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Mars: The NASA Mission Reports Vol 2: Apogee Books Space Series 44 Paperback – April 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Review by Robert Zubrin, President Mars Society
Once again the team at Apogee Books have produced a well timed book about the recent and current Mars Missions. Following on from their best selling Mars NASA Mission Reports Volume One, which included all missions up to and including the failed Polar Lander and Climate Observer missions of 1999 the new Volume continues the more successful missions since that dark year including data transmitted back from the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
It is possible to find much of the contents of the book on the NASA websites, however this book puts everything into one easy to use reference and easy to carry paper database. As usual the book includes a DVD which in this case is a double sided disc including many videos, photographs, interviews with the major JPL team managers and much more. I found one question asked of Steve Squyres particularly interesting; when asked by Godwin what he could do that the rover could not if he was able to stand at Meridiani Planum; his answer...well the answer was poignant, you be the judge. Another interesting item from the vaults is a rare 1975 video lecture by Von Braun about Humans to Mars. Where do they find this stuff?
In all a fine addition to any Mars collection.
Here's hoping that a consortium of Paul Allen-type people in future can get us to our sister world. If we relied solely on taxpayer funded missions it would take decades. And I'm not getting any younger.
Thanks again, Mr. Zubrin.
The first 5% was dry manned mission proposed department notes. To me not very interesting. Later there is some dry mission specification information like in volume 1. There are a good number of excellent Mars color and black and white photos. Super
There are Mars Global Surveyor updates. Good
Mars Express and the loss of Beagle2 ( faster and cheaper with less redundancy...tragic logic to save money. Either try it this way or no mission.) Lots of hard work and much science could of been gotten perhaps if redundant systems in place and there was more money to be spent.
The Mars Odyssey.
The rovers Spirit and Opportunity. INMO 10,000% successful. Fantastic mission and worth every penny. So many images and information far beyond the mission parameters. Great
Also information on the Mars Reconnaissance orbiter press release.
The DVD supplied was outstanding. Great quality movies, animation and photos. Dr Zubrin ( president of the Mars Society I belong to) was right. It was great seeing an older Dr. Wernher von Braun in 1975 lecturing about manned missions to Mars. Wernher von Braun was one in 10,000,000. His inventive genius does not come around very often. A true space/rocket hero who passed away before his vision of Manned Mars exploration could be accomplished. His Saturn 5 for the Apollo program was spectacular. I hope we have a manned mission to Mars soon and a small token should be put on Mars to thank the late Dr. Wernher von Braun and add to his legacy.
Buy volume 1 to get up to speed with the earlier NASA Mars missions. 4 stars. Then get volume 2. Just the DVD in volume 2 was well worth the price. An excellent book. 5 stars
On the downside, the status reports concerning the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) get very tiring to read. Similar to 'keep-alive' packets sent by idle computers on the Internet, the reports give frequent updates to the status of the rovers - while sometimes interesting, its very hard to see 'big-picture' science without more analysis (something that wouldn't be in a mission press kit or an Apogee Mission Report book).
The inclusion of a DVD was another surprise - since the data sent back by the two MERs is hefty, more storage space was needed. The DVD might be worth the cost of the book, but I love those introductory mission press kits stating the statistics of the machines and the overview of its mission...
Again, if you have a Mars Library started, add this to your collection!