Every great adventure begins with a dream. Explorers look into the unknown and set a course for discovery. Many years ago, the US launched men off planet Earth and hurtled them to the Moon. The next great space milestone is certainly to put a human boot print on Mars. In this dream and adventure of exploration, women and men will not only walk on Mars, but inhabit it.
This aspiration of putting humans on Mars is not a new one. As a spacefaring nation, we could have reached there decades ago. In How We’ll Live on Mars, author Stephen L. Petranek examines how we’ll get to Mars within this century and discusses the opportunity for a potential settlement on the Red Planet.
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As a species it seems necessary and imminent for humans to exist off this singular planet we currently reside on. How will our journey to Mars happen? What are the pitfalls? And, most importantly, who is leading the charge?
Petranek discusses how private companies are filling a vacuum left by NASA’s mothballing of the Saturn V. NASA’s primary focus on the shuttle and then its retirement has left us currently unable to launch humans from US soil. Elon Musk and his Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) are given proper attention in this book thanks to their accomplishments thus far and their push for further achievements including a goal of Mars. Other private companies and in fact, other nations, are setting their sights on sending rovers to and eventually occupying Mars.
Chapter 6 of this book is titled “Living on Mars.” Petranek aptly notes, “Humans need four things to survive on Earth – food, water, shelter, and clothing. Humans need five things to survive on Mars – food, water, shelter, clothing, and oxygen. The successful procurement of these five essential resources will secure humanity’s future as an interplanetary species.”
This presents a major hurdle. For example, an important goal is finding accessible water – a key ingredient for human survival. Making potable water on a planet far from home is not a simple task, but it is a possible one. The challenges for survival do not end there.
How We’ll Live on Mars, a TED Books original publication, is a quick and worthy read. Stephen L. Petranek’s writing style is fluid; the information is well presented and thoughtful. The first human footprint on Mars is fast approaching reality. As a species we will tune in to watch the broadcast – albeit one with a delay for the signal travel time – of a major milestone in history. This book gives a concise examination of where we’ve been, what we’re likely to see on the road to get there and what will happen once on Mars. I recommend adding this to your reading list.
How We’ll Live on Mars is published by Simon & Schuster. Find out more about the book here.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster, Universe Today has three copies of this book to give away to our readers. The publisher has specified that for this contest, winners need to be from the US.
In order to be entered into the giveaway drawing, just put your email address into the box at the bottom of this post (where it says “Enter the Giveaway”) before Wednesday, July 15, 2015. We’ll send you a confirmation email, so you’ll need to click that to be entered into the drawing. If you’ve entered our giveaways before you should also receive an email with a link on how to enter.