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The Case for Mars [Paperback]

Robert Zubrin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 April 1998
Since the beginning of human history Mars has been an alluring dream-- the stuff of legends, gods, and mystery. The planet most like ours, it has still been thought impossible to reach, let alone explore and inhabit.

Now with the advent of a revolutionary new plan, all this has changed. Leading space exploration authority Robert Zubrin has crafted a daring new blueprint, Mars Direct, presented here with illustrations, photographs, and engaging anecdotes.

"The Case for Mars" is not a vision for the far future or one that will cost us impossible billions. It explains step-by-step how we can use present-day technology to send humans to Mars within ten years; actually produce fuel and oxygen on the planet's surface with Martian natural resources; how we can build bases and settlements; and how we can one day "terraform" Mars-- a process that can alter the atmosphere of planets and pave the way for sustainable life.



Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (6 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684835509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684835501
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 15 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 569,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Michael D. Lemonick"Newsday"In this thoughtful, thorough and inspiring book...[Zubrin] systematically and convincingly destroys the conventional wisdom about Mars travel.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The planet Mars is a world of breathtaking scenery, with spectacular mountains three times as tall as Mount Everest, canyons three times as deep and five times as long as the Grand canyon, vast ice fields, and thousands of kilometers of mysterious dry riverbeds. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Content or context, hmm. 12 Jan 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The review guide states that the review is to be relevant to the content and/or context. In this case, they're two rather different reviews. Personally, I find Zubrin's Mars Direct/Mars Colony plan (the content part) flawed in quite a few ways, here are a couple: 1) the "frontier spirit" arguement is used often, and I agree that humanity is at its best when challenged and exploration and colonisation certainly serves this goal. But the specific case for Mars, as opposed to the moons of Saturn/Jupiter, asteroid belts etc are not made. 2) Assumptions about the industry of a Mars colony, deuterium mining for use in fusion for example, are founded on an unproven theoretical industry and also, due to the prevelance of Helium 3, encourage a settlement on the moon instead. Asteroid mining is posited but this is an arguement for mining asteroids, Mars is superfluous to this. 3) The Mars Direct mission itself is a tight rope and although Zubrin convincingly deals with many of the dangers the book is, perhaps necessarily lean on specifics regards crew details (men? women? age?) and logistic details, I personally doubt the craft has enough space for food, water, spare parts etc although I happen to know many of these details have been worked out at later dates, the crewing level has now been raised to 6, those ammendments are not present here. And on and on. However, Zubrin is making a case, not a watertight arguement and would doubtless concede that the debate is far from over so, in the spirit of the context side of the review I would say buy this book, absolutely, the Mars Direct plan is an excellent, ingenious basic idea that deserves publicity and this book should be bought and debated by scientists, students, policymakers and the general public alike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but you can go first . . . . 30 Oct 2000
Format:Paperback
Zubrin clearly outlines how a martian exploration may be possible using existing technology. He wigs out a bit when he tries to carry this thesis forward to a discussion of terraforming but if you have any interest in space exploration this is a must read, with some penetrating insight in to why NASA is probably not going to fulfill our aspirations in this direction anytime soon. So, if you can find anybody nuts enough to actually fly the thing . . . .
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very convincing! 4 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As an aerospace engineering student highly interested in space exploration (and wishing to go professional with this also) , I really found this book to be a real treat. Definitely was inspiring coming from an author that wishes to advance mankind technologically into the realm of space.. A view that I have concurred with ever since I was in grade school. The book was not just some bored rocket engineer's (or scientist's) science fiction memo, I found his plan extremely plausible and do-able. I especially liked the historical allusions he made throughout the account proving that the grand majority of the technologies used in Mars Direct have been done before in the past(and many for thousands of years). If they have done before, there is no reason why they can not be done again. I loved the clear explanation of his plan. He did not go into too much math , but he gave a clear picture in my mind the concepts involved. Zubrin is very knowledgable and while I was reading this book I knew that what he was saying was well-founded. A MUST READ for those interested in space exploration, astronomy, or aerospace engineering!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Its here now, this is what the next generation of astrounauts will have to follow if we are ever going to get to Mars, and it's not as hard as you might think. This book gives a detailed account of how we shall one day (in the near future) get to Mars, if your a budding Mars enthusiast then this is the book for you. Robert Zubrin and Richard Wagner have all the solutions to the everyday tribulations of living on our sister Planet Mars, Book me a front seat and lets go "Mars Direct".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
THE CASE FOR MARS is one of the best books I have read this year. When Apollo 11 landed on the Moon in 1969, I remember sitting glued to our TV. It was one of the most memorable moments in my life. I had been fascinated with space and the possibility that any of us might soon be able to go there since I was 9 or 10.
I was convinced that, by the time I was 25 or 30, I personally would have that chance. I'm now 48 and I've given up any hope that John Q. Citizen will make regular trips into space in my lifetime.
Once we, as a nation, had "won" the space race, our government felt we could better spend our money on "important" things like the arms race.
Our citizens, too, seemed to have lost the vision of new worlds to explore and, yes, new worlds to settle. Some even seemed to believe that it was somehow immoral to consider settling new worlds when we'd made such a mess of our own.
For my part, I always believed that space exploration was one of the best purposes to which we could devote our collective efforts. Time and again, the space race had demonstrated that stretching into new frontiers requires new technologies, which in turn benefit everyday life. Furthermore, cooperative efforts between nations on so grand a scale could help to break down those barriers of distrust and prejudice which have plagued mankind since the beginning of time.
By the 1980s and 90s, what was being done in the way of space exploration had turned into very large, very expensive projects and all too often, very expensive failures. The idea of going to and settling someplace like Mars, with this mindset, seemed prohibitively expensive.
To my thinking, the International Space Station is typical of that type of shortsighted planning.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Why aren't we there yet?
An excellent book outlining why and how we should be on Mars by now. No serious level of maths or physics required just sit back and enjoy!
Published 20 months ago by Jason Nelson
1.0 out of 5 stars Science Fantasy at its worst
Recognising peoples interest in Mars Zubrin has put together a well sculpted book on his vision for exploring Mars. Read more
Published on 25 July 2010 by Mark Camlett
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is really great!
In 1989, in response to President George Bush's call for a manned mission to Mars, NASA produced a plan, a plan so expensive and unwieldy, it never had the chance to become... Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2004 by Kurt A. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, backed by hard facts
If you are at all interested in seeing mankind colonising space then you must read this book. Zubrin's background as an engineer and experience working with NASA grounds his... Read more
Published on 19 Jun 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars real enough?
On one hand I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dr. Zubrin's book because it convincingly showed that we (i.e. humans) should have _already_ been to Mars 5 years ago. Read more
Published on 4 May 2001 by Fenton R. Heirtzler
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are interested in astronomy, read this book!
I am a college student who read The Case for Mars as part of a third-year astronomy class. It is by far the most interesting book I have read on the topic of space exploration or... Read more
Published on 10 Nov 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's Go!
I found this book incredibly inspiring! Dr. Zubrin has shown that we CAN get to Mars using today's (actually yesterday's) technology and with a minimal cost. Read more
Published on 15 Aug 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars I started my Aerospace Engineering study because of the book
Memories:
Canaveral, freeze dried ice cream, liftoff thunder, Flash Gordon, model rockets, Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica, Buck Rogers, Erwin Allen, telescope in the back... Read more
Published on 26 July 1998
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