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Human Missions to Mars: Enabling Technologies for Exploring the Red Planet (Springer Praxis Books) 2008th Edition

ISBN-13: 978-3540729389
ISBN-10: 3540729380
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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"A skeptic’s view on the realities of sending a human mission to Mars in the 21st century. … Human Missions to Mars is hardbound, and Rapp’s use of supporting formula, graphs, and technical illustrations … make it clear that this volume is meant to be used as a reference book in research institutions, technical libraries, and scientific organizations. However, Rapp’s engaging writing style and pragmatic view on this subject also makes it an interesting read for the armchair Mars explorer … ." (Anthony Young, The Space Review, March, 2008)

"This book looks at human missions to Mars from an engineering perspective. … The book includes appendices describing the use of solar energy on the Moon and on Mars and the value of indigenous water on Mars. This book was written for space scientists and engineers, intermediate-level undergraduates, and postgraduate researchers studying every aspect of human missions to Mars." (The Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin, 2008)

"Rapp’s book is a very readable, critical view of possible explorations of Mars. … The book discusses in detail the many technologies that must be developed and demonstrated before a successful human mission to Mars can occur. … The appendixes give significant details about solar energy and water on Earth’s moon and Mars. The work is an excellent analysis of the difficulties posed by a human mission to mars. … Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections." (D. B. Mason, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (9), 2008)

"In this book, Donald Rapp … sets out to provide a critical assessment of the requirements for human missions to Mars from an engineering perspective. … I found it informative because I learned a lot about the intricacies of Mars mission architectures and the inherent engineering challenges. … it is refreshing to read a detailed and independent study by someone who has no vested interest in any ‘official’ plans for human space missions." (Ian Crawford, Eos, Vol. 89 (36), 2008)

From the Back Cover

A mission to send humans to explore the surface of Mars has been the

ultimate goal of planetary exploration since the 1950s, when von Braun

conjectured a flotilla of 10 interplanetary vessels carrying a crew of at

least 70 humans. Since then, more than 1,000 studies were carried out

on human missions to Mars, but after 60 years of study, we remain in the

early planning stages. The second edition of this book now includes an

annotated history of Mars mission studies, with quantitative data wherever


Retained from the first edition, Donald Rapp looks at human missions

to Mars from an engineering perspective. He divides the mission into a

number of stages: Earth’s surface to low-Earth orbit (LEO); departing from

LEO toward Mars; Mars orbit insertion and entry, descent and landing;

ascent from Mars; trans-Earth injection from Mars orbit and Earth return.

For each segment, he analyzes requirements for candidate technologies.

In this connection, he discusses the status and potential of a wide range

of elements critical to a human Mars mission, including life support

consumables, radiation effects and shielding, microgravity effects, abort

options and mission safety, possible habitats on the Martian surface and

aero-assisted orbit entry decent and landing. For any human mission to

the Red Planet the possible utilization of any resources indigenous to

Mars would be of great value and such possibilities, the use of indigenous

resources is discussed at length. He also discusses the relationship of lunar


n to Mars exploration.

Detailed appendices describe the availability of solar energy on the Moon

and Mars, and the potential for utilizing indigenous water on Mars.

The second edition provides extensive updating and additions to the first

edition, including many new figures and tables, and more than 70 new

references, as of 2015. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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More About the Author

Donald Rapp has a Ph.D from the University of California and over 50 years of technical research experience. He was a full professor at the University of Texas and spent over 30 years at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In his early career he worked in chemical physics, producing two citation classics with over 500 citations, and textbooks on quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics. Later, he worked on spacecraft technology leading to his book "Human Missions to Mars". Since about 2006 he has worked mainly on climate change and also ice ages. His positions on many key issues are contrary to mainstream trends. In particular, he is highly doubtful that life ever existed on Mars and thinks the NASA Mars Program is a boondoggle. He is also skeptical of alarmist claims regarding the dangers of global warming but he is concerned about rising CO2. At age 78, he is still going strong with a new book coming out in November 2012 and he still plays an active game of tennis.

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