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Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration Hardcover – May 7, 2013

64 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1426210174 ISBN-10: 1426210175 Edition: First Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Since sharing the spotlight with Neil Armstrong during the first moon landing in 1969, Aldrin has made good use of his celebrity status to promote space exploration at every opportunity, appearing in films, lending his voice to a Simpsons episode, and even recording a rap song with Snoop Dogg to benefit his nonprofit foundation, ShareSpace. For his latest project, a book-length outline of, among other things, his vision for regular sojourns to Mars, Aldrin adopts a more sober tone. After a laudatory foreword by his son Andrew, Aldrin begins by calling for a new nongovernmental, U.S.-led space advisory group, then wholeheartedly endorses commercial space travel for paying passengers. He then lays out his blueprint for establishing a base on Mars involving a novel “flexible path” approach, with Mars’ moon Phobos as a docking station. No one will consider Aldrin a first-rate author, even with help from veteran journalist David, but his ideas are undeniably provocative and guaranteed to stir controversy among both amateur and professional space-travel enthusiasts. --Carl Hays

Review

"Colonizing space is essential for the long term survival of the human race, and Buzz Aldrin's book shows us how." —Stephen Hawking
 
"Buzz Aldrin has been as far from Earth as any human being, and now he's leading the charge to go much farther, to our next epic destination: Mars." —James Cameron
 
“Any time an Apollo-era astronaut steps forward with ideas for our future in space, it’s time to stop what whatever we’re doing and pay attention. Buzz Aldrin, one of the first moonwalkers, has no shortage of these ideas. And in Mission to Mars he treats us to how, when, and why we should travel there.” —Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Buzz is one of the foremost forward thinkers of our time and this book will be essential reading for those who care about humanity’s future in space.” —Richard Branson 

“Although the lunar landing is decades behind him, Dr. Aldrin is just plain passionate about humankind’s exploration of space. An extraordinary pilot, scuba diver, moonwalker, and the first man to board a spacecraft on its way back to Earth, he advises us to keep going— farther and deeper into space. Page by page, this book makes you want to slide into your space suit and light your engines.” —Bill Nye, The Science Guy®

“A masterful array of strategies for exploration by a true space expert and patriot.” —Michael Collins, astronaut and command module pilot, Apollo 11
 
"Aldrin calls for systematic investment to establish a cycle of transportation and sustained, permanent settlements on the Red Planet." --NPR "Talk of the Nation"

“Mission to Mars is pure Buzz: creative ideas flying off the pages, a big picture view of how to move forward, and a laser-like focus on why space exploration is key to humanity's future. Buzz Aldrin has been making major contributions to the U.S. space program for a half century, and his new book continues that tradition.” —John M. Logsdon, founder of the Space Policy Institute and professor emeritus, The George Washington University
 
“I’ve traveled to the North Pole with Buzz, and if I were to travel to Mars I can’t think of a better person to plan the trip than he. Sign me up!” —Norm Augustine, Chairman, U.S. Human Spaceflight Review Committee
 
“Buzz Aldrin’s Mission to Mars presents a bold, inviting plan to colonize Mars. His call that the ‘Earth isn’t the only world for us anymore’ is incontrovertible.” Roger D. Launius, Senior Curator, Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum

“No one's given more thought to Mars exploration than Buzz Aldrin— a hero whose legacy as one of the first men on the moon may well be eclipsed by his contributions to engineering our future in space." —Elliot Holokauahi Pulham, CEO, The Space Foundation

"Mission to Mars is a white paper for getting us back on track, complete with math, science, and diagrams—though Aldrin and his coauthor put it all together with clear and quick-moving prose." --The Weekly Standard

“There are places to go beyond belief, and this book is the call to get there.” —Chris Lewicki, President & Chief Asteroid Miner, Planetary Resources

"Aldrin’s hand-drawn diagrams throughout the book offer a uniquely human glimpse at what must be going through an astronaut’s mind as he looks up at the night sky." --Washington Post

"A blend of reminisces, snippets of mission and policy concepts, and revisited analyses of the space landscape to-date." —Space Safety Magazine

“A detailed, multi-stage plan for journeying to the red planet that would culminate in the first permanent human settlement beyond the Earth.” --Smithsonian Magazine

"
Aldrin wants to inspire the next generation." -- International Business Times 

 
"A critique of current space policy, examining the economic, political and technological viability of various options to explore the solar system." --ZeeNews.com

 
"While the title focuses on Mars, the book covers much more...What Aldrin calls his "unified vision" could provide a timeline of crewed missions to Mars between 2035-2040." --Universe.com

 
"Aldrin's new book [charts] a course that could put astronauts on the surface of Mars by 2035." --MSNBC

"[Aldrin] believes the time has come to broaden our horizons- and rediscover once again the spirit of exploration." --BeforeItsNews.com

"Aldrin outlines his vision for the permanent human settlement of Mars." --EuroNews.com


