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Mars: The NASA Mission Reports: v. 2 [Paperback]

Robert Godwin

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Apogee Books; Pap/Cdr edition (1 Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894959051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894959056
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 16.4 x 26 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,537,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


In 1877 the famed Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli used his brand-new 8.6 inch telescope to study the planets. To his great surprise he suspected that he saw symmetry on Mars. In the years that followed one astronomer after another looked at the red planet and gradually a mythology was formed - a mythology of alien intellect. By the 1890's the martial influence had spilled over into all walks of life and sparked philosophical debates and wondrous fictions. Scientists, fantasists and people of all creeds looked up and wondered - is there life out there? Now, more than a century later, nations around the world are bombarding Mars with an unprecedented fleet of exploratory vehicles. Their journey taking less time than it took Amundsen and Shackleton to reach the poles of Earth, these small but hardy robotic emissaries are thrusting their way through the depths of interplanetary space to take up residence in the barren Martian deserts. Their goal is to answer one of the oldest questions in mankind's history. Is there life out there? In this sequel to the best-selling first volume, the reader is brought up to date with the most recent results from our nearest neighbour.

Filled with a wealth of facts about the latest fleet of Martian explorers as well as a look at what may be coming next in mankind's most ambitious quest for knowledge. Includes DVD-V / DVD-ROM featuring: Exclusive interviews with Mars Rover Mission Scientist Steve Squyres, Senior Flight Engineer Rob Manning, Mission Manager Jim Eriksen, the complete Cornell animation of the Rovers created by Maas Digital, a NASA animation of a proposed Manned Mars mission, the exciting mission control broadcast of the landing of Opportunity in Meridiani Planum and as an added extra special bonus, extremely rare video of Dr Wernher von Braun filmed in 1976 at the occasion of his last public speech about Mars exploration.

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine collection of Mars papers 4 Aug 2004
By R. Zubrin - Published on Amazon.com
Mars NASA Mission Reports Volume 2

Review by Robert Zubrin, President Mars Society

Once again the team at Apogee Books have produced a well timed book about the recent and current Mars Missions. Following on from their best selling Mars NASA Mission Reports Volume One, which included all missions up to and including the failed Polar Lander and Climate Observer missions of 1999 the new Volume continues the more successful missions since that dark year including data transmitted back from the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.

It is possible to find much of the contents of the book on the NASA websites, however this book puts everything into one easy to use reference and easy to carry paper database. As usual the book includes a DVD which in this case is a double sided disc including many videos, photographs, interviews with the major JPL team managers and much more. I found one question asked of Steve Squyres particularly interesting; when asked by Godwin what he could do that the rover could not if he was able to stand at Meridiani Planum; his answer...well the answer was poignant, you be the judge. Another interesting item from the vaults is a rare 1975 video lecture by Von Braun about Humans to Mars. Where do they find this stuff?

In all a fine addition to any Mars collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We're on Mars - Now what? 16 Jun 2006
By J. Page - Published on Amazon.com
Mars: The NASA Mission Reports Vol 2 is another welcome addition to any die-hard Mars lover's library. The format is the same for almost all Apogee Mission Reports - fact sheets and press kits from NASA. The data and the color inserts do the book justice.

On the downside, the status reports concerning the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) get very tiring to read. Similar to 'keep-alive' packets sent by idle computers on the Internet, the reports give frequent updates to the status of the rovers - while sometimes interesting, its very hard to see 'big-picture' science without more analysis (something that wouldn't be in a mission press kit or an Apogee Mission Report book).

The inclusion of a DVD was another surprise - since the data sent back by the two MERs is hefty, more storage space was needed. The DVD might be worth the cost of the book, but I love those introductory mission press kits stating the statistics of the machines and the overview of its mission...

Again, if you have a Mars Library started, add this to your collection!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOT TO GET THIS ONE 18 Sep 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
My thanks to Robert Zubrin for his review. Because of the Von Braun video lecture, I'm going to order this fine Apogee title straight away. By the way, thanks to Mr. Zubrin and his colleagues for everything they've done to push the cause of Man On Mars. It amazes me that about once a decade, mankind can find hundreds of billions of dollars to fight wars, yet will not spend much more on our important future in the new frontier.

Here's hoping that a consortium of Paul Allen-type people in future can get us to our sister world. If we relied solely on taxpayer funded missions it would take decades. And I'm not getting any younger.

Thanks again, Mr. Zubrin.
5.0 out of 5 stars Book even better than volume 1. great DVD supplied. 13 Aug 2010
By Thomas Erickson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just got done reading Mars NASA Mission Report Volume 1. It was good. Took Dr. Robert Zubrin's advice and bought volume 2 also. Volume 2 was even better.

The first 5% was dry manned mission proposed department notes. To me not very interesting. Later there is some dry mission specification information like in volume 1. There are a good number of excellent Mars color and black and white photos. Super

There are Mars Global Surveyor updates. Good
Mars Express and the loss of Beagle2 ( faster and cheaper with less redundancy...tragic logic to save money. Either try it this way or no mission.) Lots of hard work and much science could of been gotten perhaps if redundant systems in place and there was more money to be spent.

The Mars Odyssey.
The rovers Spirit and Opportunity. INMO 10,000% successful. Fantastic mission and worth every penny. So many images and information far beyond the mission parameters. Great

Also information on the Mars Reconnaissance orbiter press release.

The DVD supplied was outstanding. Great quality movies, animation and photos. Dr Zubrin ( president of the Mars Society I belong to) was right. It was great seeing an older Dr. Wernher von Braun in 1975 lecturing about manned missions to Mars. Wernher von Braun was one in 10,000,000. His inventive genius does not come around very often. A true space/rocket hero who passed away before his vision of Manned Mars exploration could be accomplished. His Saturn 5 for the Apollo program was spectacular. I hope we have a manned mission to Mars soon and a small token should be put on Mars to thank the late Dr. Wernher von Braun and add to his legacy.

Buy volume 1 to get up to speed with the earlier NASA Mars missions. 4 stars. Then get volume 2. Just the DVD in volume 2 was well worth the price. An excellent book. 5 stars
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