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The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1451608113 ISBN-10: 145160811X Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Revised edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145160811X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451608113
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Bob Zubrin really, nearly alone, changed our thinking on this issue." Carl Sagan The Denver Post

"In this thoughtful, thorough and inspiring book...[Zubrin] systematically and convincingly destroys the conventional wisdom about Mars travel." Michael D. Lemonick Newsday

"One of the most provocative and hopeful documents I have read about the space program in 20 years. -- The New York Times Book Review, Dennis Overbye

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert Zubrin, formerly a senior engineer at Lockheed Martin, is the founder of Pioneer Astronautics, a space-exploration research and development firm. Currently chairman of the executive committee of the National Space Society, Dr. Zubrin lives with his family in Indian Hills, Colorado.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I can only wish someday we will dare it and I will be alive to see it.
Pen Ten
I was already familiar with Dr. Zubrin's plans for sending humans to Mars, being a member of the Mars Society and The Planetary Society.
Jason B.
In fact, the book is really hard to put down, especially if you have even the slightest interest in space and/or science.
Gergely Kovacs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By W. Cooper on June 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read the first edition of Dr. Zubrin's book when it first appeared. Since then I have come to admire greatly his personal qualities of intelligence, technical acumen, commitment, and vision; what he's done to promote a sane, productive, and progressive humans-in-space program is extraordinary. His book makes a clear, convincing case for redirecting the efforts of NASA, in conjunction with private enterprise, toward mounting a "manned" mission to Mars within 10 years. He explains how this is doable and why we owe it to ourselves and our descendants to do it. Zubrin's one of those people who lead the way in human progress, and I hope that everyone who reads this book and agrees with his recommendations will write their representatives and help persuade them to take a look at them and to take action. Zubrin's showing us that we don't have to buy into the creeping paradigm of human limits, that we can use our intelligence and ingenuity to solve our environmental, social, and technological problems and create a positive world of the future. The answers are out there. Going to Mars would help spark interest in our young people to take up careers in science and engineering. Developing that human capital would do more to resolve global problems than anything else. Read this book and feel hopeful again.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Learner on August 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Interesting and informative. Zubrin has the mind of an engineer and the heart of a dreamer - exactly what this book calls for. He explains clearly what appears to be a practical, relatively low-cost route to Mars, and why Mars should be our next goal. Why haven't we done this already??

If you think the Space Shuttle and the ISS are great, this book will shatter that illusion. This book describes what we should have been doing instead with all those billions. As I write this review the future for the US space program looks bleak; a better example of America's decline cannot be found.

Zubrin makes a convincing argument that without a new frontier the historically vital spirit of America will be snuffed out by growing bureaucracy, irrationalism, and stagnation. (Any of these sound familiar?) Zubrin shows why Mars is the future frontier that America and all humanity needs, in order to continue to innovate and for democratic ideals to survive. In the solar system, Mars is the place most like earth and has the variety of resources that colonists will need.

When the first town is built on Mars they should name it after Zubrin, in recognition of his ground-work in this book. To reach Mars any time soon, maybe we should pass over bureaucratic NASA and just give Zubrin and his Mars Society the funding to make it happen.

Zubin claims we can send the first explorers to Mars for $30 billion total, spread out over 10 years. I recently read he is now saying $50 billion is more realistic. Either way, this is cheap. To put this in perspective consider that the entire US defense budget for just one year is $600 billion.

Zubrin has shown the world a cheap and reasonable path to Mars. After reading this book, I am confident Americans will one day go to the next-most-habitable planet in the solar system. Even if only to visit the Chinese colonies there.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Erickson on September 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought and reviewed Dr. Robert Zubrin's original The case For Mars...5 stars see my review. I bought his second revised edition at the Aug 2011 Mars Society (I'm a life member) convention in Grape Vine Texas. The book reads well with no boring parts.

DR Robert Zubrin with the help of engineer Baker are the co inventors/sponsor of Mars Direct a low cost method of landing 3 people on Mars and after 1 1/2 years for exploration take them back to Earth. Also a more evolved later program Mars Semi Direct allows at low cost 4 people to land on Mars and back. These programs are without big expensive "Battle Star Galactica" ships built in space with the help of the ISS and no moon base needed.

Also lots of spacecraft have landed on Mars and orbited it to give us a better understanding of Mars after the first book was published. We know know that in the far past Mars was a wet, warmer world that may have had enough time for life to evolve. We now know that there is lots of frozen water under parts of the Mars regolith and occasionally liquid water for a short time may make it to the Mars surface before gassing off. Because of Mar's low atmospheric pressure liquid water can't exist on the surface today.

The revised book has some great B/W pictures and charts of the different velocities, exhaust pressures and times needed to get to Mars using the different methods discussed.The use of the Opposition and Conjunction launch methods are discussed and why the Opposition method is less desirable. Some of the charts were a little difficult for me to understand but I got the vast majority of it. Lots of easy to understand chemical formulas for making rocket fuel, plastics and other materials from the Martian atmosphere.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adam on May 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a whim after seeing it mentioned on cnn. I jumped in and quickly realized it was much more than I'd ever hoped for. It's basically an amazing engineering report with a bit of color commentary. Zubrin's thoroughness and quantitative analysis is truly impressive and refreshing. I really appreciated Zubrin's excellent presentation of a seemingly endless array of topics: chemistry, metallurgy, propulsion, antennas, radiation, artificial gravity, terraforming, politics, even agriculture! I found myself wondering what Zubrin doesn't know. I'm going to lend/recommend this book to everyone I know. I beat my copy up more than I'd like making notes in it, so my only complaint is that I can't get it in hardback! I'll likely buy another copy either way, and I can't want until he updates it again!
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