Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1426210174
ISBN-10: 1426210175
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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

''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

''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

''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

''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 US 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 at 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, US 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

''There are places to go beyond belief, and this book is the call to get there.'' --Chris Lewicki, president and chief asteroid miner, Planetary Resources

''The author's human side is revealed as he movingly notes the death of Neil Armstrong with great grief. Readers can only imagine the uniqueness of their shared experiences. Recommended for NASA buffs and anyone interested in the future of space travel.'' --Library Journal

Product Details

  • File Size: 16621 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (May 7, 2013)
  • Publication Date: May 7, 2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008EDPMB2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,987 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If it weren't for the dust jacket and all the big photos of Buzz schmoozing with his son, Armstrong and Collins, and Obama, I'd have thought this book was authored by Neil Tyson. What with all the let's-go-to-Mars, dammit!! cheerleading.

Really, there is very little technical info here, folks. You've heard it before, I'm sure: man is a natural explorer, we must become a multiplanet species, curiosity is in our genome, stopping asteroid impacts is a survival imperative, we must maintain international leadership in foreign policy, we must preserve the industrial base, technology spinoffs, creativity and innovation...etc. etc.

Buzz throws in about two and a half pages on Zubrin's Mars Direct plan, of course with his Aldrin Cyclers thrown in for good measure. He briefly describes two upcoming robotic space missions: Insight and OSIRIS-REx. Other than that, about the only info on actual space operations is his point about the Martian moons being good places to operate teledirected robotic exploration of the Martian surface.

Since we're on the topic, allow me to throw in my two cents regarding the vaunted Aldrin Cyclers. You gain only two possible advantages: artificial gravity and radiation shielding. Unless you're gonna make them self-sufficient space stations for raising crops without outside inputs, each crew is going to have to bring their own consumables for each mission (might as well throw in some spares for upkeep of the cycler too). Unfortunately for Buzz, we have workable solutions for those two problems without having to incur the expense of a system of cyclers. Zubrin avers that the entire spacecraft can be spun using its spent upper stage as a counterweight. Cheap, simple, reliable.
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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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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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