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Exploring Mars

Author: Scott Hubbard
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816599696
Size: 30.32 MB
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The Red Planet has been a subject of fascination for humanity for thousands of years, becoming part of our folklore and popular culture. The most Earthlike of the planets in our solar system, Mars may have harbored some form of life in the past and may still possess an ecosystem in some underground refuge. The mysteries of this fourth planet from our Sun make it of central importance to NASA and its science goals for the twenty-first century. In the wake of the very public failures of the Mars Polar Lander and the Mars Climate Orbiter in 1999, NASA embarked on a complete reassessment of the Mars Program. Scott Hubbard was asked to lead this restructuring in 2000, becoming known as the "Mars Czar." His team's efforts resulted in a very successful decade-long series of missions—each building on the accomplishments of those before it—that adhered to the science adage "follow the water" when debating how to proceed. Hubbard's work created the Mars Odyssey mission, the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Phoenix mission, and most recently the planned launch of the Mars Science Laboratory. Now for the first time Scott Hubbard tells the complete story of how he fashioned this program, describing both the technical and political forces involved and bringing to life the national and international cast of characters engaged in this monumental endeavor. Blending the exciting stories of the missions with the thrills of scientific discovery, Exploring Mars will intrigue anyone interested in the science, the engineering, or the policy of investigating other worlds.

Exploration And Engineering

Author: Erik M. Conway
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421416050
Size: 53.17 MB
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Although the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has become synonymous with the United States’ planetary exploration during the past half century, its most recent focus has been on Mars. Beginning in the 1990s and continuing through the Mars Phoenix mission of 2007, JPL led the way in engineering an impressive, rapidly evolving succession of Mars orbiters and landers, including roving robotic vehicles whose successful deployment onto the Martian surface posed some of the most complicated technical problems in space flight history. In Exploration and Engineering, Erik M. Conway reveals how JPL engineers’ creative technological feats led to major breakthroughs in Mars exploration. He takes readers into the heart of the lab’s problem-solving approach and management structure, where talented scientists grappled with technical challenges while also coping, not always successfully, with funding shortfalls, unrealistic schedules, and managerial turmoil. Conway, JPL’s historian, offers an insider’s perspective into the changing goals of Mars exploration, the ways in which sophisticated computer simulations drove the design process, and the remarkable evolution of landing technologies over a thirty-year period.

Red Rover

Author: Roger Wiens
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0465051995
Size: 26.61 MB
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For centuries humankind has fantasized about life on Mars, whether it’s intelligent Martian life invading our planet (immortalized in H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds) or humanity colonizing Mars (the late Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles). The Red Planet’s proximity and likeness to Earth make it a magnet for our collective imagination. Yet the question of whether life exists on Mars—or has ever existed there—remains an open one. Science has not caught up to science fiction—at least not yet. This summer we will be one step closer to finding the answer. On August 5th, Curiosity—a one-ton, Mini Cooper-sized nuclear-powered rover—is scheduled to land on Mars, with the primary mission of determining whether the red planet has ever been physically capable of supporting life. In Getting to Mars, Roger Wiens, the principal investigator for the ChemCam instrument on the rover—the main tool for measuring Mars’s past habitability—will tell the unlikely story of the development of this payload and rover now blasting towards a planet 354 million miles from Earth. ChemCam (short for Chemistry and Camera) is an instrument onboard the Curiosity designed to vaporize and measure the chemical makeup of Martian rocks. Different elements give off uniquely colored light when zapped with a laser; the light is then read by the instrument’s spectrometer and identified. The idea is to use ChemCam to detect life-supporting elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen to evaluate whether conditions on Mars have ever been favorable for microbial life. This is not only an inside story about sending fantastic lasers to Mars, however. It’s the story of a new era in space exploration. Starting with NASA’s introduction of the Discovery Program in 1992, smaller, scrappier, more nimble missions won out as behemoth manned projects went extinct. This strategic shift presented huge opportunities—but also presented huge risks for shutdown and failure. And as Wiens recounts, his project came close to being closed down on numerous occasions. Getting to Mars is the inspiring account of how Wiens and his team overcame incredible challenges—logistical, financial, and political—to successfully launch a rover in an effort to answer the eternal question: is there life on Mars?

