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

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Revised, Updated ed. 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: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Bob Zubrin really, nearly alone, changed our thinking on this issue." Carl Sagan "The Denver Post"

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

"One of the most provocative and hopeful documents I have read about the space program in 20 years. -- "The New York Times Book Review, Dennis Overbye "

About the Author

Robert Zubrin, formerly a senior engineer at Lockheed Martin, is the founder of Pioneer Astronautics, a space-exploration research and development firm. Currently chairman of the executive committee of the National Space Society, Dr. Zubrin lives with his family in Indian Hills, Colorado.


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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer on 4 April 1999
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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Written by Robert Zubrin. A very detailed technical treatise on the mission details for the Direct Mars proposition.
Classic scientific handbook on how to get to Mars without having to spend billions of dollars and wait another twenty years for NASA to wake their ideas up and actually achieve something worthwhile !
For people who are really into space travel, and colonization, and who have the necessary interest and intelligence to understand the book in it`s widest scope.
Thoroughly good read and full of common sense and accurate calculation.
Recommended to all those who pass the minimum criteria of paragraph three !
P.Andrews
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