 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic; First Edition edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426210175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426210174
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By RBSProds TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Five PROVOCATIVE Stars! In his latest book, iconic moon-walker astronaut Buzz Aldrin lays out an impressive long-range program that could be used to get mankind from Earth to Mars, not just for a one-time visit but to establish a permanent presence on the Red Planet. Based on this book, Aldrin has been in the forefront of planning for Mars over the years, and his overall collaborative Unified Space Vision (USV) foresees using everything from the International Space Station, to our own moon, to asteroid visits, comet explorations, and even the martian moon Phobos as stepping stones and key components. He favors the use of "reusable, recyclable space transportation" and equipment as the building blocks of "cycling" networks to support and replenish the movement of people, cargo, and other essential materials between the "celestial triad" of Earth, the moon, and Mars. Aldrin's grand architectural vision is impressive and seems logical and workable, at least from the perspective of this layman reviewer. Sign me up for that voyage! Highly Recommended. Five EXPLORATORY Stars! (272 pages reviewed in Kindle text and text-to-speech)
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alastair Browne on May 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Buzz Aldrin, as we all know, flew in the first manned Moon landing mission, on Apollo 11, and became the second man to walk on the Moon, after Neil Armstrong. Today, he speaks at space development conferences about exploring and developing space, but his true vision is on Mars.
Aldrin's latest book, "Mission to Mars," explains all this, and it starts from the very beginning. Aldrin's life is briefly covered, from his time flying in the Korean War to his acceptance by NASA and then training as an astronaut, leading up to his flight on Apollo 11. One little known fact is that the landing itself was difficult, avoiding boulders and rock strewn areas to find that smooth spot to land, their near abort, and finally locating the place to land, and the rest is history.
After Apollo, Aldrin has been focusing on the future of humanity in space, not as competitors, but as a unified species, venturing into the unknown together. Aldrin looks beyond the Cold War, Apollo, and the shuttle to accomplish this. This is because Aldrin, though no longer a part of NASA, has stuck with his dream through 11 presidents, and has seen many visions of space come and go, supported by one president, cancelled by the next.
Aldrin, as well as being a former astronaut and Moon walker, is also an engineer, and in describing his vision for space, has done his homework.
This book covers eight chapters that are easy to read and understand. In addition to his early life to Apollo, Aldrin then proposes, and has patented, his own spacecraft system called Starcraft Boosters, what the shuttle was originally intended to be, though that itself isn't mentioned.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gergely Kovacs on May 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"There is no reason to go there," "Let's wait until we have better technology," "Let's straighten up our home front first before we venture into somewhere else." These tired, old excuses could have been said to Columbus or any of the great explorers in our history; people use them to stall progress since the day of dawn. Yet, here we are, thousands of years later, and we still kill each other on a daily basis. Let's face it, humanity haven't changed a bit, and if we were to wait for the perfect time for everything, we would still live in caves and pray for some imaginary lightning god for fire. Curiosity and exploration are the real driving forces of progress. We harvest and bask in the fruits of scientific progress today, of which not a small part come from space exploration from our kitchenware to satellite TV. Similarly, the process of exploring Mars could hold technologies that could define our future for centuries to come. Or maybe not... But if we don't go and look, we will never know!

For that reason, I wholeheartedly agree with the central premise of this book, and I am overjoyed to see the growing number of private companies taking up the baton our government had dropped decades ago.

"The day we stop exploring is the day we commit ourselves to live in a stagnant world, devoid of curiosity, empty of dreams."
- Neil deGrass Tyson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Orrman-Rossiter on April 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Forty years ago we last stepped foot on the Moon. Currently, with our occupation of the low-Earth orbit international space station, we are space residents. In the visionary Mission to Mars (National Geographic Society, 2013), moon-walker, space advocate, Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, challenges us to take a further step and colonise Mars. Aldrin advocates bypassing the Moon and instead make progressive steps to mars via comets, asteroids and Mar’s moon Phobos. From Phobos astronauts using remote controlled robots will prepare the Mars landing site and habitats. Aldrin states that regular space travel to Mars would be too expensive with Apollo-style modular expendable components, instead favoring a gravity-powered spaceship cycling permanently between the Earth and Mars. Although strongly advocating for a US led enterprise Aldrin, thankfully, sees cooperation, rather than competition with China, Europe, Russia, India and Japan as being the way forward.

Currently we have the Dutch company Mars One are recruiting people to be part of a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2023; the US commercial firm SpaceX have their Red Dragon proposal to put a sample-return mission to Mars by 2018 (seen as a necessary precursor by NASA to a human exploration); the Chinese have a long term plan for non-crewed flights to Mars by 2033 and crewed phase of missions to Mars during 2040-2060. Although the funding mechanisms and motivations are different these plans all make use of one idea or more from book The Case for Mars (Free Press, 1996, 2011). Written by aerospace engineer and founder of the Mars Society, Robert Zubrin, it is a meticulous and plausible way to settle Mars.
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