6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Out of this World!, 17 Oct. 2010
This book offers a fascinating account from behind the scenes of the Beagle 2 Mars lander mission, backed up with Pillinger's own life story and details of his previous work on lunar and Martian meteorite samples.
The Beagle 2 mission, although ultimately unsuccessful, captured the hearts of the British people in 2003 and certainly succeeded in inspiring many ordinary folk to take an interest in space exploration and science. Rarely has science been made so accessible to the general public, and Pillinger's approach of attempting to share every step of the process (warts and all) with the non-scientific community should be praised.
Professor Pillinger was personally criticised for his management style in a post mission report, but in this passionate account he explains how the mission suffered from funding constraints and a lack of co-operation from various quarters, at times bordering on malicious obstruction. The book is as much a dramatic thriller as it is an enthralling narrative of Pillinger's career.
My Life on Mars provides a gripping insight to the intense political wrangling which took place in the shadows of a groundbreaking scientific and engineering endeavour. It certainly leaves you with an enormous sense of disappointment that such an audacious project could be hamstrung by the interference of the bureaucrats and nay-sayers.
Highly recommended for all those with a sense of adventure, and out of this world ambition!