5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
I have always had a fascination with astronomy. After reading this book, that fascination turned almost into an obsession with Mars. Zubrin lays out a plan that seems perfect to land the first man on Mars. This book is an interesting read, even for the non-scientist types, as Zubrin finds a healthy balance. Very interesting book and very intellect man. Not to be missed...
Published on April 21 2004 by Jason Pugh
3.0 out of 5 stars To Mars? Yes, but by this route?
Hmmm... this is a difficult one to review.
This book is basically an advertisement for the author's "Mars Direct" scheme for manned mars missions.
On the one hand I laud Zubrin for all the time and effort he has placed into thinking up his "Mars Direct" plan for manned mars missions. The idea is certainly appealing and contians much that had...
Published on Aug. 28 2000 by Jim Kirk
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read,
This review is from: The Case for Mars (Paperback)I have always had a fascination with astronomy. After reading this book, that fascination turned almost into an obsession with Mars. Zubrin lays out a plan that seems perfect to land the first man on Mars. This book is an interesting read, even for the non-scientist types, as Zubrin finds a healthy balance. Very interesting book and very intellect man. Not to be missed by anyone interested in space.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Variety of Mars Data in One Place,
This review is from: The Case for Mars (Paperback)Dr. Zubrin did a great job of bringing a lot of research about a variety of Mars related subjects into one place.
His writing style is not sterile like a textbook might be, or how you would expect a 'rocket scientist' to write. Instead, he is able to present his ideas with facts, figures and calculations instead of glorious ideas of how to settle the stars. At times, the book even made me chuckle.
I have read other books on this subject, and have seen documentaries regarding Mars exploration and Dr. Zubrin is arguably at the forefront of the effort to settle Mars.
The book completely opened my eyes as to how easy (relatively speaking) it would be to actually settle Mars.
HIGHLY recommended for anyone interested in the subject!
5.0 out of 5 stars Today's Visionary,
This review is from: The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must (Hardcover)I have had the unique opportunity to meet Robert Zubrin at a couple of conferences. He is a brilliant, funny, visionary, cantankerous engineer who has become a serious leader in the space advocacy community. His personal style comes across in his writing. He's a bright guy with a serious ax to grind about Mars, how we should get there, and how NASA is screwing up.
Most of his criticism is based upon NASA's handling of "the 90-Day Report," the report the agency submitted to President Bush after he called for a manned mission to Mars. What the scientists at NASA came up with was a huge, visionary program that would require every new technology known to manned space activity, from solar power to zero-gravity construction to cold fusion. Oh yeah, a lot of that hasn't been invented yet, will take 30 years to accomplish, and will cost taxpayers $450 billion. It is the bureaucratic mindset that sets Zubrin off.
Mixed in with all the specific technical information are history lessons about exploration and its difficulties, as well as insights on why we need to explore and the value of Mars itself. Since the release of "The Case for Mars," Dr. Zubrin has formed his own space advocacy group called The Mars Society, which is already setting up its own Mars habitat simulator in an arctic desert of Canada.
He has also taken to describing ways in which the government can best fund the mission, such as offering a "Mars Prize" of $30 billion that would only be awarded to a successful mission. Zubrin shamelessly invokes Kennedy, Lindbergh, Frederick Jackson Turner, and others, and jumps in with a "can-do" attitude that will remind the reader of NASA or "Star Trek" in their better days. After reading Zubrin, you find yourself wondering, "Jeez, why AREN'T we going?"
Zubrin also articulates his belief in the value of frontiers. A frontier provides the hope for escape from current problems--government, social hierarchies, ennui. A frontier can generate new materials (like the gold out of California), new ideas of government and freedom, and more potential for innovation and upward mobility. Governments that have to cope with an expanding, dynamic society cannot turn their energies toward controlling limited resources and a stable population. Anyhow, that's one theory. If you'd like the how and WHY for space exploration, this is a good place to start.
2.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but the ideas are not his,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Case for Mars (Paperback)I'm a strong proponent of Mars travel, and the U.S. really needed a book like this one. The book is well written and brings the audience in. I could only dream of writing such a coherent book on this subject.
But, here's a big issue that I have with the book. Many people have come to believe that Mr. Zubrin came up with these ideas for ISRU, and other Mars propulsion related topics. In actuality, these great ideas came from a series of conferences called "the case for Mars" ('80's) and published work prior to that ('70's); all of which came about without his input.
All of the engineering and scientific ideas detailed within the book are not his by any means. He's simply an Engineer with charisma that voiced the ideas of others and tried to apply them. I thank Zubrin's predecessors for their ingenuity.
On another note, I must mention my admiration for NASA. NASA ended up receiving harsh criticism from Zubrin, but they later supported his proposals because it was important to their overall goal. It's tough for any organization to do that, but NASA would never let it's mission be stopped by criticism. Go NASA!
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Inspiring,
This review is from: The Case for Mars (Paperback)I have been interested in the space program for years, and after several years of wondering if Mars would ever be within human reach, I am thoroughly convinced. Contrary to readers who apparently skimmed the book, Zubrin does indicate a variety of launch vehicles, including the Saturn V but also a number of Russian and recent American developments. He also calculates the costs of restarting the Saturn V program and figures them into his equations. He gives weight to monetary concerns that NASA officials seem to have neglected, concerns that deter some politicians and solutions that could make believers of them.
His reasons for going to Mars also make sense. One element, found in five times the abundance on Mars as on Earth, sells on the free market at thousands of US dollars to the kilo. Scientific research is also a benefit, and the discovery of possible Martian life would provide insights into what genetic elements are universal to all life, and which are native to Terra Prima. The medical implications for the global community are staggering.
