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The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must Paperback – 28 Jun 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Upd Rev edition (28 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145160811X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451608113
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Paperback. Pub Date: 2011 Pages: 416 Publisher: Free Press 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. But all that changed when leading space exploration authority Robert Zuin crafted a daring new blueprint. Mars Direct. When it was first published in 1996. The Case for Mars became an instant classic. lauded widely for its game-changing perspective by those who would see the American space program rise to the challenge of Mars; Carl Sagan called Zuin the man who. nearly alone. changed our thinking on this issue. Now. fifteen years later. Zuin ings readers up to date in this revised and updated anniversary edition filled with spectacular illustrations. extraordinary photographs. and one-of-a-kind anecdotes.Un...

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Robert Zubrin combines genuine enthusiasm for space exploration with the levelheaded pragmatism you want in an engineer (which he is). That second quality is essential, as skeptical readers may find themselves shaking their heads at the matter-of-fact way in which Zubrin dispels objections to going to Mars. He makes the journey sound not only easy but logical and inspiring. The book has just two minor weaknesses: First, Zubrin can seem partisan - arguing not just for Mars but against alternative projects, like lunar exploration. Second, occasionally he goes into more detail than really necessary. For instance, plans to name Martian months seem premature, albeit interesting. getAbstract recommends his fascinating book to skeptics who don't see why society should bother with space, to those old enough to remember the glory days of the "Apollo" missions, and to anyone interested in bold scientific exploration. This is a trip you can take.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. D. Tomkinson on 10 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent introduction - if a little optimistic given the current state of technology. I like the view that we can get there for $50 billion.

However, he makes a good case for why we need to get to Mars. It is written very much from the perpective of why America needs this and is currently the only country which can get there. But even the updated version does not take account of the fact that the USA could probably not make the attempt given the financial state of that country.

The only way it will happen though is via another space race - as in the race to the Moon where money was no object. The only way that will happen is after the Chinese annex the Moon in the late 2020s.

That may wake up America but I somewhat doubt it. The Red Planet will eventually be the Yellow one.

The book is a little technical in parts but not to a degree where the average person could not follow the reasoning or understand what is being said. The tone can be somewhat 'evangelical' but he believes what he is saying so can be forgiven.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. A. Gower on 20 April 2013
Format: Paperback
This review refers to the 1996 hardback edition - a well-rounded, blatantly partisan book arguing why Mars should be the aim of space exploration and how to do it. It provides a layman's guide to the design of spacecraft to get there, the issues encountered and also what to do there once we arrive, ultimately 'terraforming' the planet to make it habitable. The author manages the mix of technical/non-technical really well and provides detailed extracts regarding specific technical issues. I also liked how 'the case for Mars' was placed in a wider context, including internal NASA politics, to potential ways of managing and funding the programme. My only criticism is the Epilogue where the authors attempts to inspire a movement to help lobby the US government and slips into the mythology of the US 'Frontier Spirit' however, given that the US potentially remains the only country capable of doing this and the author is American you can sympathize with his approach.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter M. Howell on 24 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a better effort than the original 'how to live on mars'.
how can we not do it ?
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A Realistic Mission, A Vision of Hope 30 Jun. 2011
By W. Cooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read the first edition of Dr. Zubrin's book when it first appeared. Since then I have come to admire greatly his personal qualities of intelligence, technical acumen, commitment, and vision; what he's done to promote a sane, productive, and progressive humans-in-space program is extraordinary. His book makes a clear, convincing case for redirecting the efforts of NASA, in conjunction with private enterprise, toward mounting a "manned" mission to Mars within 10 years. He explains how this is doable and why we owe it to ourselves and our descendants to do it. Zubrin's one of those people who lead the way in human progress, and I hope that everyone who reads this book and agrees with his recommendations will write their representatives and help persuade them to take a look at them and to take action. Zubrin's showing us that we don't have to buy into the creeping paradigm of human limits, that we can use our intelligence and ingenuity to solve our environmental, social, and technological problems and create a positive world of the future. The answers are out there. Going to Mars would help spark interest in our young people to take up careers in science and engineering. Developing that human capital would do more to resolve global problems than anything else. Read this book and feel hopeful again.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Revised Case For Mars 5 stars with new info on Mars after first publication 3 Sept. 2011
By Thomas Erickson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought and reviewed Dr. Robert Zubrin's original The case For Mars...5 stars see my review. I bought his second revised edition at the Aug 2011 Mars Society (I'm a life member) convention in Grape Vine Texas. The book reads well with no boring parts.

DR Robert Zubrin with the help of engineer Baker are the co inventors/sponsor of Mars Direct a low cost method of landing 3 people on Mars and after 1 1/2 years for exploration take them back to Earth. Also a more evolved later program Mars Semi Direct allows at low cost 4 people to land on Mars and back. These programs are without big expensive "Battle Star Galactica" ships built in space with the help of the ISS and no moon base needed.

Also lots of spacecraft have landed on Mars and orbited it to give us a better understanding of Mars after the first book was published. We know know that in the far past Mars was a wet, warmer world that may have had enough time for life to evolve. We now know that there is lots of frozen water under parts of the Mars regolith and occasionally liquid water for a short time may make it to the Mars surface before gassing off. Because of Mar's low atmospheric pressure liquid water can't exist on the surface today.

