for space scientists and engineers, intermediate-level undergraduates, and postgraduate researchers studying every aspect of human missions to Mars." (The Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin, 2008)

"Rapp’s book is a very readable, critical view of possible explorations of Mars. … The book discusses in detail the many technologies that must be developed and demonstrated before a successful human mission to Mars can occur. … The appendixes give significant details about solar energy and water on Earth’s moon and Mars. The work is an excellent analysis of the difficulties posed by a human mission to mars. … Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections." (D. B. Mason, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (9), 2008)

"In this book, Donald Rapp … sets out to provide a critical assessment of the requirements for human missions to Mars from an engineering perspective. … I found it informative because I learned a lot about the intricacies of Mars mission architectures and the inherent engineering challenges. … it is refreshing to read a detailed and independent study by someone who has no vested interest in any ‘official’ plans for human space missions." (Ian Crawford, Eos, Vol. 89 (36), 2008)

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Format: Hardcover
This book presents a survey of the current state of the various technologies for manned Mars exploration. It covers launch vehicles, trajectories, life support systems, in-situ resource utilisation, human physiology aspects e.g radiation and zero "g", Entry, Descent and Landing systems, power systems and many others. It reviews the current status of such systems and discusses the further developments that will be needed prior to a human visit to Mars. The feasibility of undertaking such developments is considered. Lunar mission architectures and resource utilisation are also covered.

It also presents a critical review of proposed Mars missions, including not only NASA and ESA plans but also others including Mars Direct and the Mars Society Mission.

Whilst by its nature a technical work, the book is quite readable, and may be readily followed without difficulty by anyone with some sort of scientific, technical or engineering background or education.

I would suggest that this is a useful book for anyone with an interest in manned Mars exploration.
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