Uncovering The Secrets Of The Red Planet

Author: Paul Raeburn
Publisher: National Geographic
ISBN:
Size: 38.13 MB
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Traces the history of attempts to explore Mars, describes the successful Pathfinder mission, and presents scientific theories about life on the planet

The Real Mars

Author: Michael Hanlon
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 27.36 MB
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Illustrated throughout, this work contains surface and orbital images from Spirit, Opportunity, Mars Express, the Hubble Space Telescope and Earth-based observations - plus historic images depicting Mars in fiction and mythology, movie images, and drawings that adorned the pulp sci-fi stories of the 1930s.

Interplanetary Robots

Author: Rod Pyle
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 163388502X
Size: 80.58 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A NASA insider tells the exciting story of robotic space missions to explore the solar system. Exploring the planets has been a goal of America's space program since the dawn of the space race. This insider's perspective examines incredible missions of robotic spacecraft to every corner of our solar system and beyond. Some were flown into glory, while others were planned and relegated to dusty filing cabinets. All were remarkable in their aspirations. Award-winning science writer Rod Pyle profiles both the remarkable spacecraft and the amazing scientists and engineers who made them possible. From the earliest sprints past Venus and Mars to Voyager1's current explorations of the space between the stars, this exciting book sheds new light on ever-more ambitious journeys designed to increase the human reach into the solar system. Drawing on his perspective as a writer for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ground zero for NASA's planetary exploration, the author further details plans now in development to look for signs of life on Jupiter's moon Europa, submarines that will dive into the hazy hydrocarbon lakes of Saturn's moon Titan, and intelligent spacecraft that will operate for months without human intervention on Mars and in the outer solar system well into the 2030s. Equally compelling are programs of exploration that were considered but never left the drawing board, such as automobile-sized biology laboratories designed for a Mars landing in the 1960s and plans to detonate atomic bombs on the moon. Complemented by many rarely-seen photos and illustrations, these stories of incredible engineering achievements, daring imaginations, and technological genius will fascinate and inspire.

Nasa 50th Anniversary Proceedings Nasa S First 50 Years Historical Perspectives

Author: Steven J. Dick
Publisher: U. S. National Aeronautics & Space Administration
ISBN:
Size: 73.61 MB
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"Fifty years after the founding of NASA, from 28 to 29 October 2008, the NASA History Division convened a conference whose purpose was a scholarly analysis of NASA's first 50 years. Over two days at NASA Headquarters, historians and policy analysts discussed NASA's role in aeronautics, human spaceflight, exploration, space science, life science, and Earth science, as well as crosscutting themes ranging from space access to international relations in space and NASA's interaction with the public. The speakers were asked to keep in mind the following questions: What are the lessons learned from the first 50 years? What is NASA's role in American culture and in the history of exploration and discovery? What if there had never been a NASA? Based on the past, does NASA have a future? The results of those papers, elaborated and fully referenced, are found in this 50th anniversary volume."--Introduction.

Imagining Mars

Author: Robert Crossley
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
ISBN: 9780819571052
Size: 73.83 MB
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For centuries, the planet Mars has captivated astronomers and inspired writers of all genres. Whether imagined as the symbol of the bloody god of war, the cradle of an alien species, or a possible new home for human civilization, our closest planetary neighbor has played a central role in how we think about ourselves in the universe. From Galileo to Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert Crossley traces the history of our fascination with the red planet as it has evolved in literature both fictional and scientific. Crossley focuses specifically on the interplay between scientific discovery and literary invention, exploring how writers throughout the ages have tried to assimilate or resist new planetary knowledge. Covering texts from the 1600s to the present, from the obscure to the classic, Crossley shows how writing about Mars has reflected the desires and social controversies of each era. This astute and elegant study is perfect for science fiction fans and readers of popular science. Ebook Edition Note: The photo of Arthur C. Clarke photo on p. 209 has been redacted.