- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Adult (November 16, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0525949852
- ISBN-13: 978-0525949855
- Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 0.9 x 11.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Postcards from Mars: The First Photographer on the Red Planet 0th Edition
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A Look Inside Postcards from Mars
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Awe-inspiring. . . . Exquisite detail. . . . Glorious. -- Natural History
Jim Bell has compiled a book of photos that puts our neighboring planet in sharp focus. -- USA Today
The quality and volume of photos coming back from Spirit and Opportunity far exceeds anything that has come back from Mars before. -- American Photo
[Bell] tells the story of preparing the spacecraft for launch and of the rovers' arrival on Mars in a conversational tone, with just the right mix of detail and personal point of view. . . . The quality of the printing is high, reproducing intense colors, dramatic shadows, and fine details. -- The Planetary Society
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Top Customer Reviews
Working as the lead scientist for the Pancam, Jim Bell shared with us some of the greatest images on the Gusev Crater and the Meridiani Planum processed by him. Many of these photos are astonishing, the vastness and emptiness of Mars can use no words to describe.
Besides the wonderful scenes, the story and scientific discoveries of the rovers are also well written by Jim. As a first person working in the Mars Exploration Rover mission, he told the background story of the planning and the implementation of the mission, how exciting are the blueberries found on the Meridiani Planum and show the wetter ancient Mars. His words are simple, concise and often wit, even beginner can easily understand.
If you would like to know more about Mars, space exploration or new developments in science, this book is definitely your choice.
Likewise the 150-odd photos start at the beginning, too. But the star photos, of course, are of the Mars surface itself. They include 4-page wide panoramic fold-up photos more than 20,000 pixels wide. "Most of the images are presented in an approximate true color rendering, which is an attempt to simulate, as best we can, what the view would look like had you been there looking out over the landscape yourself."
There is science-geek stuff, but it is told in everyday language and with great enthusiasm. When the first rover had unfolded itself and sent back the first pictures, pictures anticipated for years, "we jumped and yelled and wept and laughed and danced like fools for a while".
Bell's sense of humor is as evident as joy. One day in summer, almost "a full Mars year" after landing, a rover is trying to get up steep slope. "At one patch of particularly slippery soil, called Paso Robles, the digging action of the wheels accidentally unearthed (unmarsed?) some exotic whitish, sulfer-rich soil deposits that were unlike anything that we'd seen before."
This is a good read. Not just about Mars, but about how scientists work in the real world. It's all about problem solving. I also HIGHLY recommend the DVD "Roving Mars", a 5-star video for me! To quote my review of the DVD: "Even though we knew the rover missions were successful, the three of us were literally sitting on the edges of our seats, joining the nervous scientists at mission control, waiting to see if the little guy would survive the landing."
Watch the DVD and then read the book!