2nd May 2018: The latest in Haynes’ series of detailed space manuals explores Mars, neatly coinciding with the launch of NASA’s latest mission to visit the planet this May.
With NASA’s latest InSight lander due to set down on Mars’ surface in November 2018 after a gruelling six-month-long journey, the Mars Owners’ Workshop Manual makes for essential reading.
Detailing the 4.5 billion years of evolution of the ominous yet fascinating ‘Red Planet’, the manual highlights some of the most important discoveries made by the many scientists who have studied Mars and the data provided by the various exploratory missions carried out in recent years. It also looks forward to a time when mankind might join remotely operated landers in exploring our planetary neighbour.
Written by prolific space author Dr David M Harland, the manual offers in-depth insights into the laws of planetary motion, how astronomers mapped Mars, an account of Percival Lowell’s controversial theory of intelligent Martians and how that influenced the public impression of the planet, and modern ideas on extra-terrestrial life. It also provides a comprehensive study on Mars’ cratered highlands and low-lying plains, enormous volcanoes, perhaps still active, vast canyons, and polar caps.
The manual looks at the challenges and technical triumphs that have occurred throughout mankind’s missions to send space vehicles to Mars – from flyby missions to orbiters, and more recently, landers and rovers.
As the search for evidence of extinct or current life on the planet gains pace, the Mars Owners’ Workshop Manual couldn’t be of more relevance than it is today. Talking about the manual, Dr Harland says: “In our investigation of Mars, discoveries being made so rapidly that this book can merely survey the vast scope of developments. I can’t think of a better time than now to have written it. We have satellites in orbit around the planet and rovers exploring its surface. If we discover microbial life on Mars, the implications will be profound, because if life has developed independently in several places in the Solar System then it is probably ubiquitous across the universe.”
The highly engaging text is supported by numerous technical illustrations, photographs and graphics which provide fascinating insight into the planets evolution, geography and geology, in addition to highlighting the challenges and technical triumphs of sending space vehicles on exploratory missions to Mars.
About the author
Dr David M Harland is a prolific author on space topics. After gaining a bachelor’s degree in astronomy and a doctorate in computer science, and spending time working in academia and the computer industry, in the mid-nineties he took up writing about his childhood passions of astronomy and space exploration. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland, and wouldn’t join any society that would have the likes of him as a member!
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