Mars Beckons

John Noble Wilford, Author Alfred A. Knopf $24.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-394-58359-4
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wilford here provides a superb popular history of mankind's growing knowledge of Mars from antiquity, when it was associated with the god of war, to our unmanned satellite mapping of its surface. Mars is now dry and cold but water once inundated much of the planet--recent research indicates that a giant ocean may have covered most of its northern hemisphere. When water flowed, did life arise and then die out or do microbes survive in the hostile Martian environment? Is water locked in permafrost or polar caps, waiting for human colonists to release it? Wilford, championing the possibility of a joint U.S./Soviet mission to Mars, details the technological hurdles that must be overcome in order to get humans to the red planet and to establish settlements there. This is popular science at its best, and will appeal to those interested in the exploration of our solar system. Illustrations not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Paperback - 95 pages - 978-0-679-73531-1
Hardcover - 978-0-517-10771-3
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