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Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 15, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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“A candid and precise account of the ups and downs of a space mission. This book shows what it is to participate in a short and intense landed Mars expedition. It gives the feel of the pressure and excitement at mission control, where engineers, managers and scientists work together while trying to satisfy contradictory requirements, showing the human side of science with refreshing honesty.” (Nilton Renno, Professor of Atmospheric and Space sciences, University of Michigan )
“It is as if I imagined Holden Caulfield writing about the mission. Martian Summer is a riot.” (Peter Smith, Professor, Lunar and Planetory Laboratory, University of Arizona, and Principal Investigator of the Phoenix Project )
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More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
And because the author is a layman, it's accessible for a normal person. A good story peppered with wit, incredible science, and good ol' fashioned space drama. Highly recommended.
and knowing many of the participants personally, I was eager to read this account
of the landed operations, although like the mission itself, early results were
The book contains a number of factual errors (e.g. the Cassini camera was not the
first to use CCDs in space, the person referred to as a chief scientist for NASA
was not the NASA Chief Scientist, etc.) which reinforces the impression that the
author doesnt fully understand everything he writes about (an innocence the author
The color photo section is very poorly thought-out: images seemingly chosen at random
and often shown in an aspect ratio that leaves details invisibly small while leaving
60% of the page as white space.
I found the style a bit jarring - while informality is great, it can be overdone (the
author adds a presumably onomatopoeic 'pew pew pew' at just too many mentions of
the LIDAR). Lots of short sentences and paragraphs. In short, written more like a
blog than a book.
All the above aside, this really is a fascinating story of a mission unfolding, warts
and all. The interactions between scientists, and between scientists, engineers, managers
and the media, and the team's (and the author's) fight against fatigue while working
on Mars time, are shown in a first-hand, close quarters account, full of direct
quotes. I'd consider it essential reading for anyone planning a landed mission
on another world.
It's a breezy read considering the subject matter. The chapters concerning the discovery of water are particularly thrilling and make me hope that Martian Summer will eventually make for an excellent interplanetary beach read. Irregardless, I imagine when civilians are able to finally visit the red planet, Kessler's book will be prominently featured in the gift shop.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book as there is very little out there about the Phoenix Mars mission. A most unusual book, but after 100 pages I liked it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by RedHeadEd
I never really considered what it was like to be in a Mars mission control center. Martian Summer is a good look at what it is like to work oon Mars time, the arguments within the... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mark A. Kaufman
I recommend the book. It is an exhaustive (that's good) detailing of the Phoenix Mar Mission. It is also, at time, exhausting in its minutiae. Overall, it is worth the read. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Joe R. Mcauley
I loved this book. Author Andrew Kessler wrote a compelling and amusing story of his time associated with the NASA Phoenix Mars mission. Kessler pulls no punches. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Steve G
Martian Summer puts you "there" at mission control for an exciting Mars mission.
As a space program history buff, I have read dozens of books on the subject. Read more
This witty gem is a great read. Kessler takes his reader on a fascinating journey that few people have seen before. Read morePublished on March 10, 2013 by Alexa Rose
As a kid who grew up during Apollo, it's hard to get excited about space these days. Kessler strikes the right balance for the layperson in telling the tale of the exploration and... Read morePublished on December 27, 2012 by Arrrgggghhhh
This book is a fantastic and at times hilarious insight on a NASA Mars mission. This bulk is more about the people working the mission than it is about the science behind the... Read morePublished on August 27, 2012 by Prospect
I'm not a science person at all, but Andrew's passion for science and space exploration is contagious. Read morePublished on August 12, 2012 by Alyssa