The revised book has some great B/W pictures and charts of the different velocities, exhaust pressures and times needed to get to Mars using the different methods discussed.The use of the Opposition and Conjunction launch methods are discussed and why the Opposition method is less desirable. Some of the charts were a little difficult for me to understand but I got the vast majority of it. Lots of easy to understand chemical formulas for making rocket fuel, plastics and other materials from the Martian atmosphere.

There is a good section on making bricks on Mars for living spaces as well as thin Kevlar like structures for domes. Information about growing crops and why Mars is the only place in the solar system besides Earth for an eventual self sustaining colony that can grow its own crops and make their own supplies and materials to live. Mars has all the elements needed, a slightly longer than 24 hour day needed for photosynthesis with seasons about twice as long as Earth's. The moon does not. Venus is a seething run away Greenhouse effect hell world.

The book details the creation of a Mars base and later mars colonization and the role Mars would play on the mining of the belt asteroids as well as mining on Mars. Later terraforming Mars is discussed.

The solutions of the radiation problem ,no gravity to Mars and not needing a lunar base to go Mars are discussed.

The need of deliberate global Mars warming by melting CO2 ice with huge space mirrors, greenhouse gases producing organisms, use of CFCs to raise the Mar's pressure to get a runaway increase in pressure to a few hundred millibars is shown, enough for simple plants to exist and make more oxygen through photosynthesis.

Extinct bacteria life may be under the Mar's regolith as confirmed by the Mars meteorite ALH84001 found in Antarctica as is pointed out in the Special Addendum in the back of the book.

Appendix 2 gives great reasons why we MUST go to Mars and why its so important for the surival and expansion of the human race.

This book has it all! Here is a top notch book by Dr Robert Zubrin with Richard Wagner's help. If we use either the Mars Direct approach or the Semi Direct Approach to get a manned mission to Mars INMO Dr Zubrin should get the Nobel Prize. INMO a manned Mars mission, building a Mars base and eventually colonizing Mars is that important. Read The Case for Mars revised edition ( if you can't get the revised edition for some reason get his first edition) to learn the importance of going to Mars and what it means to the entire human race to prosper, expand and maybe finding extinct or living life under the Mar's regolith and answering " Are we alone in the Universe?" Both books 5 stars. New material in the revised edition so I liked it even more. 5 stars plus!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A reasonable path to Mars 19 Aug. 2011
By Learner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Interesting and informative. Zubrin has the mind of an engineer and the heart of a dreamer - exactly what this book calls for. He explains clearly what appears to be a practical, relatively low-cost route to Mars, and why Mars should be our next goal. Why haven't we done this already??

If you think the Space Shuttle and the ISS are great, this book will shatter that illusion. This book describes what we should have been doing instead with all those billions. As I write this review the future for the US space program looks bleak; a better example of America's decline cannot be found.

Zubrin makes a convincing argument that without a new frontier the historically vital spirit of America will be snuffed out by growing bureaucracy, irrationalism, and stagnation. (Any of these sound familiar?) Zubrin shows why Mars is the future frontier that America and all humanity needs, in order to continue to innovate and for democratic ideals to survive. In the solar system, Mars is the place most like earth and has the variety of resources that colonists will need.

When the first town is built on Mars they should name it after Zubrin, in recognition of his ground-work in this book. To reach Mars any time soon, maybe we should pass over bureaucratic NASA and just give Zubrin and his Mars Society the funding to make it happen.

Zubin claims we can send the first explorers to Mars for $30 billion total, spread out over 10 years. I recently read he is now saying $50 billion is more realistic. Either way, this is cheap. To put this in perspective consider that the entire US defense budget for just one year is $600 billion.

Zubrin has shown the world a cheap and reasonable path to Mars. After reading this book, I am confident Americans will one day go to the next-most-habitable planet in the solar system. Even if only to visit the Chinese colonies there.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Mars, Are We Going? 1 Nov. 2013
By D. Wayne Dworsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mars has been on everybody's mind lately. Can we afford to go? Can we afford not to go? Here is the book we've been desperately waiting for. It builds on the book, Packing for mars by Mary Roach. (See my review of it at Sacramento Book Review.) The book is based on his original book by the same title, 15 years earlier. It was endorsed by a distinguished collection of astronauts, scientists and writers, including Buzz Aldrin, the late Arthur C. Clark and the late Carl Sagan.

In the 1990 movie, Total Recall, based on a sci-fi by Philip K. Dick, the author depicts a corrupt society built on Mars. Just like The Case for Pluto by Alan Boyle (See my review of it, also in Sacramento Book Review), author Robert Zubrin paints a glossy picture of the red rock with all the justification of a mission in The Case for Mars. Zubrin believes there is yet room for a Mars exploration, replete with building a base on Mars, the Colonization of Mars and Terraforming of Mars. He then begins to speculate on his vision of the significance of the Martian frontier. I think Mars' time has come and Zubrin has put it right in a brilliant, intense read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring 31 Jan. 2014
By Pen Ten - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of the must have's if you are really interested in space exploration. Zubrin convinced me, a born skeptic, that the Mars Direct plan is viable with the present technology and at the same time affordable. The key, according to Zubrin, is the in situ production of propelants, the Apollo-like profile of the missions and the, basically 70's, technology required. No need for obital drydocks, huge spaceships, exotic engines or moon bases.
Do read it and if you find yourself a "believer", don;t shy about it. It's one of these rare birds that restore your crumbling faith in human genius and versatility. I can only wish someday we will dare it and I will be alive to see it.
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