Trailblazing Mars:
NASA's Next Giant Leap

Pat Duggins

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Paper: $19.95
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"Duggins gives you the how of the process along with the facts. Who knows what trails this book will help blaze. Read on."--Bill Nye the Science Guy® and executive director of The Planetary Society

"From the Mariner probes of the 1960s to the rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity, " from fanciful human travel in science fiction to realities for human exploration in the future, this book places into context the lure of the red planet and our desire to know it better."--Roger Launius, Senior Curator, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

"Mars may be the destination, but the book is really a study of the people who have taken us as far as we have come. Duggins has written a marvelous book, sure to inspire our imaginations and remind us that all space travel ultimately arises from human ingenuity."--Howard McCurdy, author of Space and the American Imagination

Travel to and from Mars has long been a staple of science fiction. And yet the hurdles--both technological and financial--have kept human exploration of the red planet from becoming a reality. Trailblazing Mars offers an inside look at the current efforts to fulfill this dream.

Award-winning journalist Pat Duggins examines the extreme new challenges that will be faced by astronauts on the journey there and back. They'll have to grow their own food, find their own water, and solve their own problems and emergencies without hope of rescue or re-supply. Mars travel will be more challenging and hazardous than settling the Old West--but we were not witness to the fate of the Donner Party on CNN.

Can the technological hurdles be cleared? Will the public accept the very real possibility of astronaut death? Should a mission be publicly or privately funded? Is the science worth the cost? These and many other questions are answered in Duggins's exciting new book.

Pat Duggins is news director at Alabama Public Radio and author of Final Countdown: NASA and the End of the Space Shuttle Program. He covered more than 100 space shuttle missions for NPR, starting with the 1986 Challenger accident and including three hours of live coverage following the 2003 loss of Columbia.
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"Duggins covers all the important milestones in the exploration of the red planet with a succinct understanding of manned spaceflight, where it has been -- and where it could go. The truth Trailblazing Mars covers in incredible detail is that we as a species are capable of settling another world -- we just have to choose to do so. Cape Canaveral Space Program Examiner

"Travel to and from Mars has long been a staple of science fiction. And yet the hurdles- both technological and financial- have kept human exploration of the Red Planet from becoming a reality. Trailblazing Mars offers an inside look at the current efforts to fulfill this dream. Duggins examines the extreme new challenges that will be faced by astronauts on the journey there and back." Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin Issue 124

"A good introduction to NASA history and plans for the future, and will be of interest to general readers." CHOICE, vol. 48 no.7

Well written. Keeps the fire of exploration going, looking out to the day when humans will make the trailblazing trek to Mars. The message of this book, at least to this reader, is that Mars is surely NASA's next giant leap - and not taking that bounding step would mean squandering a heritage of space exploration and discovery - fueled by human ingenuity and curiosity. Coalition for Space Exploration

Armchair astronauts will relish this. Book News, Inc. (booknews.com)

"Duggins' book shows it would take deep political willpower for anything as expensive, dangerous and inspiring as a journey to Mars. It would take a giant leap." St. Petersburg Times

Digs through the history of space exploration as well as the various issues associated with the exploration of Mars. . . . [and] takes on a broad range of issues.-- The Space Review

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