Get up close and personal with science as Andrew Kessler narrates his hilarious journey inside NASA's Phoenix Mars mission-a historic enterprise manned by a motley crew of rocket scientists The Phoenix Mars mission was the first man-made probe ever sent to the Martian arctic. Its purpose was to find out how climate change could turn a warm, wet planet (read: Earth) into a cold, barren desert (read: Mars). Along the way, Phoenix discovered a giant frozen ocean trapped beneath the north pole of Mars, exotic food for aliens, and liquid water, and laid the foundation for NASA's current exploration of Mars using the Curiosity rover. This is not science fiction. It's fact. And for the luckiest fanboy in fandom, it was the best vacation ever. Andrew Kessler spent the summer of 2008 in NASA's mission control with one hundred thirty of the world's best planetary scientists and engineers as they carried out this ambitious operation. He came back with a story of human drama about modern-day pioneers battling NASA politics, temperamental robots, and the bizarre world of daily life in mission control. "An informative and even charming semi-insider account of how such a mission operates, how humans fare on Mars time, and how scientists and administrators behave under extreme stress." -The Washington Post "Readers will thrill to this slightly offbeat firsthand account of scientific determination and stubborn intellect. . . . This behind-the-scenes look delivers a fascinating journey of discovery peppered with humor." -Publishers Weekly "A candid and precise account of the ups and downs of a space mission. This book shows what it is to participate in a short and intense landed Mars expedition. It gives the feel of the pressure and excitement at mission control, where engineers, managers and scientists work together while trying to satisfy contradictory requirements, showing the human side of science with refreshing honesty." -Nilton Renno, professor of atmospheric and space sciences, University of Michigan "It is as if I imagined Holden Caulfield writing about the mission. Martian Summer is a riot." -Peter Smith, professor, Lunar and Planetory Laboratory, University of Arizona, and principal investigator of the Phoenix Project Andrew Kessler is a writer living in Brooklyn. He holds a degree in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. Martian Summer is his first book about Mars-or any planet, for that matter.