Tag Archives: Phoenix (spacecraft)

Christmas gift ideas: Working on Mars

Books are ideal Christmas presents. And as I am spending some time dealing with family business I thought reposting some of my past book reviews over the next few days could be useful am repeating some of my past book reviews.

This is ideal for anyone interested in exploration of the solar system. And topical with the latest US Mars probe, Curiosity, safely on its way to Mars.


Book Review: Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission

Price: US$18.16; NZ$42.97; eBook NZ$20.95
Publisher: Pegasus (April 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1605981761
ISBN-13: 978-1605981765

This book describes Andrew Kessler’s experience when he left home and went to live on Mars. Well – almost. As he describes it:

“I spent three months in mission control with 130 top NASA scientists and engineers as they explored, photographed and dug up Mars. I was the first outsider ever granted unfettered access to the physicists, biologists, chemists, geologists and rocket scientists in the control room of a planetary mission to Mars. . . . For 90 days, I sat with the crew of the Phoenix mission working to explore the Martian arctic. Martian Summer is my non-fiction account of the strange life inside mission control and the people behind digging for dirt on Mars.”

This was possible because of an initiative by Peter Smith, Head of the Phoenix Mission. He organised to bring Kessler on to the team to provide some of the science outreach. Kessler had co-produced Mars: The Quest for Life, a Discovery Channel documentary about the mission. He was now “embedded” into the team at the University Of Arizona in Tucson for the 90 days of the early Phoenix programme “Martian Summer” is the result.

Phoenix Mars Lander

So the book is about the scientists and engineers in the team handling the Phoenix Mars Lander which landed on Mars May 25, 2008. It’s about the people actively involved in today’s exploration of Mars, and their work. Given the problems and cost of manned space exploration by interplanetary and planetary robots is currently the only game in town. The vehicles, and the teams running them, comprises modern interplanetary discovery.

Continue reading

Working on Mars

Book Review: Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission

Price: US$18.16; NZ$42.97; eBook NZ$20.95
Publisher: Pegasus (April 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1605981761
ISBN-13: 978-1605981765

This book describes Andrew Kessler’s experience when he left home and went to live on Mars. Well – almost. As he describes it:

“I spent three months in mission control with 130 top NASA scientists and engineers as they explored, photographed and dug up Mars. I was the first outsider ever granted unfettered access to the physicists, biologists, chemists, geologists and rocket scientists in the control room of a planetary mission to Mars. . . . For 90 days, I sat with the crew of the Phoenix mission working to explore the Martian arctic.  Martian Summer is my non-fiction account of the strange life inside mission control and the people behind digging for dirt on Mars.”

This was possible because of an initiative by Peter Smith, Head of the Phoenix Mission. He organised to bring Kessler on to the team to provide some of the science outreach. Kessler had co-produced Mars: The Quest for Life, a Discovery Channel documentary about the mission. He was now “embedded” into the team at the University Of Arizona in Tucson for the 90 days of the early Phoenix programme “Martian Summer” is the result.

Phoenix Mars Lander

So the book is about the scientists and engineers in the team handling the Phoenix Mars Lander which landed on Mars May 25, 2008. It’s about the people actively involved in today’s exploration of Mars, and their work. Given the problems and cost of manned space exploration by interplanetary and planetary robots is currently the only game in town. The vehicles, and the teams running them, comprises modern interplanetary discovery.

Continue reading