Customer Review

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5.0 out of 5 stars An EXCELLENT guide for going to and settling Mars., 21 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Case for Mars (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. Very expensive, very small advance, if any, from where we've already gone. Perhaps the only thing I see in its favor is that it is an international, cooperative effort.
In THE CASE FOR MARS Robert Zubrin and Richard Wagner make a compelling argument that going to Mars, settling Mars, and even terraforming Mars are not only reasonable goals, but they are goals that do not require vast new technologies. Existing technologies, with some modifications, can take us to the Red Planet and even convert it into a second Earth.
The book is written as an appeal to common citizens to reclaim their heritage of exploration and the wonder that comes with it and to step once and for all out of the cradle in which we have too long spent our infancy.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to read this book. Zubrin is a rocket scientist and his talent for explaining step by step how to get to and settle Mars is impressive.
"Earth is the cradle of humanity but we can not stay in the cradle forever."
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
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4.7 out of 5 stars (19 customer reviews)
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