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The Real Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, Mars Express, and the Quest to Explore the Red Planet.

THE REAL MARS: Spirit, Opportunity, Mars Express, and the Quest to Explore the Red Planet MICHAEL HANLON

A small armada of robotic spacecraft has photographed, prodded, poked, and drilled into the surface of Mars during the past year. Data gathered by the Mars Global Surveyor, the rover Opportunity, and other planet-observing tools have provided researchers with compelling evidence that Mars once harbored shallow, salty bodies of liquid water and so might have hosted life. Hanlon, the science editor for the Daily Mail in London, chronicles the fruits of these missions both in detailed text and glorious photographs generated by the probes. He also lays out the many mysteries that continue to tantalize planetary scientists as well as lingering controversies about the history of water and life--or lack thereof--on the Red Planet. Hanlon also elaborates on the importance of these Mars missions in our quest for finding out whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. Hanson's enthusiasm for his subject is unbridled, even in his accounts of past thinking about Mars. That energy shines through in this comprehensive overview of what we now know about the Red Planet and how we have acquired this knowledge* Originally published in the United Kingdom. Carroll & Graf, 2004, 250 p., color/b&w photos, hardcover, $35.00.
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Title Annotation:Books: a selection of new and notable books of scientific interest
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 20, 2004
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