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Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen,…
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Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the… (udgave 2011)

af Andrew Kessler

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
632339,391 (3.71)3
The author chronicles the three months he spent in Mission Control for NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission, a project that lead to the discovery of liquid water on Mars, as well as a giant frozen ocean trapped beneath the planet's north pole.
Medlem:mikekennelly
Titel:Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission
Forfattere:Andrew Kessler
Info:Pegasus (2011), Hardcover, 352 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission af Andrew Kessler

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So far no one has had a chance to walk around on Mars, but the scientists and engineers involved with the Phoenix Mars Lander mission lived as if they were there on the red planet during the summer of 2008, and Martian Summer takes its reader along for the ride. Since the length of Martian day is 37 minutes longer than an Earth day special watches were commissioned—it would be great to have one of those Mars adapted timepieces—and blackout curtains were deployed to keep everyone at the warehouse that served as Mission Control on Mars time. “Everyone” included “everyman” author Andrew Kessler, an ordinary, non-genius guy, who has written a mesmerizing behind the scenes account of the kind of passion and nonlinear problem solving that goes into a big, exciting, collaborative science venture. Phoenix was a partnership program under the direction of NASA, but led by Peter Smith of the University of Arizona and it was Peter’s idea to give Kessler inside access so he could write a book about the mission for the general public. NASA has since canceled the Scout Program that Phoenix was a part of, so for the time being there will be no more citizen accounts of freelance-led missions to Mars or anywhere else. The next NASA mission to Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity, is scheduled to launch in late 2011. ( )
  Jaylia3 | Aug 16, 2011 |
Robot Arms & Space Cowboys
by Jill Swenson

If you want to watch a rising star with a bestselling book, look to Andrew Kessler and Martian Summer. He’s part gonzo journalist, i.e. Mary Roach with gonads, and part wacky hip ad-man, i. e. his real life gig as Creative Director, HUGE.

The social media buzz isn’t shameless self-promotion; it’s comedy central. Yup, the book trailers are only a piece to this sweet marketing mix for an up and coming writer of critical acclaim.

Mars is far. Kessler’s ability to make astrophysics comprehensible to an eighth grade girl and get her to giggle is the geek appeal. Spending a summer inside mission control in Tucson brings home the fact that Mars is truly distant.

A sol is a Martian day. It’s a couple hours and some minutes longer than a day on Earth. Hence the plot of sleep deprivation and science stirred together and shaken. Kessler’s own experiences with time-shifting and its physiological, emotional and professional impact are documented in a way Hunter Thompson might admire.

Digging for Regolith, the word for Martian dirt, is part of the mission. The objective is to determine whether Mars has water. The execution of these tasks by teams of NASA scientists is about as action packed as watching paint dry on the wall. Kessler keeps the reader turning the page nonetheless with his wacky way of connecting the reader to the science in pursuit of a discovery. Arcade games, household cleaning products, even anti-freeze are ways in which Kessler demystifies the discovery of water on Mars.

In the process of sharing his fly-on-the-wall observations, the scientists become humans and a few heroes; all of them characters you grow to know and care about. It’s the best evidence NASA presents for continued funding of the US Space Program. ( )
1 stem SwensonBooks | Jun 4, 2011 |
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The author chronicles the three months he spent in Mission Control for NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission, a project that lead to the discovery of liquid water on Mars, as well as a giant frozen ocean trapped beneath the planet's north pole.

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