Destination Mars: The Story of Our Quest to Conquer the Red Planet

Destination Mars: The Story of Our Quest to Conquer the Red Planet

by Andrew May


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Mars is back. Suddenly everyone – from Elon Musk to Ridley Scott to Donald Trump – is talking about going to the Red Planet.

When the Apollo astronauts walked on the Moon in 1969, many people imagined Mars would be next. However, NASA’s Viking 1, which landed in 1976, was just a robot. The much-anticipated crewed mission failed to materialise, defeated by a combination of technological and political challenges.

Four decades after Viking and almost half a century after Apollo, technology has improved beyond recognition – and politics has changed just as much. As private ventures like SpaceX seize centre stage from NASA, Mars has undergone a seismic shift – no longer just about science, it’s become the prime destination for future human expansion and colonisation.

But what’s it really like on Mars, and why should anyone want to go there? How do you get there and what are the risks? Astrophysicist and science writer Andrew May answers all these questions and more, as he traces the history of our fascination with the Red Planet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781785782251
Publisher: Icon Books, Ltd. UK
Publication date: 09/12/2017
Series: Hot Science
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,225,056
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Andrew May obtained his PhD in astrophysics from the University of Manchester in 1982. After a 30-year career spanning academia, the civil service and private industry he now works as a freelance writer and science consultant. He has written on subjects as diverse as the physical sciences, military technology, British history and the paranormal. His recent books include pocket-sized biographies of Newton and Einstein and an eye-opening study of the relationship between pseudoscience and science fiction. He lives in Somerset.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Lure of the Red Planet

- Our Solar System neighbour

- Another Earth?

- The Real Mars

Chapter 2: How to Get to Mars

- Rocket science

- Action and reaction

- The long way round

-Landing on Mars

Chapter 3: Martian Robots

- Fifty years of Mars exploration

- Lost in space

- Anything a human can do?

Chapter 4: From a Small Step to a Giant Leap

- The race to the Moon

- Mars is harder

- Risk management

- Space politics

Chapter 5: Big Plans

- 20th century visions

- One step at a time

- Roadmap to Mars

Chapter 6: Private Enterprise

- Commercial spaceflight

- Making life multiplanetary

- Human interest

Chapter 7: Living on Mars

- Colonisation

- Martian sustainability

- Terraforming

Chapter 8: The New Space Race

- The contenders

- A wild card

- Mars fever

- Recommended Resources

- List of Acronyms

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