“Duggins’s timely and engrossing study will interest explorers and armchair astronauts alike, and remind readers of the excitement of outer space.”—Publishers Weekly
“Examines the history of NASA’s robotic exploration of the Red Planet and the agency’s plans for future human exploration. . . . Emphasizes the widespread belief that if human exploration of Mars is to take place, astronauts will have to ‘live off the land’ like Earth-bound explorers of the past.”—Quest
“Keeps the fire of exploration going, looking out to the day when humans will make the trailblazing trek to Mars.”—Coalition for Space Exploration
“Digs through the history of space exploration as well as the various issues associated with the exploration of Mars.”—Space Review
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? Duggins explores the answers to these questions and many more.
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 National Public Radio, from the 1986 Challenger accident to the 2003 loss of Columbia.