The Lure of the Red Planet

Book - 2001
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Random House, Inc.
No other planet has so fired the human imagination as Mars. The possibility of life on the planet was an obsession in the 19th century. It is not surprising to find that it has become so once again, because of all the planets in the solar system (apart from Earth), Mars has always been regarded as the most likely to serve as the abode of life. Now that there are hints that the planet may have held "liquid water" (a prerequisite for life, in contrast to the frozen water of the ice caps) much more recently than anyone had supposed, excitement over Mars exploration has never been higher.

In this engaging, eloquent account of our love affair with the Red Planet, William Sheehan and Stephen James O'Meara review the history of human fascination with our neighbor in the solar system, and look at the prospects for manned spaceflight to Mars in this new century. The authors portray the history of Mars investigations through the eyes of the dreamers and achievers that have made the planet such an integral part of the human psyche. They reveal the discoverers' hardships, their strength in the face of criticisms, and the glories of their successes.

What Everest and the moon were to the 20th century, Mars will be to the 21st. Mars is our Everest, a new frontier that will continue to spur the greatest flights of imagination and the most astounding technical feats. Projects are already underway to make these dreams a reality. This book will prepare you and fill you with enthusiasm for the adventure ahead.

Baker & Taylor
Presents a history of investigations into the planet Mars.

Book News
Sheehan and O'Meara (they're the contributing editors to Sky & Telescope and Odyssey magazines) trace the history of Mars investigations in this volume for the popular reader. Although they begin in prehistory and classical antiquity, recounting Odysseus's trials in the Odyssey , the majority of the book is devoted to scientific research of the planet, from Ptolemy to the 20th-century US space program, with rather grainy b&w photos of early telescopes, observatories, and famous astronomers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2001
ISBN: 9781573929004
Characteristics: 106 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: O'Meara, Stephen James 1956-


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