The Big Book of Mars: From Ancient Egypt to The Martian, A Deep-Space Dive into Our Obsession with the Red Planet
Filled with entertaining history, archival images, pop culture ephemera, and interviews with NASA scientists, The Big Book of Mars is the most comprehensive look at our relationship with Mars—yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
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Mars has been a source of fascination and speculation ever since the ancient Egyptians observed its blood-red hue and named it for their god of war and plague. But it wasn’t until the 19th century when “canals” were observed on the surface of the Red Planet, suggesting the presence of water, that scientists, novelists, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs became obsessed with the question of whether there’s life on Mars.
Since then, Mars has fully invaded pop culture, inspiring its own day of the week (Tuesday), an iconic Looney Tunes character, and many novels and movies, from Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles to The Martian. It’s this cultural familiarity with the fourth planet that continues to inspire advancements in Mars exploration, from NASA’s launch of the Mars rover Perseverance to Elon Musk’s quest to launch a manned mission to Mars through SpaceX by 2024. Perhaps, one day, we’ll be able to answer the questions our ancestors asked when they looked up at the night sky millennia ago.
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