Mars: The Lure of the Red Planet

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9781573929004: Mars: The Lure of the Red Planet

No other planet has so fired the human imagination as Mars. The possibility of life on the planet was an obsession in the 19th century. It is not surprising to find that it has become so once again, because of all the planets in the solar system (apart from Earth), Mars has always been regarded as the most likely to serve as the abode of life. Now that there are hints that the planet may have held "liquid water" (a prerequisite for life, in contrast to the frozen water of the ice caps) much more recently than anyone had supposed, excitement over Mars exploration has never been higher.

In this engaging, eloquent account of our love affair with the Red Planet, William Sheehan and Stephen James O'Meara review the history of human fascination with our neighbor in the solar system, and look at the prospects for manned spaceflight to Mars in this new century. The authors portray the history of Mars investigations through the eyes of the dreamers and achievers that have made the planet such an integral part of the human psyche. They reveal the discoverers' hardships, their strength in the face of criticisms, and the glories of their successes.

What Everest and the moon were to the 20th century, Mars will be to the 21st. Mars is our Everest, a new frontier that will continue to spur the greatest flights of imagination and the most astounding technical feats. Projects are already underway to make these dreams a reality. This book will prepare you and fill you with enthusiasm for the adventure ahead.

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About the Author:

William Sheehan (Willmar, MN) is author of The Planet Mars and the co-author of In Search of Planet Vulcan. Stephen James O'Meara (Volcano, HI) is the author of the Deep-Sky Companions series. Both Sheehan and O'Meara are contributing editors to Sky & Telescope and Odyssey magazines.

From Publishers Weekly:

The authors, both contributing editors to Sky & Telescope magazine, note that "On the eve of a new wave of space missions designed to search for water on Mars, it remains possible that even now `the Mars we are trying to explore does not exist,' " t hereby encapsulating what may be the book's fatal flaw. Mars chronicles humanity's long fascination with the eponymous planet, from the Australian Aborigines' Dreamtime, an element of their culture that has been passed down for more than 40,000 years through Ptolemy and Copernicus, Kepler and Brahe, to the mapping of Mars via telescope and probes, Percival Lowell's canal theories and their subsequent dismantling by fact, and the great search for water and life. The problem is, Mars can't live up to its myth. The more we learn, the more there is for us to learn; we also discover that Mars is nothing like the planet of Burroughs, Bradbury and War of the Worlds (to which the authors devote a chapter), tinging our discoveries with disappointment. Two of the many pictures the authors include reinforce this. As affecting as the shot taken from the planet's rocky surface by Sojourner is, it's difficult not to be disillusioned by the shot of Carl Sagan standing next to a lander in the desert on Earth the two landscapes are so similar. The authors try to keep hope alive by discussing the possibility of life on Mars, but simple bacteria, even if they did exist there, can't compare to little green men. So here is Mars as it is, but not as you may want it.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Prometheus Books, United States, 2001. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. No other planet has so fired the human imagination as Mars. The possibility of life on the planet was an obsession in the 19th century. It is not surprising to find that it has become so once again, because of all the planets in the solar system (apart from Earth), Mars has always been regarded as the most likely to serve as the abode of life. Now that there are hints that the planet may have held liquid water (a prerequisite for life, in contrast to the frozen water of the ice caps) much more recently than anyone had supposed, excitement over Mars exploration has never been higher. In this engaging, eloquent account of our love affair with the Red Planet, William Sheehan and Stephen James O Meara review the history of human fascination with our neighbor in the solar system, and look at the prospects for manned spaceflight to Mars in this new century. The authors portray the history of Mars investigations through the eyes of the dreamers and achievers that have made the planet such an integral part of the human psyche. They reveal the discoverers hardships, their strength in the face of criticisms, and the glories of their successes. What Everest and the moon were to the 20th century, Mars will be to the 21st. Mars is our Everest, a new frontier that will continue to spur the greatest flights of imagination and the most astounding technical feats. Projects are already underway to make these dreams a reality. This book will prepare you and fill you with enthusiasm for the adventure ahead. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9781573929004

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Book Description Prometheus Books, United States, 2001. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. No other planet has so fired the human imagination as Mars. The possibility of life on the planet was an obsession in the 19th century. It is not surprising to find that it has become so once again, because of all the planets in the solar system (apart from Earth), Mars has always been regarded as the most likely to serve as the abode of life. Now that there are hints that the planet may have held liquid water (a prerequisite for life, in contrast to the frozen water of the ice caps) much more recently than anyone had supposed, excitement over Mars exploration has never been higher. In this engaging, eloquent account of our love affair with the Red Planet, William Sheehan and Stephen James O Meara review the history of human fascination with our neighbor in the solar system, and look at the prospects for manned spaceflight to Mars in this new century. The authors portray the history of Mars investigations through the eyes of the dreamers and achievers that have made the planet such an integral part of the human psyche. They reveal the discoverers hardships, their strength in the face of criticisms, and the glories of their successes. What Everest and the moon were to the 20th century, Mars will be to the 21st. Mars is our Everest, a new frontier that will continue to spur the greatest flights of imagination and the most astounding technical feats. Projects are already underway to make these dreams a reality. This book will prepare you and fill you with enthusiasm for the adventure ahead. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9781573929004

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