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Mars 1999 Hardcover – October 1, 1987

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0811709828 ISBN-10: 0811709825

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books (October 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811709825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811709828
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,415,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Charles P. Kalina on July 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
O'Leary's "Mars 1999" is a strange mix. It's obviously dated (the title and subtitle alone give that away), but since the technical problems of flight to Mars haven't changed, and state-of-the-art hasn't advanced that much, I thought it worth checking out what O'Leary had to say about the problem.

On the one hand, his book is one of many technical speculations about a manned Mars mission, in this case illustrated by alternating fiction and non-fiction chapters. On the technical side, it provides rather less than other books on the subject, although it has some interesting illustrations and ideas.

On the other hand, O'Leary (despite his technical qualifications) seems interested in a Mars mission mostly as a jumping-off point for new-age-ism. He predicts the mission will lead to world government by 2020 -- along with telepathy, elevated consciousness, extraterrestrials, etc.

Even for die-hard space exploration enthusiasts, these claims are a bit much (and entirely beside the point). The book, interestingly, is dedicated in part to new-age guru "John-Roger", and O'Leary also gets cited in moon-landing-hoax conspiracy theories. He may not subscribe to them fully but it all adds to his general air of weirdness beyond what one would like to see in a science book.

These extravagant claims for spaceflight don't help the credibility of the case he's trying to make: if anything, they're an embarassing distraction from what could have been a serious presentation from a credible spokesman for space exploration.
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