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Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission Hardcover
The Amazon Book Review
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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.
Mission Control seemed like something only in the movies, not ever imagining I could see a glimpse of in real life. Now I feel like I was part of it.
The most fascinating part to me is the drive and dedication of all the people involved in the Phoenix mission. You see how much work really goes into these missions. I now have a much greater appreciation for everything space, and feel inspired to put their amount of enthusiasm into my life.
You don't need much outer-space/science knowledge because Kessler does a fascinating job explaining "rocket science" to a grade school student. It is a must read if you have even the slightest interest in space, robots, or the life of a freelance scientist.
It would be nice if another book could be written on the building of the Phoenix Mars spacecraft as that process ran in to some rough stuff rehabilitating that lander so it would work. As it turns out the 2001 lander were so weak the landing legs would have ripped away from the lander once the the parachute open. Or the 2001 lander cruse stage and heat shield were so cold as to be frozen to the decent stage.
Yet thru very hard work both the building of the Phoenix Mars spacecraft, and the hard work of the scientist described in this book made everything work. I am very impressed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 16 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 17 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 on July 22, 2014 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
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
Mr. Kessler writes a fascinating and hilarious account of his time at Mission Control on the Phoenix Mars program. Read morePublished on July 13, 2012 by JMark
I'm personally well read and I must say this book is my book choice of the year. Andrew's vivid detail, pictures and humor totally puts you on the fourth rock from the sun. Read morePublished on May 15, 2012 by Joe Brooklyn