And contrary to belief, the discovery of life off of the Earth does not discount religion, it is simply a blow to certain, and then only some, Creationists. As a religious person, a born-again Christian, in fact, I would not find the implications of alien life deterring, but exciting, and possibly, should there be intelligent life, an opportunity for evangelism. The religious argument is without merit.
The book is wholly inspiring, and the Mars Direct and Mars Semi-Direct programs needs to be heard in the halls of Congress. An excellent read.
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough Science,
This review is from: The Case for Mars (Paperback)The polyanish attitude of Zubrin to dismissing real hurdles to a Mars mission makes this book more of a cheerleading manual than a science treatise. It's a good read if one leaves science at the door and flips the pages for an adventure story. He creates a cult following of those who enjoy Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. and don't have the ability to distinguish science and science fiction.
The book deserves one star for Science but I'll add another star for enthusiasm. 'The Chariots of the Gods' reader will enjoy the book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Economics, Economics, Economics. Cold War is Over.,
This review is from: The Case for Mars (Paperback)Great Read. Dr. Zubrin is a true scientist and engineer and knows his subject. I read the book with breathless attention all through the night. Kept me up all night. Dr. Zubrin describes how to get there, who should go, how to "live off the land" when on Mars, and why Mars is so special and different than any other planet.
The first half of the book is a must read for any space enthusiast. The Space Shuttle, Space Station are earth orbits, non-exploration projects. We have not gone any further since Apollo 11 . Who gets excited about circulating around the Earth studying MicroGravity.
There are bigger fishes. Dr. Zubrin explains why Mars and only Mars has potential to have harbored life and may in the far future offer a second home for mankind. Dr. Zubrin goes into technical details in book.
However, Dr Zubrin like all smart scientist and engineers, they need to deal with lowly things like politics and economics. Economics is reason we are not going to Mars. The Cold War sent us to the moon because we did not want to sleep under a "Communist Moon" Dr. Zubrin, all space enthusiast out there, need an economics reason. The Cold War is over. Emotional arguments like, exploration, knowledge and curiosity does not cut it anymore.
In the 21st. century we will only go to Mars for one simple reason: Economics. We need a economic way to go there. Estimates range from $500 billion to $30 Billion. Range is too wide. What the hell are we going to do there besides kicking rocks and taking pictures. Are there mineral deposits we can bring back. Dr Zubrin was on the radio recently. All the callers "Joe Six Pack" are asking "what for me". Fortunately or Unfortunately, if we are able to answer this question to the public: we will then have a Missions to Mars. Science is great for Einstein and fellow scientist. The man, woman, child on the street wants to know "whats for me". If Dr. Zubrin can answer this question, we will go to Mars.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is really great!,
This review is from: The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must (Hardcover)In 1989, in response to President George Bush's call for a manned mission to Mars, NASA produced a plan, a plan so expensive and unwieldy, it never had the chance to become reality. However, Robert Zubrin, a senior engineer for Lockheed Martin, felt that NASA's plan was all wrong. Working with Dr. Ben Clark, a Lockheed Martin manager, he designed a Mars program that would be cost-effective and simple. This book contains the plans they drew up for a Mars program (multiple missions) called "Mars Direct."
This book is really great! It contains all of Mr. Zubrin's plans, including charts and diagrams. Admittedly, I'm not sure that I entirely agree with the author's reasons for why the colonization of Mars is vital to the human race, but I must admit that his enthusiasm is quite infectious. I do home that his plans do result in a manned Mars mission.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Mars, read it,
This review is from: The Case for Mars (Paperback)This grabbed my eye one day in a Boulder bookstore, I read a few pages and was immediately hooked. I've read like 15 Mars-related books since then and the end is not in sight. A stellar discourse on how feasible Martian exploration really is, A Case for Mars is well-researched and incredibly thorough. Perhaps its only drawback is how thorough it is at points. The ideas are truly fascinating to think about, but when he goes over the various chemical reactions and prices and energy requirements for various fuels and such, it starts getting a little confusing. For the most part, I imagine that this would be understandable even to those with a basic science background, but parts of it are pretty intense. This should be required reading for any space-related curriculum and I wish more people in Congress had read this, maybe we'd be working toward Mars now, rather than watching crystals grow in Earth orbit. Let's go to Mars!
5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Planet minus Van Damme,
This review is from: The Case for Mars (Paperback)Kiddies, put your sci fi books away. This is not your parent's Mars.
In this deep and enthralling book, Robert Zubrin lays out, point by point, his method of madness for traversing the intergalactic distances and heading to Mars. Using his Mars Direct plan, we seen a plausible situation in which we could take Mars within the next decade, and begin pushing our boundaries to the so called "final frontier."
Not only does he provide the means on a very achievable time table, he also makes arguments against the so called "dragons" on the way to Mars, namely the threats of solar radiation and other such impacts. Yet, the effect of these are so negligible on the overall mission, Zubrin has us believe that yes, Mars is attainable in our generation.
After we get there, however, Zubrin takes another ambitious step towards the future: terraforming. He sees Mars as an ecological playground. one that we can change and make habitable for the expansion of earth.
All in all, this book is the Mars Bible for the era. It shows us the most sound way to get across the vast distance, stay on the surface, and return safely, while maximizing our scientific payout for the mission. Hopefully, one day we can realize Robert Zubrin's dream and land on Mars within the next decade.
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The Case for Mars by Robert Zubrin; Richard Wagner (Paperback - 1997)
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