The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must

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9780684835501: The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must

Since the beginning of human history Mars has been an alluring dream—the stuff of legends, gods, and mystery. The planet most like ours, it has still been thought impossible to reach, let alone explore and inhabit.

Now with the advent of a revolutionary new plan, all this has changed. Leading space exploration authority Robert Zubrin has crafted a daring new blueprint, Mars Direct, presented here with illustrations, photographs, and engaging anecdotes.

The Case for Mars is not a vision for the far future or one that will cost us impossible billions. It explains step-by-step how we can use present-day technology to send humans to Mars within ten years; actually produce fuel and oxygen on the planet's surface with Martian natural resources; how we can build bases and settlements; and how we can one day "terraform" Mars—a process that can alter the atmosphere of planets and pave the way for sustainable life.

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Review:

"For our generation and many that will follow, Mars is the New World," writes Zubrin. This book went to press serendipitously, just as NASA was making its startling if heavily-qualified announcement that simple life may have once existed on the fourth rock from the sun. Zubrin doesn't spend an enormous amount of time arguing why Mars exploration is desirable -- we all want astronauts to go there, don't we? -- but rather devotes the bulk of this book explaining how it can happen on a sensible, bare-bones budget of $20-30 billion and a "travel light and live off the land" philosophy.

From the Publisher:

Since the beginning of human history Mars has been an alluring dream -- the stuff of legends, gods, and mystery. The planet most like ours, the planet where life may have once existed, but a planet thought to be impossible to reach and even more impossible to explore and inhabit. Now with the advent of a revolutionary new plan, all this has changed.

Leading space exploration authority Robert Zubrin has crafted a daring new blueprint, Mars Direct, that experts are hailing as the most visionary and pragmatic step toward expanding human activity in space since the Apollo Moon landings. Presented here with illustrations, photographs, and engaging anecdotes, Dr. Zubrin's plan will revive our hopes and dreams and convince us that other worlds can be reached -- affordably and within our lifetime.

Unlike the dead world of the Moon, the Martian landscape abounds with ancient canyons, dried river beds, the remains of frozen polar oceans, and enormous ice caps. The possibilities for exploration and discovery are nearly limitless; but significant exploration of Mars can only occur on her surface, and in order to do that we must be able to survive there. In the great tradition of human exploration, Dr. Zubrin's plan calls for a travel-light and live-off-the-land approach. He explains step-by-step how we can use present-day technology to send humans to Mars within ten years; actually produce fuel and oxygen on the planet's surface with Martian natural resources; how we can build bases and settlements; and how we can one day "terraform" Mars -- a process that can alter the atmosphere of planets and pave the way for sustainable life.

Under Dr. Zubrin's program, a human mission is only the first step toward a day when research bases and eventual colonies can be developed on Mars' surface. Mars possesses enormous chemical and mineral resources, all of which can be put to use in pursuit of travel, exploration, structures, and a variety of human activities on a planet that is neither as harsh nor as unreachable as we popularly believe.

The Case For Mars is not a vision for the far future or one that will cost us impossible billions. It is a plan that can be put into action today if we are willing to rethink our traditional methods and costs. Zubrin maps out how the use of Martian resources, innovations, streamlined approaches, and a series of manageable government grants coupled with the efforts of private enterprise can make repeated humans-to-Mars missions possible.

Our nation was born in dreams of exploration, and so must it continue if we are to vault into our next chapter of history. Mars presents us with a new world of questions, hopes, and possibilities; and the stirring vision of The Case For Mars will take us directly to its threshold and beyond.

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